Albany, NY -- Individual taxpayers who sustained losses as a result of the severe storms and flooding between May 3 and June 30 in New York may be able to get tax relief from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
"Taxpayers may claim casualty losses immediately by amending their 1999 tax return," Rose Pronel, IRS Upstate New York District Director, said. "It can be one of the fastest sources for obtaining cash after experiencing disaster-related losses. Amended returns are filed on form 1040x, 'Amended US Individual Income Tax Return.' Be sure to mark across the top of the form in RED INK, 'May-June 2000 New York Storms.'"
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 2000 tax returns due next April," Pronel added.
For the special disaster tax deduction to be claimed immediately, the loss must have occurred in Albany, Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chenango, Erie, Essex, Herkimer, Lewis, Madison, Montgomery, Niagara, Oneida, Onondaga, Orleans, Otsego, Rensselaer, Schenectady, Schoharie, Steuben, Tioga and Tompkins counties in New York, between May 3 and June 30.
Taxpayers may call 1-800-829-1040 for assistance or they may order Publication 547, "Non-business Disasters, Casualties and Thefts," by calling 1-800-829-3676.