SALT LAKE CITY, Utah -- Individual taxpayers who sustained losses as a result of the recent tornado, hail, and severe thunderstorms in Salt Lake County may be able to get tax relief from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
"Taxpayers may claim casualty losses immediately by amending their 1998 tax return," said IRS District Director Representative for Utah Richard Taylor. "It can be one of the fastest sources for obtaining financial help after experiencing disaster-related losses."
Generally, casualty losses for tax purposes are calculated based on the decrease in fair-market value of the property or the basis (usually cost plus improvements), whichever is less. Losses also are reduced by the amount of any insurance reimbursements received or expected to be received. Certain income restrictions and other rules also apply.
"Taxpayers should consider this option carefully because it may be more advantageous to wait to claim their losses on 1999 tax returns due next April," Taylor added.
For the special disaster tax deduction to be claimed immediately, the loss must have occurred in Salt Lake County as a result of the tornado and associated wind, hail, and rain that occurred on August 11, 1999.
Taxpayers may call 1-800-829-1040 for assistance or visit the local IRS office at 50 S. 200 East in Salt Lake City.