USA — The California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) has announced special corporation franchise and income and personal income tax relief available to California taxpayers affected by the recent wildfires in Southern California. Taxpayers that have lost homes or suffered property damages as a result of the fires can quickly get some financial relief by immediately claiming their disaster losses on their tax returns. Also, the FTB can help replace tax records and other important paperwork lost in the fires.
The wildfires were declared a federal disaster, and affected taxpayers may claim their disaster losses in the current or prior tax year. Claiming the losses on a 2007 tax return will allow the FTB to issue refunds as quickly as possible. Counties included in the disaster area are: Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, and Santa Barbara. Fires specifically included in the disaster declaration are the Tea Fire in Santa Barbara County, the Sayre fire in Los Angeles County, and the Triangle Complex (formerly named Freeway Complex) fire in Orange and Riverside Counties.
Taxpayers claiming the disaster losses should write “Southern California Wildfires 2008” in red ink at the top of their tax returns to alert the FTB to expedite tax refunds. Taxpayers filing electronically should follow their software instructions to enter the disaster information. Original and amended return forms are available on the FTB’s Web site athttp://www.ftb.ca.gov/.
Taxpayers needing copies of lost or damaged state returns should complete Form FTB 3516, Request for Copy of Tax Return, and print “Southern California Wildfires 2008” in red ink at the top of the request. Disaster victims can receive copies of their tax returns for free.
Additional information about disaster losses can be found in publications FTB 1034, Disaster Loss, and IRS 547, Casualties, Disasters, and Thefts.