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Hurricane Katrina Victims Granted State Tax Relief

Update 2: On September 8, 2005, the IRS extended the due dates for filing tax returns and paying taxes until January 3, 2006. This extends and expands relief granted previously by the IRS and is available in all the counties and parishes listed in IRS news release IRS-2005-91. The Franchise Tax Board will follow the federal treatment. For the latest information, see the IRS Disaster Relief Page.

Update 1: On September 2, 2005, the IRS expanded the relief to cover an additional 33 parishes in Louisiana, 37 counties in Mississippi, three counties in Alabama and three counties in Florida. The Franchise Tax Board will follow the federal treatment. For more information, see the IRS Disaster Relief Page.

Original News Release: August 31, 2005

The Franchise Tax Board today announced special tax relief for California taxpayers affected by Hurricane Katrina in the federally declared disaster areas.

On Tuesday, August 30, 2005, the IRS granted special relief for taxpayers in 31 parishes in Louisiana, 15 counties in Mississippi, and three counties in Alabama struck by Hurricane Katrina. The IRS extended the due dates for filing tax returns and paying taxes until October 31, 2005. California will also follow these extended dates. The FTB will cancel interest and any late filing or late payment penalties that would otherwise apply.

In addition, FTB reminds impacted taxpayers that the normal disaster loss rules apply to victims in the presidentially declared disaster areas. 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 2005 tax return next spring. Or taxpayers can claim the loss in the tax year before the disaster occurred by filing either an amended or original 2004 tax return. The advantage of claiming the disaster loss in the prior year is that the FTB can quickly issue a refund.

Taxpayers claiming the disaster loss should write “Hurricane Katrina” in red ink at the top of the tax return to alert the FTB to expedite the refund. If taxpayers are e-filing, they should follow the software instructions to enter the disaster information.

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 Katrina” in red at the top of the request. Disaster victims receive copies of tax returns for free.

The specific parishes and 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 www.ftb.ca.gov or the IRS 547, Casualties, Disasters, and Thefts at www.irs.gov.