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Disaster Loss


Taxpayers may deduct a disaster loss for any loss sustained in California that is proclaimed by the Governor to be in a state of emergency.

California law generally follows federal law regarding the treatment of losses incurred as a result of a casualty or a disaster.

Update for 2017 federal disasters

State tax relief is available for taxpayers impacted by Hurricane Harvey, Irma, and Maria.  California automatically follows the IRS extended deadlines to file/pay taxes until January 31, 2018. Write "Hurricane Harvey, Irma, or Maria" in red ink at the top of the tax return to alert FTB the return is disaster-related.

Types of losses

Casualty loss

If your property is lost or damaged due to an earthquake, fire, flood, or similar event that is sudden, unexpected, or unusual, and insurance or other reimbursements do not repay you for the damage to your property, you will usually qualify for a casualty loss deduction.

Disaster loss

For California purposes, a casualty loss becomes a disaster loss when both of the following occur:

You sustain the loss in an area the President of the United States or the Governor of California declares a state of emergency.

You sustain the loss because of the declared disaster.

Note: Taxpayers may deduct a disaster loss for any loss sustained in California beginning on or after January 1, 2014 and before January 1, 2024. For 2014 and prior, see  FTB Pub. 1034, How to Claim a State Tax Deduction for Your Disaster Loss.

Disaster Code Incident Period Disaster County Governor Declared President Declared
95 January 2018 Southern California Mudslides Ventura, Santa Barbara Yes Yes
94 December 2017 Lilac Fire San Diego Yes Yes
93 December 2017 Creek & Rye Fires Los Angeles Yes Yes
92 December 2017 Thomas Fire Ventura, Santa Barbara Yes Yes
91 October 2017 Severe Winter Storms and Snowmelt Inyo, Mono Yes Yes
90 October 2017 Solano County Atlas Fire Solano Yes Yes
89 October 2017 Cherokee, LaPorte, Sulphur, Potter, Cascade, Lobo & Canyon Fires Butte, Lake, Mendocino, Nevada, Orange Yes Yes
88 October 2017 Tubbs, Atlas and multiple other fires Napa, Sonoma, Yuba Yes Yes
87 August 2017 & September 2017 Railroad, Pier, Mission & Peak Fires Madera, Mariposa, Tulare Yes No
86 September 2017 La Tuna Fires Los Angeles Yes No
85 August 2017 Ponderosa Fires Butte Yes No
84 August 2017 Helena Fires Trinity Yes No
83 December 2016 Siskiyou County Rainstorm (Declared August 2017) Siskiyou Yes No
82 July 2017 San Bernardino County Rainstorm San Bernardino Yes No
81 July 2017 Modoc County Fires Modoc Yes No
80 July 2017 Detwiler Fire Mariposa Yes No
79 July 2017 Alamo & Whittier Fires Santa Barbara Yes No
78 July 2017 Wall Fire Butte Yes No
77 January 2017 January Winter Storms Alameda, Alpine, Butte, Calaveras, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Fresno, Humboldt, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Lake, Lassen, Los Angeles, Madera, Marin, Mendocino, Merced, Modoc, Monterey, Napa, Nevada, Orange, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, San Benito, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Tulare, Tuolumne, Ventura, Yolo, Yuba Yes No
76 December 2016 December Winter Storms Del Norte, Humboldt, Mendocino, Shasta, Santa Cruz, Trinity Yes No
75 August 2016 Blue Cut Fire San Bernardino Yes No
74 August 2016 Clayton Fire Lake Yes No
73 August 2016 Chimney Fire San Luis Obispo Yes No
72 July 2016 Soberanes Fire Monterey Yes No
71 July 2016 Sand Fire Los Angeles Yes No
70 June 2016 Erskine Fire Kern Yes No
69 December 2015 Carlsbad Rainstorms San Diego (City of Carlsbad) Yes No
68 October 2015 Rainstorms Inyo, Kern, Los Angeles Yes No
67 September 2015 Valley Wildfire Lake[1], Napa Yes Yes[1]
66 September 2015 Butte Wildfire Amador, Calaveras[1] Yes Yes[1]
65 July 2015 Severe Rainstorms Imperial, Kern, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego Yes No
64 July 2015 Wildfire Lake, Trinity Yes No
63 June 2015 Wildfire Butte, El Dorado, Humboldt, Lake, Madera, Napa, Nevada, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego, Shasta, Solano, Tulare, Tuolumne, Yolo Yes No
62 May 2015 Oil Spill Santa Barbara Yes No
61 February 2015 Severe Rainstorms Humboldt, Mendocino, Siskiyou Yes No
60 February 2015 Mono Wildfire Mono Yes No

[1] The President’s declaration did not include all the counties listed in the Governor’s State of Emergency. The President declared a major disaster for this county.

You can claim a disaster loss in the taxable year the disaster occurred or in the taxable year immediately before the disaster occurred. The advantage of claiming a loss in the prior year is that the loss will generally reduce the prior year tax liability generating a refund that Franchise Tax Board (FTB) can issue quickly.

If you e-file, use the disaster code from the chart above.

If you file a paper return, print the following information in red ink across the top:

  • Disaster.
  • Name of disaster in Governor’s state of emergency proclamation.
  • The year the loss occurred: Year from Governor’s state of emergency proclamation.

Example: Disaster – Carlsbad Rainstorms – 2015
FTB Pub 1034, Disaster Loss – How to Claim a State Tax Deduction, provides more detailed instructions.


Attach the following to your California tax return:

  • A clearly written statement to your loss documentation that indicates:
    • The date of the disaster.
    • The location of the disaster (city, county, and state).
    • Your decision to deduct the loss in the taxable year before the year the disaster occurred (optional).
  • Copies of the following federal forms:
    • A completed federal Form 4684, Casualties and Thefts (use California amounts).
    • A copy of your federal income tax return.
    • Any supporting federal schedules that verify your deduction.
  • You may also need the following California forms:

If you meet the qualifications to claim a disaster loss anywhere within the United States, the same disaster rules and postponement periods automatically apply to you. Be sure you indicate on your tax return the name and date (in red at the top of your tax return) of which disaster you are claiming a loss.

Request an Abatement of Interest

Effective January 1, 2013, we will abate interest during the time we delay mailing of bills and notices as a result of disasters declared by either of the following:

  • The President of the United States.
  • The Governor of California as a State of Emergency.

You must request interest abatement in writing by completing FTB 3701, Request for Abatement of Interest.

Fax: 916.843.6022

Executive and Advocate Services MS A381
Franchise Tax Board
PO Box 157
Sacramento CA 94267-8888

If we deny your request
- You will receive a formal letter of denial explaining your right of appeal to the Office of Tax Appeals (OTA) within:

  • 30 days in the case of any unpaid interest.
  • 90 days in the case of any paid interest.

For your appeal rights and actions, see FTB 5847I, Procedure for Appealing a Denial of a Request for Abatement of Interest.

Request Copy of Tax Return

We will replace lost or damaged California tax returns at no charge to disaster victims. Complete form FTB 3516, Request for Copy of Tax Return. Print the name of the disaster at the top of the form, and we will send you copies of your most recently filed tax return.

Postponement Periods

California automatically follows federal postponement periods as announced by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

  • Tax deadlines subject to postponement include due dates for:
    • Filing tax returns.
    • Paying income taxes.
    • Making contributions to a traditional Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or Roth IRA.
  • Postponement time frame: up to one year.
  • Interest and penalties – Canceled on the underpaid income tax for the length of any postponement deadlines.

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Last Updated: 01/17/2018

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