News Briefs: CA tax deadline extended
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California state Controller Betty Yee announced Monday, March 16, that individual taxpayers will now have until June 15 to file their state returns and pay any taxes owed.
Yee made the decision due to the coronavirus pandemic and said allowing people additional time would help them focus on their health and well-being, according to a news release.
In addition to the changes for individual taxpayers, Yee wrote that partnerships and limited liability companies, or LLCs, will have until June 15 to file their state returns and pay any taxes owed.
According to the release, any taxpayer filing under this special deadline relief should note the name of the state emergency (COVID-19 or Coronavirus) in black ink on the top of the tax return to inform the Franchise Tax Board they are filing under the special extension period. The FTB also will waive interest and any late filing or late payment penalties that otherwise would apply.
For assistance, visit http://www.ftb.ca.gov
On March 17, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin announced that federal tax returns would be extended 90 days past the April 15 deadline for most taxpayers.
Give OUT Day opens early for online donations
In what turned out to be a fortuitous bit of timing, Horizons Foundation's new platform for Give OUT Day will allow people to donate early to help LGBTQ nonprofits. Now that so many people are self-isolating or working from home due to the coronavirus pandemic, the online giving day is shaping up to be crucial for queer nonprofits.
Horizons has overseen the national Give OUT Day for the last few years. This year the official day is Thursday, April 23.
However, people can start giving Thursday, March 26.
"On our previous Give OUT Day platform, folks were able to schedule their gifts in advance, which would process on Give OUT Day," wrote Horizons senior communications manager Curtis Lahaie in an email. "On our new platform, folks can't schedule gifts, but they can give during this new 'early giving' period. All gifts between March 26 and April 23 count toward the Leaderboard prizes for organizations."
On Monday, Horizons sent a note to Give Out Day organizations, discussing the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.
"Although there's been little publicity about it, many in our LGBTQ community fall among those especially vulnerable," Horizons President Roger Doughty wrote. "Last week, Horizons joined dozens of LGBTQ organizations across the country in signing an open letter advocating for attention to the needs of LGBTQ people at higher risk, including people living with HIV, LGBTQ elders, and all those in our community for whom 'staying at home' or 'frequent hand-washing' are not easy options — such as those without housing or who survive through sex work."
Nonprofits can register for Give OUT Day at https://www.giveoutday.org/giving-events/giveout20/registration
To search for an organization to support, go to https://bit.ly/2TV9S17
For more information, visit http://www.giveoutday.org
Artists sought for Milk project
This year's Windows for Harvey project has issued a call for artists to participate in the observation of Harvey Milk Day in May.
Given the coronavirus pandemic, organizers noted that right now, they plan to go ahead because it is an open-air type gallery event.
"We will continue to monitor the situation and accept the advice of city officials," organizers wrote in a frequently asked questions list posted on the website. "We will let everyone know at a moment's notice if there are any changes to established plans."
The project consists of artists installing their pieces in Castro storefronts from May 15-24. Harvey Milk Day, a day of special significance in California, is observed May 22.
Organizers of the event said that this year's theme is "Vote! For Harvey!"
Milk made history when he was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977, becoming the first out gay man to win elective office in the city and state. He and then-mayor George Moscone were assassinated by disgruntled ex-supervisor Dan White in November 1978.
"Harvey understood the value of hope, but he also knew that change would only come if citizens took action," stated the release.
To help offset some of the costs of creating the artwork, organizers are offering a stipend of $125 to each artist whose work is chosen to participate.
Submissions do not need to be completed works. But artists should indicate their design intent through work samples and sketches. Both 2-D and 3-D art is allowed. Artists provide their own supplies and materials.
The deadline is midnight Friday, March 27.
For more information, visit http://www.windowsforharvey.com
Community centers announce changes
LGBTQ community centers in Oakland and San Jose have announced changes due to the coronavirus.
The Oakland LGBTQ Community Center, at 3207 Lakeshore Avenue, announced that it has suspended all center-supported groups through the end of March.
"We will also be implementing an abbreviated schedule for our staff and volunteers ASAP, until we are confident that the center is safe from COVID-19," center officials wrote in a March 15 email to supporters. "Our decision is being made out of an abundance of caution for the entire community."
For more information, go to https://www.oaklandlgbtqcenter.org/
In the South Bay, the Billy DeFrank LGBTQ Community Center, at 938 The Alameda, announced Monday that it is closed through April 7 because of Santa Clara County's health order directing people to shelter in place and stay away from others.
For more information, go to www.defrankcenter.org
In Contra Costa County, the Rainbow Community Center announced it has suspended all in-person programming, meetings, and trainings. Clinical sessions for clients have been moved online. For more information, check out the center's Facebook page.
Many other LGBTQ groups have also canceled or postponed events. For a list, see https://bit.ly/2QlhurP