Tax relief is available to some of those affected by the historic storm and flooding that occurred this month.
So far, the help is tied to Butler, Cass, Colfax, Dodge, Douglas, Nemaha, Sarpy, Saunders and Washington Counties. Other counties may be added as the disaster declaration process continues.
The IRS will allow taxpayers to retroactively apply this month's losses to last year's income, or save the losses for use against 2019 income, according to a statement issued Sunday by the IRS.
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Additionally, certain IRS deadlines have been extended to July 31.
With some caveats, the following deadlines have been extended to July 31:
• Individual income tax returns and payments normally due on April 15.
• Quarterly estimated income tax payments due on April 15 and June 17.
• IRA payments.
The tax relief applies to:
• Those who live or have a business in the affected counties.
• Taxpayers whose tax records are in the affected area.
• Relief workers affiliated with a recognized government or philanthropic organization assisting in the covered counties.
• Anyone killed or injured as a result of the disaster in the covered counties.
Additionally, penalties on payroll and excise tax deposits due between March 9 and March 25 will be waived as long as the deposits are made by Monday, March 25.
Chart: Where Nebraska floods did damage
The chart below shows each Nebraska county that has reported damage to the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency. In all, early estimates have the number at nearly $650 million in damages. Hover over bubbles to see damage amounts. Data updated at 6:30 p.m. March 21.
The IRS disaster hotline number is: 866-562-5227.
If an affected taxpayer receives a late filing or late payment penalty notice from the IRS that has an original or extended filing, payment or deposit due date that falls within the postponement period, the taxpayer should call the telephone number on the notice.
Individuals may deduct personal property losses that are not covered by insurance or other reimbursements. For details, see Form 4684, Casualties and Thefts and its Instructions.
Affected taxpayers claiming the disaster loss on a 2018 or 2019 return should put the Disaster Designation, “Nebraska, severe winter storm, straight-line winds, and flooding” at the top of the form so that the IRS can expedite the processing of the refund. Be sure to include the disaster declaration number, FEMA 4420, on any return. See Publication 547 for details.
The IRS will waive the usual fees and expedite requests for copies of previously filed tax returns for affected taxpayers. Taxpayers should put the assigned Disaster Designation “Nebraska, severe winter storm, straight-line winds, and flooding” in red ink at the top of Form 4506, Request for Copy of Tax Return, or Form 4506-T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return, as appropriate, and submit it to the IRS.
Affected taxpayers who are contacted by the IRS on a collection or examination matter should explain how the disaster impacts them so that the IRS can provide appropriate consideration to their case. Taxpayers may download forms and publications from the official IRS website, irs.gov, or order them by calling 800-829-3676. The IRS toll-free number for general tax questions is 800-829-1040.