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Tax help for disasters

By Kay Bell ·
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Posted: 10 am ET

It's prime tornado season.  Folks in the Northeast and South are cleaning up after spring floods.  Hurricane season starts in a couple of weeks.

Now's the time to brush up on U.S. tax laws.

Yep, the IRS can help when you take a hard hit from Mother Nature.

You might be able to deduct on next year's taxes some of your losses incurred during severe storms. If you're in the path of a particularly strong weather outbreak, you might be able to get more immediate help by filing an amended tax return.

The key to claiming such tax relief is being prepared, not just for the dangerous weather common to your area, but also by having your tax and financial documents in order before disaster strikes. Bankrate offers some pre-storm paperwork tips.

In addition to bookmarking Bankrate, also check out the IRS and FEMA websites, which will post info on which areas get the special presidentially declared disaster designations and option to get tax help sooner.

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