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State Tax Relief for California Wildfire Victims

Released July 23, 2008

Sacramento - The Franchise Tax Board (FTB) today announced special tax relief for California taxpayers affected by the recent California wildfires.

“The Franchise Tax Board can help the victims of these wildfires,” said State Controller and FTB Chair John Chiang. “Those who lost their homes or suffered property damages can claim a disaster loss on their taxes and quickly get some financial relief.”

Taxpayers affected by the wildfires can claim a disaster loss in either the current tax year or the year prior. Claiming the loss in 2007 will allow the FTB to quickly issue a refund to the affected taxpayer.

The personal income tax relief is available in counties that have had federal emergency disaster declarations. Counties declared a disaster area to date include: Butte, Kern, Mariposa, Mendocino, Monterey, Plumas, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Shasta, and Trinity counties.

Taxpayers claiming the disaster loss should write “California Wildfires 2008” 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 get FTB’s amended 2007 tax return or original 2007 tax return at FTB’s website at www.ftb.ca.gov.”

Taxpayers needing copies of lost or damaged state returns should complete Form FTB 3516, Request for Copy of Tax Return. Disaster victims can receive copies of tax returns for free. Print “California Wildfires 2008” in red at the top of the request.

Tax information regarding the fires will be regularly updated and posted to FTB’s website. Taxpayers who have questions about their accounts can call FTB toll-free at 800.852.5711 Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.