BROWNSVILLE, Texas, Aug. 5 // PRNewswire-FirstCall // -- Casualty loss following a natural disaster or other unforeseen event can be difficult for taxpayers to assess. Taxpayers in and around the Brownsville, Texas area that were directly affected by Hurricane Dolly need to understand the tax and financial implications as they start to assess damages. The tax preparers at local Jackson Hewitt Tax Service(R) offices can assist taxpayers in declaring all of their losses as a result of Hurricane Dolly by providing information on the types of damage and losses that will be allowed when they file their 2008 income tax return.
"In the aftermath of a natural disaster such as Hurricane Dolly, those affected who are seeking to assess the damage they've incurred need to consider the financial and tax implications," said Debbie Muniz, Area Manager of Brownsville, TX. "Taxpayers affected need to ensure that they do not overlook some of the most commonly missed loss claims, including food, wall fixtures, refrigerated medication, holiday decorations, eyeglasses, hearing aids and clothing."
Jackson Hewitt offers the following tips on what to do in case of a natural disaster:
After a disaster, it is important to begin assessing your property damage. Immediately following a loss, it is imperative to:
If the President has declared your community a federal disaster area, you can choose which year you may claim losses you incurred. Taxpayers can wait to claim the losses on their tax return for the year the disaster happened or they can claim the loss on an original or amended return for the year preceding the loss in order to get a refund for the loss sooner. The claim against the prior year must be filed by the due date of the tax return for the tax year the disaster occurred.
Taxpayers affected by Hurricane Dolly this year may claim the casualty loss on their 2008 tax return which should be filed after January 1, 2009 and is due April 15, 2009.
Since natural disasters can occur at any time, it is important to be prepared should it happen to you. Here are a few tips that can help you prepare:
The Jackson Hewitt Disaster Relief Kit, available at http://www.jacksonhewitt.com/?DisasterReliefKit, is a great tool for preparing for a potential disaster. The kit provides a home inventory list to complete, an explanation and examples of how to claim a casualty loss or gain on your tax return, information on how to replace your lost identification, and links to various websites that may be helpful when dealing with a disaster.
The tax preparers at area Jackson Hewitt locations are available to provide assistance and information. To contact an office or schedule an appointment during designated business hours, call 956-287-8300 in Edinburg, 956-687-1040 in McAllen and 956-968-8982 in Harlingen/Brownsville. To locate the office nearest you, call 1-800-234-1040 or visit http://www.jacksonhewitt.com/Locator/.
Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc. (NYSE: JTX) is an industry leader providing full service individual federal and state income tax preparation. Most offices are independently owned and operated. The Company is based in Parsippany, New Jersey. More information may be obtained at http://www.jacksonhewitt.com. To locate the Jackson Hewitt Tax Service(R) office nearest to you, call 1-800-234-1040.
SOURCE Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc.