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
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.
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|
|91||October 2017||Severe Winter Storms and Snowmelt||Inyo, Mono||Yes||No|
|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, Napa||Yes||Yes|
|66||September 2015||Butte Wildfire||Amador, Calaveras||Yes||Yes|
|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|
 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:
- 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:
- 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.
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.
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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