Tankers dropping fire retardant in Catheys Valley during the 2017 Detwiler Fire
Credit: Dave Conway Photography
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.
August and September 2017 - Railroad, Pier, Mission and Peak Fires in Madera, Mariposa and Tulare Counties - Governor Declared - Yes, President Declared - No
July 2017 - Detwiler Fire in Mariposa County - Governor Declared - Yes, President Declared - No
2017 Winter Storms - Many counties including Madera and Stanislaus Counties - Governor Declared - Yes, President Declared - No
June 2017 - Wildfires - Many counties including Madera County - Governor Declared - Yes, President Declared - No
January 19, 2018 - Sacramento – The Franchise Tax Board (FTB) on Thursday announced special tax relief for taxpayers impacted by Southern California wildfires, floods, and mudslides that began in December 2017. Affected taxpayers are granted an extension to file 2017 California tax returns and make payments until April 30, 2018.
"California’s recent fires and mudslides have devastated communities, from the loss of lives and property to the displacement of families and workers,” said State Controller Betty T. Yee, who serves as chair of FTB. “Hopefully extra time to file and pay taxes can provide some minor relief to these fellow Californians.”
FTB automatically follows federal postponement periods for any presidentially declared disasters.
On Wednesday, the IRS granted relief to individuals and businesses in four counties: Los Angeles, San Diego, Santa Barbara, and Ventura. This applies to various tax filing and payment deadlines that occurred starting on December 4, 2017, including:
- Individual income tax returns normally due on April 17, 2018.
- Quarterly estimated tax payments due January 16, 2018.
The FTB will also follow these extended dates and 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 tax return this spring; or in the tax year before the disaster occurred by filing either an amended or original tax return. FTB can more quickly issue a refund for eligible losses claimed 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 claiming the disaster loss should write the name of the disaster in red ink 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.
Yee also noted that 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 red ink (for example, Thomas Fire) at the top of the request.
Taxpayers impacted by other wildfires and hurricanes in 2017 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 (more information is available here).
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.
Source: CA. FTB