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Hurricane Sandy Tax Relief...also Register Early to Get Hurricane Sandy FEMA Aid
My heartfelt prayers go to those who's loved ones lost their lives during this horrific storm, Sandy. Others have sustained substantial losses of property, including untold thousands of dollars in food spoilage. Many losses need to be submitted to your home insurance company as soon as possible as they are overwhelmed with claims.
With many counties within New York and New Jersey (with other regions expected) declared official emergency disaster, there may be immediate tax relief. As a local tax professional in Mahopac, N.Y. I am available to provide tax return assistance for those who qualify and to inform you you may be able to file for tax relief immediately that rather than wait until you file your 2012 income tax return to deduct your casualty losses caused by Hurricane Sandy and may be able to claim an immediate tax refund with the IRS and NYS. In order to do this you should file federal Form 1040-X and NYS Form IT-201-X and write on the top of the Form "Casualty Loss from Hurricane Sandy" in order that the IRS and we hope that NYS will expedite your refund claim. Include with the amended tax return IRS Form 4684 "Casualty and Thefts" on which you will calculate your loss. Include a complete copy of the IRS Forms 1040-X and 4684 with your NYS Form IT-201-X.
Note there are certain exceptions. First, this disaster relief benefit from amended the prior year tax return for the loss incurred this year only applies to situations that occur in a declared emergency disaster zone and are due to this sudden, unusual and unexpected event. Also, the general rules regarding casualty losses apply. These include a $100 "deductible" that is subtracted from the loss. Then the actual deduction is limited to that amount that is greater than 10% of your adjusted gross income. This is the amount you arrive at when preparing page 1 of your federal Form 1040, before itemized deductions or personal exemptions. If you claimed the standard deduction and the amount carried from Form 4694 to Schedule A results in the total of Schedule A being greater than your standard deduction you can increase your deduction for the difference.
As news develops regarding extending tax returns that are due today, including IRS and NYS Employment Tax Returns, NYS MT-903 Highway Use Tax Returns, etc. this website will be updated.
Register to Get Hurricane Sandy FEMA Aid
According to FEMA, Residents, businesses, non-profits, cities and towns that are declared a federal disaster area from damages wrought by Hurricane Sandy must register FIRST with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (“FEMA” before they can seek federal disaster aid.
To register by phone, call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). The TTY line for people with speech or hearing disabilities is 1-800-462-7585. The line is open from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., daily.
To register online, applications can be completed at www.disasterassistance.gov.
It is critical to note that you must register with FEMA to begin the process of accessing possible federal assistance. As FEMA continues its assessment of the damages resulting from Hurricane Sandy, new disaster areas will be added to the list.
If residents have disaster assistance questions, they can call the FEMA Helpline at 1-800-621-3362.
In the coming days, state officials and FEMA will be conducting damage assessments to determine what additional locations are eligible for assistance. Residents and businesses in the non-declared counties should contact their local officials to report damage and seek further advice and/or assistance.
Most importantly stay safe and follow emergency preparedness guidelines and instructions.
If you need assistance as regards filing tax returns to deduct qualifying casualty losses please contact me and I will be happy to assist you.
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