New tax law helps tornado victims

ATLANTA — Taxpayers affected by the Mother’s Day tornadoes or other severe storms can deduct losses on their federal income taxes, the Internal Revenue Service said Thursday.

A new tax law called the National Disaster Relief Act allows all taxpayers affected to take the deduction, even if they use the standard deduction and don’t itemize on their returns, according to an IRS news release. Taxpayers must reside in a federally declared disaster area, though.

In Middle Georgia, those counties include: Bibb, Laurens and Twiggs counties. The deduction is limited to unreimbursed losses, not losses covered by insurance, the IRS said.

More information is available in IRS Publication 547 and Publication 584, which can be downloaded at www.irs.gov. You can also obtain IRS forms by calling (800) TAX-FORM. The toll free number for general IRS questions is (800) 829-1040.