Tax deadlines are stressful enough, even under the ideal circumstances. Tax payment and filing deadlines can add stress to a situation that is already emotionally and financially taxing when a disaster strikes in your area.

How Do I Qualify For Tax Relief?

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) must declare a major disaster designation as directed by the US president before the IRS can provide any tax assistance to taxpayers impacted by a natural catastrophe. The IRS will approve tax assistance for the same area when FEMA designates a region for its Individual Assistance program. Only if you live in a region that has been officially designated as a disaster area are you eligible for the casualty loss deduction, which could result in a larger tax refund.

You do not need to reside in a region that has been officially declared a disaster zone in order to be eligible for tax filing and payment extensions as an “affected taxpayer.” Affected taxpayers include people, companies, sole proprietorships, and shareholders of S corporations whose tax records are situated in a disaster area covered by FEMA.

Tax-Free Donations And Natural Disaster Assistance

Disaster victims require financial assistance, but they do not require the additional burden of paying taxes on any funds they get from the government. Organizations are now able to give their employees financial aid that is tax-free thanks to IRS approval.

The agency has occasionally permitted employees to “sell” vacation time and other paid leave to their employer, who then donates the financial equivalent to an employee who has been affected by a disaster in order to encourage workers to assist their coworkers. The employee who made the donation can subsequently write it off on his tax return.

Record Keeping Methods For Natural Disasters

The relationship between tax forms and documents is unaffected by disasters. Receipts and canceled checks can be used to substantiate claimed deductions, and photos or videos of the damage and subsequent repair can be used to determine how much the property is worth. Records of payments made by insurance companies and governmental organizations like the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) can attest to their exclusion from income and reduce tax exposure.

As long as the technique employed provides data, such as date, source, purpose, and amount for transactions related to disasters, the IRS does not have any format requirements for substantiating money spent and received.

Resolve Your Tax Bills

If you’ve found yourself in a nasty mess with the IRS, take a deep breath. For taxpayers who may have difficulty paying off an excessive amount of tax debt, there’s a new and improved relief program that consolidates many major relief programs into a one-size-fits-all assistance program. Any issues regarding back taxes, unfiled years, or any other tax-related problems may be solved through one program; the IRS Fresh Start Program!

How Simple Is Qualifying?

Considering that the Fresh Start Program is a federal program, you would think meeting the qualifications may be very difficult, but really, it’s a lot simpler and quicker than you think. Take the following steps in order to find out if you are eligible in as little as 3 minutes.

  1. Fill out some basic information about yourself and your back taxes here.
  2. Have a representative reach out to you to discuss your eligibility.
  3. Go through the enrollment process and finally reduce or eliminate your tax liabilities.