William Lyon Homes sold 165 acres of land in California, Nevada, and Arizona on Christmas Eve at a loss that will help the company realize a tax refund estimated between $80 million and $95 million, according to Securities and Exchange Commission filings.

The company reported to the SEC on Wednesday that it sold land in San Bernardino and San Diego counties in California; Clark County in Nevada; and Maricopa County in Arizona for $13.625 million. The book value of the properties on the Dec. 24 closing date was $84.2 million.

On Dec. 28, the company reported to the SEC that it expected the tax refunds thanks to the change in tax law that allows companies to go back five years to claim current losses against past gains. It said it expected the refund sometime in the first or second quarter of 2010.

The company declined to discuss details about the land sales beyond those in the SEC filings.