Taxpayers Affected by October California Wildfires Receive More Time to File

For Immediate Release

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10/14/2019

Sacramento — The Franchise Tax Board (FTB) today announced special tax relief for taxpayers affected by the Governor-declared state of emergency for the Saddleridge, Sandalwood, Eagle, Reche, and Wolf wildfires that began in October 2019. These taxpayers are granted an extension to file 2018 California tax returns until November 15, 2019.

"Californians affected by these devastating fires need time to focus on the immediate impacts,” said State Controller Betty T. Yee, who serves as chair of FTB. “Hopefully extra time to file their tax returns can provide some measure of relief during this tragedy.”

California Revenue and Taxation Code section 18572(b) allows FTB to postpone certain tax-related deadlines for a state of emergency declared by the Governor.

The relief applies to affected individuals and businesses in two counties: Los Angeles and Riverside.

This applies to the October 15, 2019 extended tax filing deadline for tax year 2018 California state tax returns.

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

Disaster loss rules apply to victims in Governor-declared or presidentially declared disaster areas. Taxpayers may claim a disaster loss in one of two ways: In the tax year that the disaster occurred, when filing a 2019 tax return next year; or in the tax year before the disaster occurred by filing either an amended or original 2018 tax return. FTB can more quickly issue a refund for eligible claimed losses in the prior tax year.

For a complete list of all disasters declared by the Governor, see the “Qualified Disasters” chart on FTB’s Disaster Loss webpage. Additional information and instructions are available in FTB Pub. 1034, How to Claim a State Tax Deduction for Your Disaster Loss.

Taxpayers filing their returns late or claiming the disaster loss should write the name of the disaster in blue or black ink (for example, Saddleridge Fire) at the top of the tax return to alert FTB to expedite the refund. If taxpayers are e-filing, they should follow the software instructions to enter disaster information.

Disaster victims may receive free copies of state returns to replace lost or damaged ones. Taxpayers may complete Form FTB 3516, Request for Copy of Tax Return and print the name of the disaster in blue or black ink at the top of the request.

Taxpayers affected by other disasters may also qualify for tax relief. Additional information is available here.

Additional business tax relief for wildfire victims is available through the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration.

FTB administers two of California’s major tax programs: Personal Income Tax and the Corporation Tax. FTB also administers other non tax programs and delinquent debt collection functions, including delinquent vehicle registration debt collections on behalf of the Department of Motor Vehicles, and court–ordered debt. Annually, FTB’s tax programs collect more than 70 percent of the state’s general fund. For more information on other taxes and fees in California, visit: taxes.ca.gov.