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Irs Ez File

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Irs Ez File

Irs ez file 2. Irs ez file   Accounting Periods and Methods Table of Contents Introduction Useful Items - You may want to see: Accounting Periods Accounting MethodsCash Method Accrual Method Combination Method Inventories Uniform Capitalization Rules Special Methods Change in Accounting Method Introduction You must figure your taxable income and file an income tax return for an annual accounting period called a tax year. Irs ez file Also, you must consistently use an accounting method that clearly shows your income and expenses for the tax year. Irs ez file Useful Items - You may want to see: Publication 538 Accounting Periods and Methods See chapter 12 for information about getting publications and forms. Irs ez file Accounting Periods When preparing a statement of income and expenses (generally your income tax return), you must use your books and records for a specific interval of time called an accounting period. Irs ez file The annual accounting period for your income tax return is called a tax year. Irs ez file You can use one of the following tax years. Irs ez file A calendar tax year. Irs ez file A fiscal tax year. Irs ez file Unless you have a required tax year, you adopt a tax year by filing your first income tax return using that tax year. Irs ez file A required tax year is a tax year required under the Internal Revenue Code or the Income Tax Regulations. Irs ez file Calendar tax year. Irs ez file   A calendar tax year is 12 consecutive months beginning January 1 and ending December 31. Irs ez file   You must adopt the calendar tax year if any of the following apply. Irs ez file You do not keep books. Irs ez file You have no annual accounting period. Irs ez file Your present tax year does not qualify as a fiscal year. Irs ez file Your use of the calendar tax year is required under the Internal Revenue Code or the Income Tax Regulations. Irs ez file   If you filed your first income tax return using the calendar tax year and you later begin business as a sole proprietor, you must continue to use the calendar tax year unless you get IRS approval to change it or are otherwise allowed to change it without IRS approval. Irs ez file For more information, see Change in tax year, later. Irs ez file   If you adopt the calendar tax year, you must maintain your books and records and report your income and expenses for the period from January 1 through December 31 of each year. Irs ez file Fiscal tax year. Irs ez file   A fiscal tax year is 12 consecutive months ending on the last day of any month except December. Irs ez file A 52-53-week tax year is a fiscal tax year that varies from 52 to 53 weeks but does not have to end on the last day of a month. Irs ez file   If you adopt a fiscal tax year, you must maintain your books and records and report your income and expenses using the same tax year. Irs ez file   For more information on a fiscal tax year, including a 52-53-week tax year, see Publication 538. Irs ez file Change in tax year. Irs ez file   Generally, you must file Form 1128, Application To Adopt, Change, or Retain a Tax Year, to request IRS approval to change your tax year. Irs ez file See the Instructions for Form 1128 for exceptions. Irs ez file If you qualify for an automatic approval request, a user fee is not required. Irs ez file If you do not qualify for automatic approval, a ruling must be requested. Irs ez file See the instructions for Form 1128 for information about user fees if you are requesting a ruling. Irs ez file Accounting Methods An accounting method is a set of rules used to determine when and how income and expenses are reported. Irs ez file Your accounting method includes not only the overall method of accounting you use, but also the accounting treatment you use for any material item. Irs ez file You choose an accounting method for your business when you file your first income tax return that includes a Schedule C for the business. Irs ez file After that, if you want to change your accounting method, you must generally get IRS approval. Irs ez file See Change in Accounting Method, later. Irs ez file Kinds of methods. Irs ez file   Generally, you can use any of the following accounting methods. Irs ez file Cash method. Irs ez file An accrual method. Irs ez file Special methods of accounting for certain items of income and expenses. Irs ez file Combination method using elements of two or more of the above. Irs ez file You must use the same accounting method to figure your taxable income and to keep your books. Irs ez file Also, you must use an accounting method that clearly shows your income. Irs ez file Business and personal items. Irs ez file   You can account for business and personal items under different accounting methods. Irs ez file For example, you can figure your business income under an accrual method, even if you use the cash method to figure personal items. Irs ez file Two or more