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State Tax Relief for California Winter Storm Victims

California taxpayers affected by the recent winter storms in California qualify for special tax relief.

The December 17, 2010, through January 4, 2011, storms were declared a Federal disaster in 12 counties on January 26, 2011. Affected taxpayers are able to claim disaster losses in the current or the prior tax year. Claiming the loss on a previously-filed tax return allows us to issue refunds quickly.

Counties declared a major disaster area are: Inyo, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Tulare counties.

For clients claiming the disaster loss, write “California Winter Storms 2010” in red ink at the top of their tax return to alert us to expedite the refund. If clients are e-filing, follow the software instructions to enter the disaster information. Go to ftb.ca.gov to get Form 540X, Amended Individual Income Tax Return or 540NR, California Resident Income Tax Return.

Clients needing copies of lost or damaged state returns should complete FTB 3516, Request for Copy of Tax Return, available online. Disaster victims can receive copies of tax returns for free. Print “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 ftb.ca.gov or the IRS 547, Casualties, Disasters, and Thefts, at irs.gov.

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