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Southern California Fire Victims Can See Tax Relief

Released: October 23, 2007

The Franchise Tax Board (FTB) today announced several relief measures for the victims of wildfires in seven Southern California Counties.

The FTB will allow victims to receive additional tax refunds this year by immediately reporting their disaster losses through amended 2006 returns. In addition, the FTB has temporarily suspended mailing billing notices in the seven Southern California counties affected by wildfires.

“The victims of the Southern California fires need to know they can turn to the State for immediate help,” said State Controller and FTB Chair John Chiang. “By claiming a disaster loss on last year's taxes, those who lost their homes or suffered property damages can get additional funds to help them through this tragedy.”

Affected taxpayers may also claim the disaster loss on their 2007 tax return that are due to be filed in spring.

The affected counties include Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Orange, Riverside, and San Diego in the declared state and federal disaster area.

Tax information regarding the fires will be regularly updated and posted to the FTB's Website.

If taxpayers impacted by the fires need copies of state tax returns to replace lost or damaged ones, they should complete Form FTB 3516, Request for Copy of Tax Return. Print “Southern California Wildfires 2007” in red at the top of the request. Disaster victims receive free copies of tax returns.

For more information about state disaster losses, refer to Disaster Loss (FTB Pub. 1034) at www.ftb.ca.gov or the IRS 547, Casualties, Disasters, and Thefts at www.irs.gov.

To learn about the latest updates pertaining to tax matters surrounding the wildfires, please check the FTB Website at www.ftb.ca.gov. Taxpayers who have questions about their accounts can call FTB toll free at (800) 852-5711, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.