Tax Help for Sandy Victims and Volunteers

Posted on November 12, 2021

Tax Help for Sandy Victims and Volunteers

Along with help of blankets, food and pet supplies, the victims of Sandy are now getting tax help. The IRS is providing tax relief to victims of Hurricane Sandy that fall under the Presidential Disaster Areas. The IRS has provided relief to victims of hurricanes and other natural calamities before. This time, they have provided additional time for filing of taxes by extending the deadline to file taxes to Feb 1, 2013 along with tax breaks.

According to Reuters, “Individuals and businesses in Connecticut, New Jersey and New York rushing to meet tax filing or payment deadlines that fall between late October and January 15 have until February 1, 2013. The IRS automatically provides this relief to any taxpayer in states where there are declared disaster areas, and you do not need to contact them. Penalties are waived.

Taxpayers outside disaster areas also get the extension if their books, records or tax professionals are in the areas affected by Hurricane Sandy.

Does your home or business have damage not covered by insurance? You might be able file an amendment to your 2011 taxes, claiming a loss. This disaster declaration enables you to treat the losses as if they happened last year. This can help reduce last year’s income and may give you quicker access to tax refunds. It will benefit some people in certain tax brackets.”

At the time of Hurricane Katrina, Congress provided additional tax breaks apart from what the IRS could offer. This time, it is uncertain whether the Congress will offer similar tax breaks. Apart from the Presidential Disaster Areas, other locations may also be added after the assessment of the extent of damage done by Sandy. The IRS is updating information on its website regarding tax relief to assist taxpayers affected by Sandy.

There is good tax news for those who are helping victims of Sandy. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/09/us-storm-sandy-taxrelief-idUSBRE8A81CZ20121109 reports that “the IRS and Treasury are allowing tax credits for owners of qualified low-income housing who opened their doors to victims of Sandy, even if the victims are not in a low-income bracket.

Workers anywhere can donate vacation or sick time or personal leave in exchange for employer cash payments to qualified, tax-exempt organizations helping victims, if their company has such a program. This donated leave will not be included in employee wages and employers can deduct the amount of the cash payment.

Volunteers affiliated with an IRS-recognized government or philanthropic organization who helped distribute supplies in disaster areas are eligible for the February 1 extension to file taxes and make payments, the IRS has said. Volunteers for so-called 501(c)3 charities also will be able to deduct their transportation costs, including 14 cents per mile for distances they drove in their cars.

If you want to make a cash donation and receive a tax benefit, be sure you only give to a qualified 501(c)3 organization and get a receipt.”

With these steps taken to help victims and volunteers of Hurricane Sandy, the IRS is doing its bit to provide relief to taxpayers affected by the hurricane.