What if I have a tax return due?
Generally speaking, individual and
business taxpayers in the most severely damaged parishes and counties of
Louisiana and Mississippi now automatically have through Aug. 28, 2006, to file
returns and make certain tax payments that had a due date or extended due
date on or after Aug. 29, 2005, and on or before Aug. 28, 2006. In
addition, the failure to deposit penalty will be waived for taxpayers in
these areas who are unable to make their deposits during this time period.
The automatic postponement applies to
taxpayers in the following Louisiana parishes: Cameron, Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles and St. Tammany.
The automatic postponement also applies
to taxpayers in the following Mississippi counties: Hancock, Harrison and Jackson.
Affected taxpayers in the
Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi counties and parishes listed below also
qualify for the postponement. However, those taxpayers must identify
themselves as impacted. They can do this by writing “Hurricane
Katrina” in red ink at the top of the return when filing, or by calling the
IRS Disaster hotline at 1-866-562-5227.
Alabama counties: Baldwin, Choctaw, Clarke, Greene, Hale, Marengo, Mobile,
Pickens, Sumter, Tuscaloosa and Washington.
Louisiana parishes: Acadia, Ascension, Assumption, Calcasieu, East
Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette,
Lafourche, Livingston, Pointe Coupee, St. Helena, St. James, St. John the
Baptist, St. Mary, St. Martin, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne, Vermilion,
Washington, West Baton Rouge and West Feliciana.
Mississippi counties: Adams, Amite, Attala, Claiborne, Choctaw, Clarke,
Copiah, Covington, Franklin, Forrest, George, Greene, Hinds, Holmes,
Humphreys, Jasper, Jefferson, Jefferson Davis, Jones, Kemper, Lamar,
Lauderdale, Lawrence, Leake, Lincoln, Lowndes,
Madison, Marion, Neshoba, Newton, Noxubee, Oktibbeha, Pearl River, Perry,
Pike, Rankin, Scott, Simpson, Smith, Stone, Walthall, Warren, Wayne, Wilkinson,
Winston and Yazoo.
Do I have more time to make my
quarterly estimated tax payments?
Yes. Affected taxpayers in the areas
listed above have until Aug. 28, 2006, to make these payments.
Do businesses have more time to
make payroll tax deposits?
Yes. Affected businesses in the areas
listed above have until Aug. 28, 2006, to make federal tax deposit (FTD) payments
without incurring a late deposit penalty. This relief applies to any
deposit originally due on or after Aug. 29, 2005.
This relief applies to employers who
deposit social security, Medicare and federal income taxes withheld from
employee paychecks. Businesses who deposit federal excise taxes are also
eligible for this relief.
This relief is intended for taxpayers who
are unable to meet their deposit obligations because their (or their
service provider's) records, computers, or other essential supporting
services were damaged, or essential personnel were injured, by the
hurricane or any subsequent flooding. Thus, although the waiver applies to
all affected taxpayers, taxpayers that are reasonably able to make their
deposits are encouraged to do so.
Where can I learn more about what
other "time-sensitive" actions receive relief?
The IRS is giving victims of
Hurricane Katrina until Aug. 28, 2006 to perform other time-sensitive
actions described in Treasury
Regulation § 301.7508A-1(c)(1) (PDF 160KB, 10 pages) Revenue Procedure
2005-27 (PDF 492KB, 38 pages).
Where can I find general
information about tax-related assistance for hurricane victims?
The IRS has issued a new
publication to assist individual and business victims of
Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma. It explains the tax law changes
and relief provisions available to those affected by the hurricanes.
The publication lists the disaster areas for each hurricane and
explains which areas are eligible for administrative relief from the
IRS and which areas receive special tax breaks under recently enacted
provisions of the tax law. It provides information for individuals on
claiming unreimbursed losses, the tax
favored use of retirement savings, and new rules regarding
charitable giving. The publication also highlights the changes
businesses need to know about, such as a special depreciation allowance for
qualified Gulf Opportunity Zone property, an increase in the amount
affected businesses can expense instead of depreciating and new net
operating loss (NOL) rules for losses in the GO Zone.
For more information, go to Publication
4492, Information for Taxpayers Affected by Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and
Wilma (PDF 106.5K).
Where can I get information
related to Gulf Opportunity Zone Act of 2005 and the Katrina Emergency Tax
Relief Act of 2005?
The Gulf Opportunity Zone Act of 2005, in
general, expands the provisions of the Katrina Emergency Tax Relief Act of
2005 to those affected by Hurricanes Rita and Wilma as well as Katrina.
These two new laws provide certain tax breaks to help victims of the
storms. The new laws alter the tax code to help individuals who suffered
losses as a result of the hurricanes and to make it easier for individuals
and companies to engage in charity to benefit those affected by the
More information is available at Fact
Sheet 2006-12, Tax Law
Changes Related to Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma, and the KETRA page.
