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A couple of unexpected and unwelcome events affecting return filing occurred in April: The tragedy at Virginia Tech on April 16, and the severe storm in the nation's northeast. In both cases, our actions correspond with IRS actions, to give tax relief to taxpayers and tax preparers affected by these events.

Virginia Tech tragedy

FTB followed the IRS in granting a six-month filing and payment extension to those affected by the tragic shootings on April 16, 2007, at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. The relief applies to the victims, their families, emergency responders, university students, and employees. Taxpayers in these groups will have until October 15, 2007, to file returns, and make payments associated with their 2006 individual tax returns due April 17, 2007. Those who qualify for this extension will have no filing and payment penalties, as long as they file and pay by October 15, 2007.

Special tax relief for victims of April 16 northeast storms

On April 17, 2007, we announced that we would provide special tax relief for taxpayers in the areas hardest hit by the April 16 storm in several northeastern states.

On April 26, the IRS extended the filing date to file income tax returns to June 25 for those hardest hit by the April 16 storm. FTB is following the federal postponement to June 25. For more information, see our April 26 press release, IRS Notice 2007-89 , and IRS Notice 2007-92.

Disaster victims receive free copies of tax returns, and can obtain copies by completing Form FTB 3516, Request for Copy of Tax Return. Taxpayers who e-file should follow software instructions in entering disaster information.

To learn more about state 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. If your clients can't pay their taxes, they can request a payment plan online. Those who owe less than $25,000, and can repay it within five years will generally qualify.