Wise, VA -- The individual income tax filing deadline for residents of the Southwest Virginia flood disaster area has been extended to May 3. The extension covers taxpayers in the counties of Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Tazewell, Washington and Wise.
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) spokesperson Gloria Wajciechowski said the extension is automatic but taxpayers should write the words: "Southwest Virginia Flood Disaster" in red ink on their tax returns.
In addition to the filing extension, flood victims who suffered uninsured property losses are eligible for federal income tax refunds.
According to the IRS, the special refund is available to taxpayers who claim a "non-business casualty loss" deduction on their income tax returns. That deduction applies to loss of property because of sudden, unexpected or unusual events such as violent weather. The uninsured loss must be more than 10 per cent of the adjusted gross income for a taxpayer to be eligible for the refund.
Taxpayers living in areas covered by a presidential disaster declaration, such as southwestern Virginia, can choose to claim the deduction in the current year (2002) or the previous year (2001). Claiming the deduction on taxes already paid for 2001 could be a source of cash for those in the disaster area in need of money.