State Agencies Offer Tax Relief for Victims of Wildfires in California
Sacramento- State agencies, non-profit organizations and companies throughout California are joining together to grant relief and assistance to victims of wildfires in California. State Board of Equalization (SBOE) will be offering assistance including: tax extension to file returns, relief from penalties and/ or interest from some taxes and fees, and replacing copies of records lost to damage for business owners and fee-payers. Some of the areas that are affected include: Butte, Amador, Calaveras, Lake, and Napa counties.
"My heart goes out to all the people effected by the fires burning across the state," stated Board Member Fiona Ma. "I am grateful to all our firefighters who are putting their lives on the line to protect our friends and neighbors. With hundreds of homes destroyed, and thousands of people forced to evacuate, it is vital that we be as generous as we can with food, clothes and money. However, be aware there are people taking advantage of this horrific situation, so please make sure you are donating to trusted sources like the Mendo-Lake Credit Union to help rebuild homes and lives."
Also, seeking to give relief for taxpayers, the Franchise Tax Board (FTB) will be offering a disaster loss deduction where victims can claim a disaster loss in either the year the disaster occurred or in the prior tax year. A new law automatically allows California disaster loss treatment for losses sustained in areas the Governor declares a "State of Emergency." Governor Brown made these "State of Emergency" declarations on September 11 for Amador and Calaveras Counties, and September 13 for Lake and Napa Counties.
"As devastating as this situation can be to victims, it is recommended that people document all of the damage to personal property for insurance purposes," stated Board Member Ma. "It is also important that people ensure their homes and offices are up to code and insured."
According to the Department of Insurance, there are insurance options for people even if they live in "high risk" areas. The California FAIR Plan is a private association based in Los Angeles comprised of insurers licensed to write property insurance in California. All insurers conducting business in California must be member of the Association. FAIR Plan profits and losses are shared by its members in direct proportion to their market share of property insurance written in California. There is no public funding, or taxpayers' monies involved. The FAIR Plan is not a state agency.
To donate and directly assist victims who lost their homes in Lake County, visit: http://www.lakecountylac.com/donate-now.html.
To view a list of Donation Centers in Lake County, please visit: http://www.lovelakecounty.org/
To view Butte Fire relief resources and ways to help: http://www.mymotherlode.com/news/local/248673/butte-fire-relief-resources-and-ways-to-help.html
To sign up to volunteer and aid victims of the Valley Fire: You can register online with North Coast Opportunities at www.ncoinc.org. Click on Lake County Valley Fire Volunteer under Most Recent Opportunities and then hit Apply. You will be contacted when a volunteer need arises that meets your availability and skillset.
To view the list of State of Emergency declarations, please visit the Governor's website: gov.ca.gov.
For more information and to visit Board Member Ma's website, please visit: http://www.boe.ca.gov/ma/