You can't avoid death and taxes, but if you live in Massachusetts, you may be able to postpone taxes. Attorney Richard D. Vetstein. tells you why and how...
President Obama and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) declared a “major disaster” and the availability of federal disaster aid for victims of the late March rainstorms and flooding. The 7 affected Massachusetts counties are Bristol, Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth, Suffolk, and Worcester counties. Federal funds to homeowners in those counties affected by the recent flooding will be available. (Most flooding damage is not covered by standard homeowner’s policies, so this aid is very helpful to those hardest hit). The FEMA Massachusetts flooding resource page is here.
Also, the IRS announced tax filing extensions to May 11 are available to flood victims in the above affected counties. The extensions are automatic for all filers in the affected counties.
Very important: If you are considering applying for aid, document all damage and repair efforts. Take photographs and video of the flooding and resulting damage. Keep copies of all receipts for sump pumps, air blowers/fans, equipment, contractors, plumbers, electricians, etc. Keep copies of all estimates for repairs. Basically, treat this as any other insurance claim.
The federal aid package includes: • Rental payments for temporary housing for those whose homes are unlivable. • Grants for home repairs and replacement of essential household items not covered by insurance to make damaged dwellings safe, sanitary and functional. • Grants to replace personal property and help meet medical, dental, funeral, transportation and other serious disaster-related needs not covered by insurance or other federal, state and charitable aid programs. • Unemployment payments up to 26 weeks for workers who temporarily lost jobs because of the disaster and who do not qualify for state benefits, such as self-employed individuals. • Low-interest loans to cover residential losses not fully compensated by insurance. Loans available up to $200,000 for primary residence; $40,000 for personal property, including renter losses. Loans available up to $2 million for business property losses not fully compensated by insurance. How to apply for assistance: Those in the counties designated for assistance to affected residents and business owners can begin the disaster application process by registering online at www.disasterassistance.gov/ or www.fema.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free Teleregistration numbers will operate Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 1 a.m., on weekends – Saturday and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., until further notice.
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