businesses. Irs ez file   If you have two or more separate and distinct businesses, you can use a different accounting method for each if the method clearly reflects the income of each business. Irs ez file They are separate and distinct only if you maintain complete and separate books and records for each business. Irs ez file Cash Method Most individuals and many sole proprietors with no inventory use the cash method because they find it easier to keep cash method records. Irs ez file However, if an inventory is necessary to account for your income, you must generally use an accrual method of accounting for sales and purchases. Irs ez file For more information, see Inventories, later. Irs ez file Income Under the cash method, include in your gross income all items of income you actually or constructively receive during your tax year. Irs ez file If you receive property or services, you must include their fair market value in income. Irs ez file Example. Irs ez file On December 30, 2012, Mrs. Irs ez file Sycamore sent you a check for interior decorating services you provided to her. Irs ez file You received the check on January 2, 2013. Irs ez file You must include the amount of the check in income for 2013. Irs ez file Constructive receipt. Irs ez file   You have constructive receipt of income when an amount is credited to your account or made available to you without restriction. Irs ez file You do not need to have possession of it. Irs ez file If you authorize someone to be your agent and receive income for you, you are treated as having received it when your agent received it. Irs ez file Example. Irs ez file Interest is credited to your bank account in December 2013. Irs ez file You do not withdraw it or enter it into your passbook until 2014. Irs ez file You must include it in your gross income for 2013. Irs ez file Delaying receipt of income. Irs ez file   You cannot hold checks or postpone taking possession of similar property from one tax year to another to avoid paying tax on the income. Irs ez file You must report the income in the year the property is received or made available to you without restriction. Irs ez file Example. Irs ez file Frances Jones, a service contractor, was entitled to receive a $10,000 payment on a contract in December 2013. Irs ez file She was told in December that her payment was available. Irs ez file At her request, she was not paid until January 2014. Irs ez file She must include this payment in her 2013 income because it was constructively received in 2013. Irs ez file Checks. Irs ez file   Receipt of a valid check by the end of the tax year is constructive receipt of income in that year, even if you cannot cash or deposit the check until the following year. Irs ez file Example. Irs ez file Dr. Irs ez file Redd received a check for $500 on December 31, 2013, from a patient. Irs ez file She could not deposit the check in her business account until January 2, 2014. Irs ez file She must include this fee in her income for 2013. Irs ez file Debts paid by another person or canceled. Irs ez file   If your debts are paid by another person or are canceled by your creditors, you may have to report part or all of this debt relief as income. Irs ez file If you receive income in this way, you constructively receive the income when the debt is canceled or paid. Irs ez file For more information, see Canceled Debt under Kinds of Income in chapter 5. Irs ez file Repayment of income. Irs ez file   If you include an amount in income and in a later year you have to repay all or part of it, you can usually deduct the repayment in the year in which you make it. Irs ez file If the amount you repay is over $3,000, a special rule applies. Irs ez file For details about the special rule, see Repayments in chapter 11 of Publication 535, Business Expenses. Irs ez file Expenses Under the cash method, you generally deduct expenses in the tax year in which you actually pay them. Irs ez file This includes business expenses for which you contest liability. Irs ez file However, you may not be able to deduct an expense paid in advance or you may be required to capitalize certain costs, as explained later under Uniform Capitalization Rules. Irs ez file Expenses paid in advance. Irs ez file   You can deduct an expense you pay in advance only in the year to which it applies. Irs ez file Example. Irs ez file You are a calendar year taxpayer and you pay $1,000 in 2013 for a business insurance policy effective for one year, beginning July 1. Irs ez file You can deduct $500 in 2013 and $500 in 2014. Irs ez file Accrual Method Under an accrual method of accounting, you generally report income in the year earned and deduct or capitalize expenses in the year incurred. Irs ez file The purpose of an accrual method of accounting is to match income and expenses in the correct year. Irs ez file Income—General Rule Under an accrual method, you generally include an amount in your gross income for the tax year in which all events that fix your right to receive the