California is providing tax relief during the pandemic.

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Extended filing deadline

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Franchise Tax Board (FTB) have extended the due date for individual income taxes to May 17, 2021. This extension does not apply to estimated taxes due to the IRS or FTB on April 15, 2021.

The due date to file and pay taxes and fees owed to the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) originally due between December 15, 2020, and April 30, 2021 has been extended by three months. This extension is generally granted to businesses with less than $1 million in taxes and fees.

To request an extension if you have more than $1 million in taxes and fees due or to ask a question about the extension, call CDTFA 800-400-7115.

Visit the CDTFA COVID-19 website for more information about extensions.

Help for individuals

Golden State Stimulus

The Golden State Stimulus (GSS) is a $600, one-time relief payment. You’ll get it if you receive the California Earned Income Tax Credit after claiming it on your 2020 individual tax return, which is filed this year.

You’ll get an additional $600, one-time GSS payment if you file your return with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).

ITIN filers who do not receive the California Earned Income Tax Credit but earn $75,000 or less will get a $600 GSS payment.

Learn more about the Golden State Stimulus, including when to expect it.

Expanded Earned Income Tax Credit qualifications

You can now claim the California Earned Income Tax Credit and the state’s Young Child Tax Credit with an ITIN. These tax credits can be claimed on 2020 individual tax returns.

You can also use your 2019 income to claim two federal tax credits, the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit, on your 2020 taxes. This lets you claim these credits even if your income was lower in 2020 due to job loss or underemployment.

Federal taxes on unemployment income

The first $10,200 of unemployment benefits paid in 2020 will not be taxed on your federal tax return. If you filed your federal tax return prior to the passage of the American Rescue Plan on March 11, 2021, the IRS will automatically refund money to you. You do not need to amend your return to get this refund.

Learn more about federal taxation of unemployment benefits, including when to expect this refund.

Small business tax relief

California and the federal government are providing tax relief and benefits to small businesses. This includes:

  • The federal Employee Retention Tax Credit, available through July 1, 2021, of up to $14,000
  • The California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant, created as part of the Golden State Stimulus, of up to $25,000
  • Excluding forgiven Paycheck Protection Program loans from state gross income
  • Federal tax credits to small businesses for COVID-19 employee paid leave, available through March 31, 2021

Sales and use tax payment plans

Small businesses can take advantage of an interest-free payment plan provided by CDTFA. Payments are made in equal monthly installments over 12 months and must be paid in full by April 30, 2022.

Payment plans are available for:

  • Sales and use tax due on returns originally scheduled to be filed between December 15, 2020, and April 30, 2021
  • Up to $50,000 in sales and use tax liability
  • Businesses with less than $5 million in annual taxable sales

Payment plans may also be available to businesses with more than $5 million in annual taxable sales. CDTFA will work with businesses to provide relief where appropriate.

Learn more about the sales and use tax payment plan at CDTFA’s COVID-19 website or by calling 800-400-7115.

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