In 2011 the federal government declared a record-breaking 99 natural disasters, including floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, and heat waves, surpassing the previous high-water mark of 81, set in 2010. To help taxpayers and businesses recover financially from the impact of a natural disaster, the IRS provides a number of tax law provisions to those affected by these and other disasters.
If you were the victim of a natural disaster in 2011, you may be eligible for relief dollars when filing this year's tax return. And if you were a victim of the recent tornadoes in the Midwest or a separate disaster this calendar year, you may be eligible for a special tax treatment that allows you to claim your disaster on your 2011 tax return. If you aren't able to claim your 2012 disaster now, there are a number of things you can begin doing in order to prepare for next year's tax deadline.
For everyone who has been affected by a natural disaster, here are five tips for tax time:
- Know your deadlines. The IRS may postpone certain tax deadlines for taxpayers who are affected by a federally declared disaster. These extensions can push standard deadlines as far back as one year and may include filing income, excise, and employment tax returns, paying taxes associated with those returns, and making contributions to a traditional IRA or Roth IRA. The IRS typically publishes announcements about postponed tax deadlines online at www.irs.gov.