Disaster Relief – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

My business has burned, along with all of my records.  Can BOE help me recreate them?

All taxpayers, fee payers, and business owners who live in or own businesses in counties where a state of emergency exists, and who have lost records because of a disaster, will be eligible to receive free replacement copies of tax records. Business owners and fee payers needing to obtain copies of BOE tax records will be able to receive replacements free of charge.

To obtain copies of critically needed tax records on file with the BOE, including prior tax returns, copies of audits, and permit application forms, please call us toll free at 800-400-7115.

You may also obtain copies of critical tax records on file with the BOE by calling our Taxpayer Records Request Center at 916-322-4365.

Taxes are due at the end of this month. I’ve been evacuated and can’t get to my information to file timely. Can I get an extension?

All taxpayers, fee payers, and business owners who can't meet filing deadlines because of a disaster may be eligible to receive an extension of up to three-months* to file and pay their taxes and/or fees. This relief is available to any taxpayer or fee payer who works or resides in the counties where a disaster exists and who, as a result of a disaster, cannot meet tax filing and payment deadlines.

The BOE may also extend the deadline for filings that were delayed by disruption of the normal activities of the United States Postal Service or private mail and freight companies. In addition, business owners can apply for relief of penalties and interest for late payments if they are caused by the fire.

* Effective September 9, 2016, the extension available for tax or fee payers affected by a disaster was increased from one-month to up to three months (Assembly Bill 1559).

How do I ask for an extension?

A Request for an Extension may be submitted online using eService’s Relief Requests

You must submit your request no later than one month following the due date of your return or your prepayment form. Please be aware that the tax remains due, plus applicable interest.

Note: Relief from penalty and interest may be available to you if you cannot file your tax return on time due to a disaster. A Request for Relief from Penalty and Interest due to Disaster may be submitted online using eService’s Relief Requests

My business property and my home were damaged a disaster.  Can I get a property tax reduction?

If your taxable property in the counties where a state of emergency exists is damaged or destroyed in a disaster, you may be eligible for property tax relief. Applications for reduced assessment are available from and must be filed with the county assessor. Unlike sales and fuel taxes – which are collected by the state – property tax is collected at the county level. Answers to property tax questions and forms for relief are available from county assessors’ offices.

If the problem is temporary, some counties may also allow you to pay using your credit card; check with your local county tax collector's office.

Please note that even if your county’s website does not mention deferral for taxpayers, you can still apply to defer the next installment of property taxes if you file a claim for Property Tax Reduction – section 170 disaster relief.

For example, if your property has suffered damage of $10,000 or more as a result of the recent fires in Los Angeles County, you are eligible for a reduction in your property taxes. If a reduction is made, your property will be reappraised and you will receive a corrected tax bill or refund. Go to the link for the Los Angeles County Assessor’s Office listed below and download the Application for Reassessment of Property Damaged or Destroyed by Misfortune or Calamity. The application must be filed within 12 months of the occurrence of the damage.

For more information please visit the following websites:

Where can I go if I would like to talk with a BOE representative about my fire related difficulties?

You should contact a representative at your local field office.

Local Disaster Assistance Centers in Southern California:

Local assistance centers serve as efficient one-stop sources for disaster relief services including information on how to replace records lost in the fires, file insurance claims and apply for assistance and housing. Many state and local agencies, including County Assessors, are represented at the centers. Local assistance centers are generally posted on the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services homepage.

Volunteer Opportunities

Income tax relief may also be available.  You can get information from the Franchise Tax Board at:

Phone: 800-852-5711  
Web site: www.ftb.ca.gov
Fax: 916-843-2060
Mail: Franchise Tax Board, P.O. Box 1565, Rancho Cordova, CA 95741

If you are a senior citizen, blind, or disabled, and are having difficulty paying your property taxes and meet certain qualifications, you may also be eligible to receive assistance through the Franchise Tax Board's Homeowner Assistance program or the State Controller's Property Tax Postponement program.

For More Information please call our BOE Information Center at 800-400-7115 (TDD/TTY: 800-735-2929) or visit our State of Emergency Tax Relief guide.