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State grants tax relief to victims of the 2007 California freeze

FTB has announced special tax relief for California taxpayers affected by the recent California severe freeze.

Twelve counties are designated as federal disaster areas: Fresno, Imperial, Kern, Los Angeles, Monterey, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Tulare, and Ventura counties.

The President declared the California freeze a major disaster on March 13, 2007. Special tax rules apply to disaster losses. Taxpayers can claim a disaster loss in the tax year the disaster occurred or in the tax year before the disaster occurred. The advantage of claiming the disaster loss in the prior year is that FTB can quickly issue a refund.

Taxpayers claiming the disaster loss should write "California Freeze 2007" 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 who need copies of lost or damaged state returns should complete Form FTB 3516, Request for Copy of Tax Return. Disaster victims can receive free copies of their tax returns. Write "California Freeze 2007" in red at the top of the request.

To learn more about state disaster losses, refer to publication FTB 1034, Disaster Loss at www.ftb.ca.gov. Refer to IRS 547, Casualties, Disasters, and Thefts at www.irs.gov for federal information about disaster losses.