On this page. . . Free Help; Tax Refunds for Flood Losses; Tax Credits Available for Rebuilding; Sales Tax Refunds; Property Tax Refunds.
Please note that victims who wish to claim flood losses must take action by April 18, 2011, regardless of whether they are claiming losses on a 2010 return or are filing or amending their 2009 return to claim the losses.
Free Help is Available:
Flood victims can take advantage of several provisions designed to lessen the damage they've suffered. However, preparing tax returns that include such losses can be extremely complex. Nashville area flood victims can take advantage of free tax preparation services by dialing 211 to be connected the the United Way's helpline and asking to for tax preparation help.
Individuals and businesses can claim flood losses on their tax returns. It is important to note that, as of right now, there are different rules for claiming losses from the flood depending on whether you want to amend your 2009 tax return to claim your losses or whether you want to claim the losses on your 2010 tax return. However, both options require action April 18, 2011. Generally, if you do not itemize your tax returns (if you take the standard deduction or do an EZ form), then you may only be able to claim flood losses if you amend your 2009 tax return. (Click here for the IRS's explanation, but be warned that it's not very easy to read.) You should consult a tax professional to determine if you should amend your return. Nashville area flood victims can call 211 and ask for tax preparation help. They can receive free tax preparation services.
Click here for information on getting copies of your previous returns, which you will need if you are going to amend a return. The IRS is waiving fees for this service.
Click here to read the text of the IRS's March 2011 press release with information for flood victims.
Remember, free legal help is available to flood victims.
Additionally, here is information on extended deadlines for flood victims, and general disaster-related tax information can be found here.
Click here to read the post about community meetings where you can get help from tax professionals.
Finally, here is a May 2010 general press release from the IRS with information for flood victims.
Tax Credits for Rebuilding/Cash for Appliances
If you are rebuilding/repairing, keep in mind that there are tax credits available for certain energy-efficient purchases for your home. This can include energy-efficient windows, doors, insulation, HVAC units and some energy-star appliances. In some circumstances, you can even get credit for the cost of installation. For more information, read the Energy Star website.
Tennessee is also participating in the Cash for Appliances program. If you purchase certain energy-efficient Central Air Conditioners or Heat Pumps to replace your old units, you can get a rebate of $250. For room air conditioners, you can get a rebate of $40. The program has not announced a starting date yet, but it is expected to be sometime in June. You must purchase after the start date of the program to qualify. Information about the program is here.
Additionally, Nasvhille Electric Service is preparing a plan to make low-interest loans, rebates, and other incentives to customers who need to replace damaged electric equipment. More information is expected to be announced next week.
Tennessee Sales Tax and Property Tax Refunds
Click here to read the post about sales tax refunds for purchases of cleaning/rebuilding supplies, furniture, and appliances as well as property tax refunds.