HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Individuals and businesses that suffered losses or damages because of Hurricane Floyd may be eligible for tax refunds now if they file amended tax returns for 1998.
"It's part of an assistance program offered by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to help with disaster recovery," said Jack Schuback, of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) who is the federal coordinating officer for Pennsylvania.
Individuals and businesses in Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, Montgomery, Philadelphia and York counties affected by flooding became eligible for assistance under President Clinton's major disaster declaration.
The Internal Revenue Service may allow casualty losses that were suffered on home personal property and household goods to be deducted on the income tax return if they are not covered by insurance. IRS employees will assist taxpayers in calculating casualty losses, complete tax returns and help them apply for immediate refunds to help offset hardship.
IRS telephone assistance is available by calling 1-800-829-1040, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Be sure to say you're calling because of Hurricane Floyd. And if you do send an amended tax return, write "Hurricane Floyd Tax Relief" on it.
FEMA coordinates disaster assistance efforts. If you have suffered losses or damage because of Hurricane Floyd, call FEMA's toll-free registration line at 1-800-462-9029. The number for speech- or hearing-impaired applicants is 1-800-462-7585 (TTY).