income have occurred and you can determine the amount with reasonable accuracy. Irs ez file Example. Irs ez file You are a calendar year accrual method taxpayer. Irs ez file You sold a computer on December 28, 2013. Irs ez file You billed the customer in the first week of January 2014, but you did not receive payment until February 2014. Irs ez file You must include the amount received for the computer in your 2013 income. Irs ez file Income—Special Rules The following are special rules that apply to advance payments, estimating income, and changing a payment schedule for services. Irs ez file Estimated income. Irs ez file   If you include a reasonably estimated amount in gross income, and later determine the exact amount is different, take the difference into account in the tax year in which you make the determination. Irs ez file Change in payment schedule for services. Irs ez file   If you perform services for a basic rate specified in a contract, you must accrue the income at the basic rate, even if you agree to receive payments at a lower rate until you complete the services and then receive the difference. Irs ez file Advance payments for services. Irs ez file   Generally, you report an advance payment for services to be performed in a later tax year as income in the year you receive the payment. Irs ez file However, if you receive an advance payment for services you agree to perform by the end of the next tax year, you can elect to postpone including the advance payment in income until the next tax year. Irs ez file However, you cannot postpone including any payment beyond that tax year. Irs ez file   For more information, see Advance Payment for Services under Accrual Method in Publication 538. Irs ez file That publication also explains special rules for reporting the following types of income. Irs ez file Advance payments for service agreements. Irs ez file Prepaid rent. Irs ez file Advance payments for sales. Irs ez file   Special rules apply to including income from advance payments on agreements for future sales or other dispositions of goods you hold primarily for sale to your customers in the ordinary course of your business. Irs ez file If the advance payments are for contracts involving both the sale and service of goods, it may be necessary to treat them as two agreements. Irs ez file An agreement includes a gift certificate that can be redeemed for goods. Irs ez file Treat amounts that are due and payable as amounts you received. Irs ez file   You generally include an advance payment in income for the tax year in which you receive it. Irs ez file However, you can use an alternative method. Irs ez file For information about the alternative method, see Publication 538. Irs ez file Expenses Under an accrual method of accounting, you generally deduct or capitalize a business expense when both the following apply. Irs ez file The all-events test has been met. Irs ez file The test has been met when: All events have occurred that fix the fact of liability, and The liability can be determined with reasonable accuracy. Irs ez file Economic performance has occurred. Irs ez file Economic performance. Irs ez file   You generally cannot deduct or capitalize a business expense until economic performance occurs. Irs ez file If your expense is for property or services provided to you, or for your use of property, economic performance occurs as the property or services are provided or as the property is used. Irs ez file If your expense is for property or services you provide to others, economic performance occurs as you provide the property or services. Irs ez file An exception allows certain recurring items to be treated as incurred during a tax year even though economic performance has not occurred. Irs ez file For more information on economic performance, see Economic Performance under Accrual Method in Publication 538. Irs ez file Example. Irs ez file You are a calendar year taxpayer and use an accrual method of accounting. Irs ez file You buy office supplies in December 2013. Irs ez file You receive the supplies and the bill in December, but you pay the bill in January 2014. Irs ez file You can deduct the expense in 2013 because all events that fix the fact of liability have occurred, the amount of the liability could be reasonably determined, and economic performance occurred in that year. Irs ez file Your office supplies may qualify as a recurring expense. Irs ez file In that case, you can deduct them in 2013 even if the supplies are not delivered until 2014 (when economic performance occurs). Irs ez file Keeping inventories. Irs ez file   When the production, purchase, or sale of merchandise is an income-producing factor in your business, you must generally take inventories into account at the beginning and the end of your tax year. Irs ez file If you must account for an inventory, you must generally use an accrual method of accounting for your purchases and sales. Irs ez file For more information, see Inventories , later. Irs ez file Special