Disaster Assistance and Emergency Relief Program

December 19, 2018


Special tax law provisions may help taxpayers and businesses recover financially from the impact of a disaster, especially when the federal government declares their location to be a major disaster area. Both individuals and businesses in a federally declared disaster area can get a faster refund by claiming losses related to the disaster on their tax return for the previous year. This is usually done by filing an amended return.

Depending on the circumstances, the IRS may grant additional time to file returns and pay taxes.

Program Requirements:

If your address is in a federally-declared disaster area, you can deduct casualty losses in one of two ways:

  • On your return in the year the disaster happened, or
  • File an amended return to deduct the loss in the year prior to the disaster

You must use Form 4684 to report a gain or deductible loss.

When FEMA authorizes Individual Assistance, the IRS may postpone tax deadlines to give you extra time to file currently due federal returns and pay currently due federal taxes.

Application Details

If you're a taxpayer with an IRS address of record in a federally-declared disaster area where FEMA has authorized Individual Assistance, your tax account will be automatically coded for the filing and payment relief.

If you're an affected taxpayer but your area wasn't declared, you must call the IRS at 1-866-562-5227 to self-identify for the disaster relief.

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