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IRS Extends Federal Tax Deadline for California Storm Victims

The state has been pounded by torrential rains, high winds and snow since New Year's.

Man walks through flooded part of California
California has been slammed by rain, wind and snow.
Josh Edelson/Getty Images

This story is part of Taxes 2023, CNET's coverage of the best tax software, tax tips and everything else you need to file your return and track your refund.

The IRS is giving California taxpayers hit by recent storms more time to file their 2022 federal income taxes. On Tuesday, the agency announced that individuals and households who live or own a business in designated areas will have until May 15 to file.

For most Americans, Tax Day is April 18. (April 15 is on a Saturday, and the next weekday, April 17, is Emancipation Day in Washington, DC.)

The filing extension "includes 2022 individual income tax returns due on Apr. 18, as well as various 2022 business returns normally due on Mar. 15 and Apr. 18," the agency said in a release. Eligible taxpayers will also have until May 15 to make contributions to their IRAs and health savings accounts.

 Read on: What Is a Bomb Cyclone?

For now, the emergency declaration covers more than 30 counties in California, including Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco and Santa Barbara. (The full list is available here.)

The IRS added that it would work with residents who live outside the designated disaster area but whose tax records are inside it.

Since New Year's, California has been hit with an onslaught of torrential rains, high winds and heavy snow, causing flooding, rockslides, downed trees and power outages across the state. At least 18 deaths have been reported, and damages could ultimately top $1 billion.

The brutal conditions were caused by twin phenomena, according to the National Weather Service: a "bomb cyclone" -- an intense storm triggered by a sudden, steep drop in atmospheric pressure -- intensified by a series of "atmospheric rivers," narrow air currents that carry large amounts of water vapor.

On Wednesday, parts of Northern and Central California were under flood watch again as more rain hit the regions.

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