Tax – COVID-19 Issues
Last Update February 26, 2021
Below are selected websites from reliable sources, vetted by our Law Librarians. This is not an exhaustive list of information available on this topic, but a starting point to provide you with basic information.
The State of California has created a helpful Quick Tax Reference that list tax types with the responsible agency and their website.
The federal tax season for 2021 begins on Friday, Feb. 12th and the tax filing deadline is April 15, 2021.
At this time, the IRS has NOT granted any extensions of the tax deadline.
Tax Relief is Available for Disaster Victims
- The IRS has provided Frequently Asked Questions for disaster victims about the definition of an affected taxpayer.
- Here is FEMA’s list of qualifying disasters
Information from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service
- Coronavirus and Economic Impact Payments: The IRS has created a Resources & Guidance website with tax tips, answers to Frequently Asked Questions, Partner Materials, YouTube Videos, & Guidance for taxpayers.
- Online Tax Help
- Free File: Prepare and file your tax return for free.
- Where’s My Refund?: Check Your Refund Status Online
- Online Payment Agreements: Apply for a payment plan to pay your balance over time
- IRS2Go Mobile App: Check your refund status, make a payment, find assistance & sign up for information
- Online Account: View your tax balance and payment history
- IRS FAQs, Resources, and Guidance
- IRS YouTube channel: Helpful videos on a variety of tax related subjects.
Businesses and Tax-Exempt Entities
- Employee Retention Credit Available for Many Businesses Financially Impacted by COVID-19: The Employee Retention Credit is a refundable tax credit against certain employment taxes equal to 50% of the qualified wages an eligible employer pays to employees after March 12, 2020, and before January 1, 2021.
- Coronavirus-Related Paid Leave for Workers and Tax Credits for Small- and Mid-Sized Businesses: The Families First Coronavirus Response Act gives all American businesses with fewer than 500 employees funds to provide employees with paid leave, either for the employee’s own health needs or to care for family members.
- NOL Carrybacks of C-Corporations: Get answers about NOL Carrybacks of C Corporations to Taxable Years in which the Alternative Minimum Tax Applies.
- Payroll Support for Air Carriers and Contractors: Get answers about tax treatment of the air carrier payroll support payments.
The State of California is providing a one-time $600 or $1,200 payment to families and people who qualify. You may qualify for this payment if you receive California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC) or file with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).
The Golden State Stimulus is designed to:
- Support low-income Californians
- Help those facing hardship due to COVID-19
Check the California Franchise Tax Board’s webpage for more information about the Golden State Stimulus payment.
Information from the State of California Franchise Tax Board
Beginning on February 1, 2021 all Field Office Public Counters in San Diego County will be open by appointment only. You can request an appointment by:
- Emailing FTBFieldOfficeAppointments@ftb.ca.gov and include the following:
- The location of the Field Office in the subject line of your email
- Your name and phone number
- Reason for appointment
- Call your local Office.
You will receive a response within 2 day.
- COVID-19 Special Tax Relief and Assistance Updates
- COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions
- Health Care Mandate Information
- California Earned Income Tax Credit
The State of California Franchise Tax Board also has an updated YouTube channel.
Information from San Diego County Treasurer-Tax Collector
- Secured Tax Bill Deadline was Dec. 10, 2020, and a 10% penalty has been assessed.
- COVID-19 Penalty Cancellations are Available for Homeowners and Small Businesses.
- All five San Diego County Tax Collector’s Offices are closed to the public.
- But, you can still call 1-877-829-4732 for tax information.
- Drop boxes are available outside all offices.
You can read the language of the CARES Act here. The CARES Act provides payments for American individuals and families that meet certain financial criteria. The IRS has created an Economic Impact Payment Information Center to answer to provide information, but here is an overview.
On March 27, 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law. This Act delays due dates for payroll taxes and makes other tax-related rule revisions. It also created the Economic Impact Payment Checks, also know as Stimulus Checks.
All first and second Economic Impact Payments have been sent. You can check your final payment status at the IRS’s Get My Payment webpage.
If you didn’t get the full Economic Impact Payment, you may be able to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit. For more information check the IRS’s Recovery Rebate Credit webpage. See the IRS video on claiming a Recovery RebateCredit:
The payments will be based upon 2019 taxes. To see if you are eligible for an Economic Impact Payment, you can check your eligibility here. The IRS/ Treasury Dept. began distributing payments on Dec. 29, 2020, and will end on Jan. 15, 2021, and will deliver them in the same manner as the first round of payments: direct deposit into our bank account, as a check in the mail, or as an Economic Impact Payment (EIP) Card.
If you are not required to file taxes because you are a senior citizen, a social security recipient, or a railroad retiree, the payments will be based on either Form SSA-1099 or Form RRB-1099 from the most recent tax year. If you have not filed taxes because your income is under a certain amount and you do not receive Social Security and are not a Railroad Retiree, there is an IRS Non-Filer: Enter Payment Information website. Non-filers can enter their payment information here.
If you qualified for but did not receive an Economic Impact Payment in either the first round of payments in the spring or the second round of payments going on now, you can still claim the payments on your 2020 tax return as a Recovery Rebate Credit. More information about the Recovery Rebate Credit can be found here. Here is a short video from the IRS YouTube channel:
Check out this video from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau YouTube channel:
Payments will automatically be made around mid-April. If you have filed a 2019 or 2018 tax return, or you receive Social Security or Railroad Benefits, the check will be deposited to your bank account on file.
If you do not have a bank account on file, a check will be mailed to your mailing address on file. If you have moved recently and need to update your address on file to receive your mailed check, notify the IRS to update your address.
If you don’t typically file taxes and have a new dependent, check out this article from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau about how to claim the economic impact payment.
Economic Impact Payments belong to the recipient, not nursing homes or care facilities.
For more information about Economic Impact Payments, visit the IRS website on the topic.
The California Lawyers Association has created a video explaining the Tax Implications and Eligibility of Benefits Under the CARES Act.