Richmond, Va. -- Individual taxpayers who experienced disaster-related losses of more than 10 percent of their adjusted gross income as a result of the November 18-19 severe storms and flooding, may be able to get tax relief from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) offers a variety of assistance to disaster survivors and may allow casualty losses that were suffered on real property, home personal property and household goods to be deducted on the income tax return if they are not covered by insurance.
“Special tax law provisions may help taxpayers recover financially from the impact of the disaster, especially now that those areas have been declared disaster areas. Both individuals and businesses in the declared disaster areas can get a faster refund by claiming losses related to the disaster on the tax return for the previous year, usually by filing an amended return,” said Gloria Wajciechowski, IRS spokesperson for Virginia.
For the special disaster tax deduction to be claimed immediately, the loss must have occurred in Bland, Buchanan, Giles, Smyth or Tazewell counties or the city of Galax.
Taxpayers may call 1-800-829-1040 for assistance. Taxpayers should keep accurate records to document a casualty loss deduction. This would include: before and after photographs of damaged property; estimates of repairs, appraisals and any other documentation to aid in establishing the amount of property damage or value of the property.
On March 1, 2003, FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. FEMA's continuing mission within the new department is to lead the effort to prepare the nation for all hazards and effectively manage federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates proactive mitigation activities, trains first responders, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.