Firefighters, two trucks and smoke in Sonoma County on Aug. 22, 2020, in photo taken by Bloomberg Firefighters spot fires on Big Ridge during the Walbridge portion of the LNU Lightning Complex fire in Sonoma County, California, on Aug. 22. (Photo: Philip Pacheco/Bloomberg)

The Internal Revenue Service said late Monday that California wildfire victims now have until Dec. 15 to file various individual and business tax returns and make tax payments.

“We’ve burnt 1.2 million acres since just a week or so ago,” California Governor Gavin Newsom said Monday. There are currently 625 fires being battled statewide by some 14,000 firefighters and 2,400 engines.

“We’ve lost seven lives so far and over 1,200 reported structures. There’s no question there are more structures that have been damaged,” Newsom added.

The IRS is offering the relief to any area designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as qualifying for individual assistance.

Counties now with this FEMA designation include Lake, Monterey, Napa, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma and Yolo. But taxpayers in localities added later to the disaster area will automatically receive the same filing and payment relief, the IRS said.

The list of eligible localities is available on the disaster relief page of IRS.gov.

The tax relief postpones various tax filing and payment deadlines that occurred starting on Aug. 14, 2020.

“As a result, affected individuals and businesses will have until Dec. 15, 2020, to file returns and pay any taxes that were originally due during this period,” the IRS said.

Individuals who had a valid extension to file their 2019 return due to run out on Oct. 15, will now have until Dec. 15, to file.

The IRS noted, however, “that because tax payments related to these 2019 returns were due on July 15, 2020, those payments are not eligible for this relief.”

New Deadline Details

The Dec. 15 deadline also applies to quarterly estimated income tax payments due on Sept. 15, and the quarterly payroll and excise tax returns normally due on Oct. 31.

The relief also applies to tax-exempt organizations, operating on a calendar-year basis, that had a valid extension due to run out on Nov. 15 of this year, the IRS said.

“Businesses with extensions also have the additional time including, among others, calendar-year corporations whose 2019 extensions run out on Oct. 15, 2020.”

Penalties on payroll and excise tax deposits due after Aug. 14 and before Aug. 31, will be abated as long as the deposits are made by Aug. 31, the IRS explained.

The IRS disaster relief page has details on other returns, payments and tax-related actions qualifying for the additional time.