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Disaster Loss

Beginning on or after January 1, 2014, taxpayers may claim the following credits for any loss sustained in California that is proclaimed by the Governor to be in a state of emergency:

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

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
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.

Documentation

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:
    • Schedule D-1, Sales of Business Property.
    • Form 3805V, Net Operating Loss (NOL) Computation and NOL and Disaster Loss Limitations – Individuals, Estates, and Trusts. (Instructions)
    • Form 3805Q, Net Operating Loss (NOL) Computation and NOL and Disaster Loss Limitations – Corporations. (Instructions)

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

Mail:
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 State Board of Equalization 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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