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State of California Franchise Tax Board

California Winter Storm Victims Get State Tax Relief

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Public Affairs Office
Brenda Voet

For Immediate Release


Sacramento – The Franchise Tax Board (FTB) today announced special tax relief for California taxpayers affected by the recent severe winter storms that started in January.

“California families who suffered property damage can find quick relief through their tax returns,” said State Controller and FTB Chair John Chiang.

The President declared the counties of Calaveras, Imperial, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Siskiyou a major disaster on Monday. The federal declaration was a result of a series of winter storms that brought high winds, heavy rainfall, and severe mud and debris flows during the period of January 17 to February 6, 2010.

The disaster declaration allows affected taxpayers to claim disaster losses in the current or prior tax year. Claiming the loss on a 2009 tax return will allow FTB to issue refunds quickly. Taxpayers who have already filed a 2009 tax return can filed an amended return to claim their losses.

Taxpayers claiming the disaster loss should write “California Winter Storms 2010” in red ink at the top of their 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 get FTB’s forms for the 2009 tax return or amended 2009 tax return at FTB’s website,

Taxpayers needing copies of lost or damaged state returns should complete Form FTB 3516, “Request for Copy of Tax Return,” available online. Disaster victims can receive copies of tax returns for free by printing, “California Winter Storms 2010” in red ink at the top of the request.

To learn more about disaster losses, refer to publications FTB 1034 “Disaster Loss” at or the IRS 547, “Casualties, Disasters, and Thefts” at

Taxpayers who have questions about their accounts can call FTB toll-free at 800.852.5711 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information on other taxes and fees in California, visit

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