California Taxpayer Relief Due to COVID-19 Pandemic

SACRAMENTO – California Governor Gavin Newsom issued an Executive Order (press release available here) directing the Employment Development Department, the Franchise Tax Board, the State Board of Equalization, and other California state agencies to extend due dates for tax filings and payments for individuals and businesses impacted by social distancing directives. The Federal Government is still working on their tax relief package, CAL SMACNA will update you with that information as soon as it is available.

The state of California has issued the following:

Employment Development Department (EDD) — Pay Roll Taxes

Employers statewide directly affected by the new coronavirus (COVID-19) may request up to a 60-day extension of time from the EDD to file their state payroll reports and/or deposit payroll taxes without penalty or interest. This extension may be granted under Section 1111.5 of the California Unemployment Insurance Code (CUIC). A written request for extension must be received within 60 days from the original delinquent date of the payment or return.

State payroll taxes include Unemployment Insurance (UI), Employment Training Tax (ETT), State Disability Insurance (SDI) (includes Paid Family Leave), and California Personal Income Tax (PIT). To request an extension, employers must send a letter to the EDD specifically requesting an extension of time under section 1111.5 of the CUIC, along with the previously unfiled report(s) and payment(s). The letter must also provide detailed information as to why the report or payment could not be submitted in a timely manner.

Employers should mail the letter and tax report or payment to the address specified on their filing form. If an employer has already been charged a late filing or payment penalty that he/she believes may qualify for this extension, the employer should send a written request to:

Employment Development Department
PO Box 826880
Sacramento, CA 94280-0001

Franchise Tax Board (FTB) — Personal Income and Corporation Taxes

The Franchise Tax Board (FTB) today announced special tax relief for California taxpayers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Affected taxpayers are granted an extension to file 2019 California tax returns and make certain payments until June 15, 2020, in line with Governor Newsom’s March 12 Executive Order.

“During this public health emergency, every Californian should be free to focus on their health and wellbeing,” said State Controller Betty T. Yee, who serves as chair of FTB. “Having extra time to file their taxes helps allows people to do this, as the experts work to control the spread of coronavirus.”

This relief includes moving the various tax filing and payment deadlines that occur on March 15, 2020, through June 15, 2020, to June 15, 2020. This includes:

  • Partnerships and LLCs who are taxed as partnerships whose tax returns are due on March 15 now have a 90-day extension to file and pay by June 15.
  • Individual filers whose tax returns are due on April 15 now have a 60-day extension to file and pay by June 15.
  • Quarterly estimated tax payments due on April 15 now have a 60-day extension to pay by June 15.
  • The FTB’s June 15 extended due date may be pushed back even further if the Internal Revenue Service grants a longer relief period.

Taxpayers claiming the special COVID-19 relief should write the name of the state of emergency (for example, COVID-19) in black ink at the top of the tax return to alert FTB of the special extension period. If taxpayers are e-filing, they should follow the software instructions to enter disaster information.

The FTB will also waive interest and any late filing or late payment penalties that would otherwise apply.

Local Tax Assistance

Additionally, some California counties are offering supplemental tax assistance specific to their individual county. In San Francisco for example, The Office of the Treasurer and Tax Collector announced (statement available here) a deferral of the April 30, 2020 deadline for quarterly estimated payments of the City’s gross receipts tax, payroll expense tax, commercial rents tax, and homelessness gross receipts tax. This relief is available only to businesses whose combined San Francisco gross receipts for calendar year 2019 did not exceed $10 million.We encourage our local CAL SMACNA members to contact their local county tax offices for more information, if you need assistance doing so please contact Emily Mills at