State Tax Relief for San Diego County Wildfire Victims

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For Immediate Release

09.25.2014

Sacramento – The Franchise Tax Board (FTB) announced that recently signed legislation (AB 922—Maienschein) designates the May 2014 San Diego County wildfires as a state disaster, providing the disaster victims with specific state 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 claim generally creates a refund that FTB can quickly issue.

Disaster victims who have not yet filed their 2013 tax return can claim their disaster loss on their original tax return. Taxpayers who have already filed their 2013 tax return can claim a disaster loss against that year’s income by filing a Form 540X, Amended Individual Income Tax Return. Taxpayers should write, “DISASTER – SAN DIEGO WILDFIRES 2014” in red at the top of their tax returns.

Disaster victims have until next year, October 15, 2015, to make their prior year (2013) disaster loss deduction. Different deadlines apply for fiscal year filers

Taxpayers who need copies of lost or damaged state returns should complete Form FTB 3516, “Request for Copy of Tax Return,” which can be downloaded online. Disaster victims can receive copies of tax returns for no charge by writing, “DISASTER – SAN DIEGO WILDFIRES 2014” in red ink across the top of their request.

For more details, please read FTB Publication 1034, Disaster Loss How to Claim a State Tax Deduction at FTB’s website at ftb.ca.gov.

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