rule for related persons. Irs ez file   You cannot deduct business expenses and interest owed to a related person who uses the cash method of accounting until you make the payment and the corresponding amount is includible in the related person's gross income. Irs ez file Determine the relationship, for this rule, as of the end of the tax year for which the expense or interest would otherwise be deductible. Irs ez file If a deduction is not allowed under this rule, the rule will continue to apply even if your relationship with the person ends before the expense or interest is includible in the gross income of that person. Irs ez file   Related persons include members of your immediate family, including only brothers and sisters (either whole or half), your spouse, ancestors, and lineal descendants. Irs ez file For a list of other related persons, see section 267 of the Internal Revenue Code. Irs ez file Combination Method You can generally use any combination of cash, accrual, and special methods of accounting if the combination clearly shows your income and expenses and you use it consistently. Irs ez file However, the following restrictions apply. Irs ez file If an inventory is necessary to account for your income, you must generally use an accrual method for purchases and sales. Irs ez file (See, however, Inventories, later. Irs ez file ) You can use the cash method for all other items of income and expenses. Irs ez file If you use the cash method for figuring your income, you must use the cash method for reporting your expenses. Irs ez file If you use an accrual method for reporting your expenses, you must use an accrual method for figuring your income. Irs ez file If you use a combination method that includes the cash method, treat that combination method as the cash method. Irs ez file Inventories Generally, if you produce, purchase, or sell merchandise in your business, you must keep an inventory and use the accrual method for purchases and sales of merchandise. Irs ez file However, the following taxpayers can use the cash method of accounting even if they produce, purchase, or sell merchandise. Irs ez file These taxpayers can also account for inventoriable items as materials and supplies that are not incidental (discussed later). Irs ez file A qualifying taxpayer under Revenue Procedure 2001-10 in Internal Revenue Bulletin 2001-2. Irs ez file A qualifying small business taxpayer under Revenue Procedure 2002-28 in Internal Revenue Bulletin 2002-18. Irs ez file Qualifying taxpayer. Irs ez file   You are a qualifying taxpayer if: Your average annual gross receipts for each prior tax year ending on or after December 17, 1998, is $1 million or less. Irs ez file (Your average annual gross receipts for a tax year is figured by adding the gross receipts for that tax year and the 2 preceding tax years and dividing by 3. Irs ez file ) Your business is not a tax shelter, as defined under section 448(d)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Irs ez file Qualifying small business taxpayer. Irs ez file   You are a qualifying small business taxpayer if: Your average annual gross receipts for each prior tax year ending on or after December 31, 2000, is more than $1 million but not more than $10 million. Irs ez file (Your average annual gross receipts for a tax year is figured by adding the gross receipts for that tax year and the 2 preceding tax years and dividing the total by 3. Irs ez file ) You are not prohibited from using the cash method under section 448 of the Internal Revenue Code. Irs ez file Your principal business activity is an eligible business (described in Publication 538 and Revenue Procedure 2002-28). Irs ez file Business not owned or not in existence for 3 years. Irs ez file   If you did not own your business for all of the 3-tax-year period used in figuring your average annual gross receipts, include the period of any predecessor. Irs ez file If your business has not been in existence for the 3-tax-year period, base your average on the period it has existed including any short tax years, annualizing the short tax year's gross receipts. Irs ez file Materials and supplies that are not incidental. Irs ez file   If you account for inventoriable items as materials and supplies that are not incidental, you will deduct the cost of the items you would otherwise include in inventory in the year you sell the items, or the year you pay for them, whichever is later. Irs ez file If you are a producer, you can use any reasonable method to estimate the raw material in your work in process and finished goods on hand at the end of the year to determine the raw material used to produce finished goods that were sold during the year. Irs ez file Changing accounting method. Irs ez file   If you are a qualifying taxpayer or qualifying small business taxpayer and want to change to the cash method or to account for inventoriable items as non-incidental materials and supplies, you must file Form 3115, Application for Change in Accounting Method. Irs