“Extension on the Go” podcast by Debbie Johnson. Episode 161: Missouri Flood Victims Get More Time to File Their Taxes
COLUMBIA, Mo. – Individuals and businesses affected by flooding in Missouri will have more time to file and pay taxes.
“It’s an extension to May 16,” said Andrew Zumwalt, assistant professor of personal finance for University of Missouri Extension. “The IRS and the government understand that suffering a flood can be a major catastrophe, so instead of piling on the stress of tax time, the IRS gives an extra month to get everything together.”
The IRS knows the ZIP codes and the cities that were in affected areas, Zumwalt said. So you don’t have to put anything special on your tax return form; the extension is automatic if you live in one of those areas.
Thirty-three Missouri counties have been declared disaster areas, including Lincoln, St. Louis, Ste. Genevieve and Cape Girardeau counties. If you live outside of a designated disaster area but work inside one of these areas, you may qualify for an extension if records like W-2s were lost or compromised due to flooding. Contact the IRS at 866-562-5227 to see if you qualify.
Of course, there are tax implications for those who suffered uninsured or unreimbursed losses.
You can actually itemize losses not reimbursed by insurance, called casualty losses, Zumwalt said.
But you might need help calculating those losses.
“It’s actually quite complicated to figure casualty losses because it depends on your basis and fair market value and the decline in value,” Zumwalt said. “If you have losses that weren’t reimbursed by insurance, you might consider seeking out professional financial help, either an accountant or someone who specializes in causality losses.”
You’ll also need to decide when to claim those losses. According to the IRS, individuals and businesses that suffered disaster-related losses in a federal disaster area can claim those losses in the year they occurred or in the prior year.
“Let’s say you suffered a flood in January of 2016, and you had large causality losses. You lost your home, everything within it and you didn’t have insurance on those items. Because you had such a catastrophic loss in 2016, your income may be lot less than in prior years,” Zumwalt said.
The MU Extension publication “Disaster Recovery Resources for Missouri Families” is available for free download at http://extension.missouri.edu/p/EMW1001.