Uncle Sam collects $284 billion more in taxes so far in 2013
Tax deadlines extended to Dec. 2 for Colorado flood victims

Deadly flooding devastates Colorado

This is not how anyone wants to start a Monday or any day.

My heart goes out to those who have lost friends and family members in the massive flooding in Colorado.

It is going to take a long time for these folks to recover.

Those who've lost property also face challenges.

The president has issued a major disaster declaration for the affected areas of the state. That move will now make available federal assistance and special tax relief for some flash flood victims.

Helping disaster victims: Charitable groups also have mobilized to lend whatever help they can.

The Denver Post has a list of groups to which those of us not in harm's way can donate to support relief efforts. A similar list of disaster relief groups is posted by the University of Colorado at Boulder.

I suspect both lists will be updated as recovery efforts grow to care for the growing number of folks taking severe hits in this latest natural tragedy.

Look out for scams: The Post makes the very good point to make sure that any group to which you contribute is a qualified charity. The newspaper has a link to the Colorado Secretary of State's office where you check out groups. The Internal Revenue Service also has an online search tool where you can find information about a group's federal tax status.

It's sad that we have to think about such things, but even in times of terrible tragedy, some scumbags try to take advantage of the situation. So don't fall for a charity scam in your rush to help.

Giving to a qualified charity is also a requirement if you plan to deduct your donation. I know that's not why you give, but it's something you might think about in a few months when you file your 2013 tax return.

Thanks to all who can help. Thoughts and prayers to those suffering in Colorado.

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