ez file See Change in Accounting Method, later. Irs ez file More information. Irs ez file    For more information about the qualifying taxpayer exception, see Revenue Procedure 2001-10 in Internal Revenue Bulletin 2001-2. Irs ez file For more information about the qualifying small business taxpayer exception, see Revenue Procedure 2002-28 in Internal Revenue Bulletin 2002-18. Irs ez file Items included in inventory. Irs ez file   If you are required to account for inventories, include the following items when accounting for your inventory. Irs ez file Merchandise or stock in trade. Irs ez file Raw materials. Irs ez file Work in process. Irs ez file Finished products. Irs ez file Supplies that physically become a part of the item intended for sale. Irs ez file Valuing inventory. Irs ez file   You must value your inventory at the beginning and end of each tax year to determine your cost of goods sold (Schedule C, line 42). Irs ez file To determine the value of your inventory, you need a method for identifying the items in your inventory and a method for valuing these items. Irs ez file   Inventory valuation rules cannot be the same for all kinds of businesses. Irs ez file The method you use to value your inventory must conform to generally accepted accounting principles for similar businesses and must clearly reflect income. Irs ez file Your inventory practices must be consistent from year to year. Irs ez file More information. Irs ez file   For more information about inventories, see Publication 538. Irs ez file Uniform Capitalization Rules Under the uniform capitalization rules, you must capitalize the direct costs and part of the indirect costs for production or resale activities. Irs ez file Include these costs in the basis of property you produce or acquire for resale, rather than claiming them as a current deduction. Irs ez file You recover the costs through depreciation, amortization, or cost of goods sold when you use, sell, or otherwise dispose of the property. Irs ez file Activities subject to the uniform capitalization rules. Irs ez file   You may be subject to the uniform capitalization rules if you do any of the following, unless the property is produced for your use other than in a business or an activity carried on for profit. Irs ez file Produce real or tangible personal property. Irs ez file For this purpose, tangible personal property includes a film, sound recording, video tape, book, or similar property. Irs ez file Acquire property for resale. Irs ez file Exceptions. Irs ez file   These rules do not apply to the following property. Irs ez file Personal property you acquire for resale if your average annual gross receipts are $10 million or less. Irs ez file Property you produce if you meet either of the following conditions. Irs ez file Your indirect costs of producing the property are $200,000 or less. Irs ez file You use the cash method of accounting and do not account for inventories. Irs ez file For more information, see Inventories, earlier. Irs ez file Special Methods There are special methods of accounting for certain items of income or expense. Irs ez file These include the following. Irs ez file Amortization, discussed in chapter 8 of Publication 535, Business Expenses. Irs ez file Bad debts, discussed in chapter 10 of Publication 535. Irs ez file Depletion, discussed in chapter 9 of Publication 535. Irs ez file Depreciation, discussed in Publication 946, How To Depreciate Property. Irs ez file Installment sales, discussed in Publication 537, Installment Sales. Irs ez file Change in Accounting Method Once you have set up your accounting method, you must generally get IRS approval before you can change to another method. Irs ez file A change in your accounting method includes a change in: Your overall method, such as from cash to an accrual method, and Your treatment of any material item. Irs ez file To get approval, you must file Form 3115, Application for Change in Accounting Method. Irs ez file You can get IRS approval to change an accounting method under either the automatic change procedures or the advance consent request procedures. Irs ez file You may have to pay a user fee. Irs ez file For more information, see the form instructions. Irs ez file Automatic change procedures. Irs ez file   Certain taxpayers can presume to have IRS approval to change their method of accounting. Irs ez file The approval is granted for the tax year for which the taxpayer requests a change (year of change), if the taxpayer complies with the provisions of the automatic change procedures. Irs ez file No user fee is required for an application filed under an automatic change procedure generally covered in Revenue Procedure 2002-9. Irs ez file   Generally, you must use Form 3115 to request an automatic change. Irs ez file For more information, see the Instructions for Form 3115. Irs ez file Prev  Up  Next   Home   More Online Publications
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Tax Relief for Victims of Hurricane Sandy in New York

