FTB Issues Reprieve for Southern California Fire Victims

Due to the wildfires in Southern California, all tax billings, notices, audit correspondence, and proposed assessments bound for taxpayers in the affected counties will be suspended for two weeks until Wednesday, November 12, announced the Franchise Tax Board (FTB).

“I have instructed the Franchise Tax Board to do everything possible to assist taxpayers during this disaster. Fire victims should be focused on their family and homes during this crisis,” said California State Controller and FTB Chair Steve Westly.

As of today, the counties of Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, and Ventura were experiencing wildfires.

This afternoon, President Bush declared the counties of Los Angeles, San Bernardino, San Diego, and Ventura a federal disaster area. Special tax rules apply to disaster losses. You can claim a disaster loss in the tax year the disaster occurred (on the 2003 tax return that taxpayers will file next spring) or in the tax year before the disaster occurred (by amending the 2002 tax return filed earlier this year). The benefit to claiming your disaster loss in the prior year is that we can quickly issue you a refund.

We will update tax information regarding the fires and post it to the FTB's Website at www.ftb.ca.gov as conditions warrant.

Editor's Note: Please see Franchise Tax Board publication, Disaster Losses, (FTB Pub 1034) for more details.

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