San Antonio, TX -- Texas residents who suffered losses in the ten declared counties affected by Tropical Storm Fay may be eligible for tax refunds from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
The IRS has ruled that such losses, defined as damage, destruction, or loss of property from a catastrophic event, may be deducted on the federal income tax return for the year in which the casualty occurred or by amending the return for the previous year.
Residents of the ten Texas counties who had losses from Tropical Storm Fay may amend their federal income tax returns for the year 2001, filed this year, to reflect all or part of their loss, or they may include the deductions in returns to be filed by April 15, 2003.
Deductible items include homes and personal property, such as furnishings, appliances, vehicles and clothing. Amending this year's return to claim casualty losses may provide additional money for home repairs or replacing damaged goods.
Reports compiled by inspectors from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will serve to document losses and may be attached to your tax form or the amendment.
The IRS general information number is 1-800-829-1040.
To learn more about claiming disaster losses, ask the IRS for its Disaster Losses Kit for Individuals (Publication 2194). The kit contains all the IRS forms and instructions necessary to file a disaster loss claim. Business owners should ask for Publication 2194-B, which has specific instructions for businesses.
To get a copy of the Disaster Kit, or any other IRS form, call 1-800-829-3676 (toll-free), or visit the IRS Web site at www.irs.gov. Forms and publications are also available at local IRS tax assistance centers.
Individuals who have not yet applied for state and federal disaster assistance may register by calling the FEMA toll-free registration line at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), or TTY 1-800-462-7585 for the speech or hearing impaired. The registration lines are open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week, until further notice.