Can I contact the IRS for
tax-related disaster assistance?
Victims of Hurricane Katrina can call the
IRS toll-free disaster hotline at 1-866-562-5227 for assistance.
Are tax relief assistance
People in a Presidentially-declared
disaster area who receive grants from state programs, charitable
organizations or employers to cover medical, transportation or temporary
housing expenses do not include these grants in their income.
What if I have difficulty getting
a copy of my W-2?
Some taxpayers affected by the hurricanes
may have difficulty obtaining 2005 Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, and
other 2005 information documents. For more information, see Fact Sheet
Forms W-2 for Hurricane Victims.
How do I reconstruct records that
Reconstructing records after a disaster
may be essential for tax purposes, getting federal assistance or insurance
reimbursement. Records that you need to prove your loss may have been
damaged or destroyed in a casualty. More information is available in
Fact Sheet 2006-7, Reconstructing
My home was damaged by the
hurricane, and I don’t have insurance. Do I qualify for any special tax
If you suffered major damage, you may be
able to deduct some of your loss on your federal income tax return. Only
losses not covered by insurance or other reimbursements are eligible.
Because of the way this deduction is figured, only major losses normally
result in tax savings. Tax
Topic 515 has more information about losses and theft.
Losses on business or rental property
also qualify for tax relief. Different rules apply to figuring this
I heard that I can choose when to
claim losses to property located in a disaster area. Is that true?
Yes. There is a special rule that applies
to deductible losses on property located in a Presidentially-declared
disaster area. Under this rule, you can choose to claim your losses on your
2004 return or wait until the end of the year and claim them on your 2005
return. See Notice
2006-17 for more information.
I want to claim my disaster
losses on my 2004 return. Since I already filed my 2004 return, how do I do
You do not have to fill out your entire
2004 return all over again. Instead, file an amended return using Form 1040X. You use
this form to claim your losses and show the items that need to be changed
on your original return. Tax
Topic 308 explains how to file an amended return.
What other kind of relief is
The IRS will waive the usual fees and
expedite requests for copies of previously-filed tax returns for people who
need them to apply for benefits or to file amended returns claiming
disaster-related losses. Write the words “Hurricane Katrina” in red at the
top of Form 4506,
“Request for Copy of Tax Return,” or Form 4506-T, “Request
for Transcript of Tax Return.”
People who are contacted by the IRS on a
collection or examination matter should explain how the disaster affects
them so that the IRS can provide appropriate consideration to their case.
Where can I get more information
about the losses I've suffered?
Publication 2194, Disaster Losses Kit for
Individuals ( PDF 860KB, 100 pages). Attention: Publication
2194 is being updated with new provisions of the Katrina Emergency Tax
Relief Act of 2005. For information on these provisions, see News
Release 2005-119, New Law
Eases Loss Limitations for Katrina Victims
Publication 2194B, Disaster Losses Kit
for Businesses ( PDF 943KB, 78 pages) —
Contain various IRS publications and forms related to claiming disaster
What if I've changed addresses or
have an undelivered refund?
You should contact the IRS if you're a
hurricane victim awaiting a tax refund that hasn't been received or to
report a change of address.
A taxpayer expecting a refund check at an
address where he or she no longer resides or who has not received an
expected check because of mail delivery problems should contact the IRS
disaster hotline at 1-866-562-5227 or the refund hotline at
In order to authenticate taxpayer
identity, the IRS will ask callers to provide information from their last
federal tax return, including name, address, taxpayer
identification number and filing status. Taxpayers will also need to
provide a current address where they can receive mail and a current
How can I protect myself from
falling victim to possible hurricane-related scams?
IRS cautions hurricane victims and people
wishing to make donations to disaster-relief charities to avoid
unscrupulous scam artists. While the IRS does not endorse any specific
charity, you can use the IRS.gov search feature to find qualified charities
for tax deduction purposes. Some organizations, such as churches and
governments, may be qualified even though they are not listed. Since scam
artists may falsely use legitimate charity names and or cloned Web sites,
always be extremely cautious in giving out personal and financial
information, such as Social Security or bank account numbers. Scam artists
can use this information to steal your identity or gain access to your financial
The IRS has also established a toll-free,
disaster assistance phone number, 1-866-562-5227, specifically for
hurricane victims. If you are solicited by anyone, even someone claiming to
be from the IRS, with promises of tax relief, tax refunds or disaster
assistance, call the IRS’s disaster assistance number to verify the
legitimacy of the solicitation before giving any personal or financial
information to the solicitor.
The IRS does not ask for personal identifying or financial information via
e-mail or in unsolicited mail or telephone calls.