Taxes

Authored By: Legal Services Alabama LSC Funded

Information

Special tax rules may apply to people living in Alabama counties desgnated as federal disaster areas. Depending on the circumstances, the IRS may grant additional time to file returns and pay taxes. Both individuals and businesses in a federally declared disaster area can get a faster refund by claiming losses related to the disaster on the tax return for the previous year, usually by filing an amended return. You may want to talk to a tax expert or go to the IRS web site at www.irs.gov. If you reside or have a business located outside the covered disaster area, you must call the IRS disaster hotline at 1-866-562-5227 to request this tax relief.

All IRS forms discussed below are at IRS Forms & Pubs - Just search for the form number.

My tax records were lost in the disaster. How do I get lost tax records?

  • You will need to get copies of lost tax records even if they weren't lost due to the disaster.
  • You will need this information later if you claim a casualty loss on your income tax return.
  • Fill out IRS Form 4506, Request for Copy of Tax Return. Ask for your last five years of tax returns. You can ask for all these years on the same form.

Will the IRS charge me a fee for getting copies of lost records?

  • If you live in one of the disaster counties, the IRS won't charge fees.
  • The IRS usually charges $57 for each return but you can get them for FREE.
  • To get your free copies, you must write "Alabama/Severe Storms, Tornadoes, Straight-Line Winds, and Flooding" on the top of the form. You must write it in red ink.
  • If you filed the tax returns while you lived in Alabama, fill out the form and mail to:

IRS RAIVS Team
Stop 6716 AUSC
Austin, TX 73301

I am claiming a loss that will be carried back to earlier years. I need a copy of my tax transcript - what is it and how do I get it?

  • A transcript of account explains your tax history for a single year. It shows your income, the tax due, any tax payments, and what you still owe. Transcripts of account for those years are very important.
  • Fill out IRS Form 4506-T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return.
  • You should ask for the last five years of tax returns.
  • To get free copies, you must write "Alabama/Severe Storms, Tornadoes, Straight-Line Winds, and Flooding" on the top of the paper. You must write it in red ink.
  • If you filed the tax returns while you lived in Alabama, fill out the form and mail it to:

IRS RAIVS Team
Stop 6716 AUSC
Austin, TX 73301

Have you moved because of the floods or storms?

  • Fill out IRS Form 8822, Change of Address. This is how you tell the IRS you moved.
  • This is important because:
    • The IRS may be sending your refunds from an earlier year.
    • The IRS may be sending letters to your old address. These letters may ask for information.
    • Or they may be about your rights to go to court.
    • The IRS may be sending bills to your old address. If you don't answer IRS letters, they may charge you a penalty fee. Or they may do other things to collect what you owe.

I live in a county that was designated a federal disaster area. Can I get an extension to file my tax return?

  • You may be able to obtain an extension to file your Income Tax Return.
  • Go to www.irs.gov and select "News & Events" for information on extensions in Alabama.
  • You must have "Alabama/Severe Storms, Tornadoes, Straight-Line Winds and Flooding" (or the name of the disaster declaration) on the top of the form. Either write it in red ink or use a form that already has the words in red on it.
  • This makes sure you don't have to pay a fee for late filing.

What if I cannot file my Income Tax Return by the extension deadline?

  • You should file IRS Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.
  • Pay any money you owe the IRS by the deadline.
  • You must have "Alabama/Severe Storms, Tornadoes, Straight-Line Winds and Flooding" on the top of the form. Either write it in red ink or use a form that already has be words in red on it.
  • This makes sure you don't have to pay a fee for late filing.

Did the storms and/or floods destroy or damage things you own?

You may be able to show this as a casualty loss on your income tax.

What losses can you claim?

You can claim casualty losses on your:

  • Home
  • Property
  • Cars or trucks
  • Appliances
  • TVs, stereos, and other entertainment equipment
  • Computers and printers
  • Tools
  • Household goods, such as dishes, towels, sheets, etc.
  • Clothes

Don't have insurance? Or did insurance refuse to pay?

You will need to prove this to the IRS. Keep any letters you get from your insurance company.

What if you don't give the IRS proof?

They won't OK your tax claim.

Need to call your insurance company?

Below are some insurance company phone numbers. Don't see your company? Check your insurance papers, the Internet or the phone book.

  • State Farm: 1-800-732-5246
  • ALFA: 1-800-964-2532
  • Allstate: 1-800-255-7828
  • Nationwide: 1-800-421-3535
  • Traveler's: 1-800-252-4633
  • Farmers Insurance Group: 1-800-435-7764
  • Foremost Insurance Co.: 1-800-527-3907
  • USAA (United Services Auto Association): 1-800-531-8111

After you know what insurance and FEMA will pay, you can file a tax claim. What insurance and FEMA paid are subtracted from what you lost.

Reviewed May 2014


AlabamaLegalHelp.org offers legal information, not legal advice. This website provides information on your rights and options. However, the site does not apply the law to your personal facts. For legal advice, you should call a lawyer. To apply for free legal services in Alabama, call the Legal Services Alabama office that is closest to where you live OR call toll-free 1-866-456-4995. You can also apply online HERE.

Last Review and Update: May 14, 2014