Updated 2/4/13 The IRS announced additional tax relief, further extending certain tax deadlines until April 1 for Nassau, Queens, Richmond and Suffolk counties. 

Updated 11/13/12 to add Orange, Putnam, Sullivan and Ulster counties.

NY-2012-47, Nov. 7, 2012

NEW YORK — Victims of Hurricane Sandy that began on Oct. 27, 2012 in parts of New York may qualify for tax relief from the Internal Revenue Service.

The President has declared Bronx, Kings, Nassau, New York, Orange, Putnam, Queens, Richmond, Rockland, Sullivan, Suffolk, Ulster and Westchester counties a federal disaster area. Individuals who reside or have a business in these counties may qualify for tax relief.

The declaration permits the IRS to postpone certain deadlines for taxpayers who reside or have a business in the disaster area. For instance, certain deadlines falling on or after Oct. 27, and on or before Feb. 1, have been postponed to Feb. 1, 2013.  

In addition, the IRS is waiving the failure-to-deposit penalties for employment and excise tax deposits due on or after Oct. 27, and on or before Nov. 26, as long as the deposits are made by Nov. 26, 2012.

If an affected taxpayer receives a penalty notice from the IRS, the taxpayer should call the telephone number on the notice to have the IRS abate any interest and any late filing or late payment penalties that would otherwise apply. Penalties or interest will be abated only for taxpayers who have an original or extended filing, payment or deposit due date, including an extended filing or payment due date, that falls within the postponement period.

The IRS automatically identifies taxpayers located in the covered disaster area and applies automatic filing and payment relief. But affected taxpayers who reside or have a business located outside the covered disaster area need to call the IRS disaster hotline at 866-562-5227 to request this tax relief.

For a full description of the relief being provided by the IRS to the victims of Hurricane Sandy, visit IRS.gov.

Covered Disaster Area

The counties above constitute a covered disaster area for purposes of Treas. Reg. § 301.7508A-1(d)(2) and are entitled to the relief detailed below.

Affected Taxpayers

Taxpayers considered to be affected taxpayers eligible for the postponement of time to file returns, pay taxes and perform other time-sensitive acts are those taxpayers listed in Treas. Reg. § 301.7508A-1(d)(1), and include individuals who live, and businesses whose principal place of business is located, in the covered disaster area. Taxpayers not in the covered disaster area, but whose records necessary to meet a deadline listed in Treas. Reg. § 301.7508A-1(c) are in the covered disaster area, are also entitled to relief. In addition, all relief workers affiliated with a recognized government or philanthropic organization assisting in the relief activities in the covered disaster area and any individual visiting the covered disaster area who was killed or injured as a result of the disaster are entitled to relief.

Grant of Relief

Under section 7508A, the IRS gives affected taxpayers until Feb. 1 to file most tax returns (including individual, corporate, and estate and trust income tax returns; partnership returns, S corporation returns, and trust returns; estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer tax returns; and employment and certain excise tax returns), or to make tax payments, including estimated tax payments, that have either an original or extended due date occurring on or after Oct. 27 and on or before Feb. 1.

The IRS also gives affected taxpayers until Feb. 1 to perform other time-sensitive actions described in Treas. Reg. § 301.7508A-1(c)(1) and Rev. Proc. 2007-56, 2007-34 I.R.B. 388 (Aug. 20, 2007), that are due to be performed on or after Oct. 27 and on or before Feb. 1.

This relief also includes the filing of Form 5500 series returns, in the manner described in section 8 of Rev. Proc. 2007-56. The relief described in section 17 of Rev. Proc. 2007-56, pertaining to like-kind exchanges of property, also applies to certain taxpayers who are not otherwise affected taxpayers and may include acts required to be performed before or after the period above.

The postponement of time to file and pay does not apply to information returns in the W-2, 1098, 1099 series, or to Forms 1042-S or 8027. Penalties for failure to timely file information returns can be waived under existing procedures for reasonable cause. Likewise, the postponement does not apply to employment and excise tax deposits. The IRS, however, will abate penalties for failure to make timely employment and excise tax deposits due on or after Oct. 27 and on or before Nov. 26 provided the taxpayer makes these deposits by Nov. 26.

Casualty Losses

Affected taxpayers in a federally declared disaster area have the option of claiming disaster-related casualty losses on their federal income tax return for either this year or last year. Claiming the loss on an original or amended return for last year will get the taxpayer an earlier refund, but waiting to claim the loss on this year’s return could result in a greater tax saving, depending on other income factors.

Individuals may deduct personal property losses that are not covered by insurance or other reimbursements. For details, see Form 4684 and its instructions.

Affected taxpayers claiming the disaster loss on last year’s return should put the Disaster Designation “New York/Hurricane Sandy” at the top of the form so that the IRS can expedite the processing of the refund.

Other Relief

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 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-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676). The IRS toll-free number for general tax questions is 800-829-1040.

Related Information

Disaster Assistance and Emergency Relief for Individuals and Businesses

Recent IRS Disaster Relief Announcements

 

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 28-Oct-2013

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