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California Grants Tax Relief to Taxpayers Affected by Hurricane Sandy

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For Immediate Release

11.09.2012

Sacramento – The Franchise Tax Board (FTB) today announced special tax relief for California taxpayers affected by Hurricane Sandy in the federally declared disaster areas.

Following recent disaster declarations issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced affected taxpayers in Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York will receive tax relief. Other locations may be added in coming days based on additional damage assessments by FEMA.

Starting in late October, the IRS postponed the due dates for filing tax returns and paying taxes, including the fourth quarter estimated tax payments normally due January 15, until February 1, 2013. California will also follow these postponed dates for taxpayers with filing and payment deadlines between late October 2012 and February 1, 2013, as described by the IRS. For taxpayers with filing and payment deadlines during the postponement period, the FTB will not charge interest or impose any late filing or late payment penalties that would otherwise apply.

FTB reminds affected taxpayers that if they meet the qualifications to claim a disaster loss anywhere within the United States and have a California tax-filing requirement (resident or nonresident), the same federal disaster rules and postponement periods automatically apply to them. Taxpayers claiming the disaster loss should write “Hurricane Sandy” 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 the disaster information.

Taxpayers can claim a disaster loss in one of two ways. They can either claim the disaster loss in the year the disaster occurred when they file their 2012 tax return next year, or taxpayers can claim the loss in the tax year before the disaster occurred by filing an amended 2011 tax return. The advantage of claiming the disaster loss in the prior year is that FTB can quickly issue a refund.

Taxpayers needing copies of state returns to replace lost or damaged ones should complete Form FTB 3516, Request for Copy of Tax Return. Print “Hurricane Sandy” in red at the top of the request. Disaster victims receive copies of tax returns for free.

The specific counties in the disaster area can be found on the IRS’ website. To learn more about disaster losses, refer to publication FTB 1034, Disaster Loss at ftb.ca.gov or visit the disaster relief page on IRS.gov.

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