September 26, 2001
Disaster Area Taxpayers May Get Quick Refunds by
Claiming Casualty Losses on Amended Returns
WASHINGTON - The Internal Revenue Service reminded taxpayers who suffered property losses because of the September 11 terrorist attacks that they may get a quick tax refund by claiming these losses on an amended return for 2000.
Affected taxpayers whether individuals or businesses -- in a presidentially declared disaster area have the option of claiming their casualty losses on the tax return for the year of the disaster or the previous year. By amending the 2000 return, a taxpayer gets a refund in a few weeks, rather than waiting until filing the 2001 return next year. Taxpayers who were still on an extension of time to file a 2000 return may include the disaster loss on that return.
Taxpayers must reduce the amount of loss by any insurance or other reimbursements received or expected.
For personal use property, individuals must first subtract $100 for each casualty event. From the remaining total losses for the year, they subtract ten percent of their adjusted gross income. They may take the remaining amount as an itemized deduction.
Taxpayers claiming the loss on an amended or original 2000 return should put September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attack in red ink at the top of the return to expedite processing.
Details on claiming these losses are in IRS Publication 547, Casualties,Disasters and Thefts (Business and Nonbusiness), and in the instructions for Form 4684, Casualties and Thefts. Publication 584, Casualty, Disaster, and Theft Loss Workbook (Personal-Use Property), will help individuals figure the loss amount.
Tax forms and publications are available through the IRS Web site, www.irs.gov, or by calling (toll-free) 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676).
The IRS also has a special toll-free number to answer tax questions from those affected by the terrorist attacks: 1-866-562-5227. It is open weekdays from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., local time, with assistance in Spanish available from 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
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