NEW: Tornado victims could receive tax break for damage

Posted on: 2:44 pm, September 9, 2013, by and , updated on: 07:47pm, September 9, 2013


MOORE, Okla.- It was a month Oklahomans will not soon forget; May’s fury hit hard in 2013.

One storm after another spawned large, deadly and destructive tornadoes.

As the rebuilding process continues, there is yet another way for Oklahomans to get a little help.

Even though most people had filed their 2012 tax returns before the storms came through our state, those who had any kind of storm damage can amend those returns and possibly get a little money back to help rebuild.

Sheryl Craig, with H&R Block, said, “We found people had no clue about this and so we want to get the word out.”

Craig says residents who suffered damage can make amendments to the 2012 tax returns because the president signed a disaster declaration for our state.

Amending the return will potentially help them get money back for the loss of their property.

Craig said, “It may not be a full dollar for dollar amount that you get back but, you know what, every little bit is going to help.”

This is separate from FEMA assistance.

In order to file the amendment, you will need documentation for any FEMA assistance you have received.

You will also need estimates or bills from contractors and paperwork from your insurance.

If your 2012 taxes were swept away by the tornado, Craig says it’s okay.

With your permission, they can contact the IRS to get copies of those returns to help in the filing process.

This type of tax break is not only for homeowners.

Craig says renters may be able to file for a loss as well.

She said, “Some people had no structural damage but they had damage from flooding on the inside, lost appliances. Those type of things can be covered, believe it or not.”

In most cases, the IRS is able to process the amendments within 60 days.

The best way to file would be to contact your CPA.

Another option, H&R Block is offering to help storm victims and file the amendments for free.

There is no deadline to file with the IRS.