State Tax Relief for San Bruno Explosion

FTB also lists all state disasters declared in 2010

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Public Affairs Office

For Immediate Release


Sacramento — The Franchise Tax Board (FTB) today announced that recently signed legislation (ABX6 11, Hill, Stats. 2010 6th Ex. Sess.2010, Ch. 2) designates the San Bruno gas line explosion as a state disaster, providing the disaster victims with specific tax relief.

Special tax rules apply to disaster losses. Disaster victims can claim a disaster loss in either the year the disaster occurred or in the prior year. Typically, taxpayers must deduct losses only in the year of the disaster. The advantage of claiming a disaster loss in the prior year is that the loss will generally reduce the prior year tax liability. This generally creates a refund that FTB can quickly issue.

The following table outlines the other events designated as state disasters this year:


Counties covered by disaster designation

Prior year election deadline

100 percent loss carryover provision

September 2010 San Bruno Explosion

San Mateo

2009 by October 17, 2011

15 years

July 2010 Kern Wildfires


2009 by October 17, 2011

15 years

April 2010 Baja California Earthquake


2009 by October 17, 2011

15 years

January 2010 Humboldt Earthquake


2009 by October 17, 2011

15 years

January 2010 California Winter Storms

Calaveras* Imperial* Los Angeles* Orange Riverside* San Bernardino* San Francisco Siskiyou*

2009 by October 17, 2011

15 years

August 2009 California Wildfires

Los Angeles Monterey Placer

2008 by October 15, 2010

15 years

*Also qualifies for Federal disaster relief

Disaster victims must reduce their losses by the amount of any insurance proceeds or other reimbursements. To calculate your allowable disaster loss, refer to FTB Pub 1034, Disaster Loss How to Claim a State Tax Deduction, FTB Pub 1001, Supplemental Guidelines of California Adjustments, and for IRS Pub 547, Casualties, Disasters and Thefts.

For disaster victims that already filed their tax return for the prior year, they can claim a disaster loss against that year’s income by filing Form 540X, Amended Individual Income Tax Return.

If taxpayers affected by any of these disasters need copies of state tax returns to replace lost or damaged ones, they should complete Form FTB 3516, Request for Copy of Tax Return available online at Print the name of the disaster in red at the top of the request (i.e. “San Bruno Explosion 2010”). Disaster victims receive free copies of tax returns.

For more information on other taxes and fees in California, visit:

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