Continuing the recent trend to provide federal income tax relief for certain wages paid during national disasters, businesses impacted by the California wildfires can receive a benefit similar to the tax credit in 2017 for businesses impacted by the hurricanes. Included within the recently signed H.R. 1892 - Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 is the Employee Retention Tax Credit for Employers Affected by California Wildfires. This credit allows employers to claim a tax credit equal to 40% of the wages paid to an employee if the location of employment was in a core disaster area and that location was impacted by the wildfires. The credit is capped at $2,400 per employee. The credit applies to wages paid during the time that the business remained inoperable. The eight California counties the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) deemed disaster areas include Orange, Mendocino, Sonoma, Lake, Napa, Yuba, Butte, and Nevada.
Businesses that were or remain inoperable between October 8, 2017 and January 1, 2018 may qualify for this employee retention tax credit.
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