PASADENA, Calif. -- California residents whose properties were damaged by October and November wildfires may be eligible for disaster tax relief from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) and the California State Board of Equalization (BOE).
The IRS and the FTB have announced that affected taxpayers in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Diego counties have been granted an extension to file or pay most tax returns, including individual tax returns and employment tax returns.? Additionally, the BOE has announced that property tax relief may be available for those with taxable property that has been damaged or destroyed.? Applications for reduced assessment are available from and must be filed with the county assessor.
In a special provision of the tax codes, taxpayers have the option of claiming disaster-related losses either on this year's (2007) or the preceding year's (2006) federal (IRS) and state (FTB) income tax return.? According to the Franchise Tax Board (FTB Pub. 1034A-11), claiming the loss on an original or amended return for last year will get the taxpayer an earlier refund, but waiting to claim the loss on this year's return could result in a greater tax saving, depending on other income factors.
For more information about how disaster losses affect taxes, refer to Disaster Loss (FTB Pub. 1034) at www.ftb.ca.gov or 1-800-338-0505, the IRS 547, Casualties, Disasters, and Thefts at www.irs.gov or 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676), or BOE at www.boe.ca.gov or 1-800-400-7115.
FEMA coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.