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IRS gives Colorado flood victims until Oct. 15 to file 2012 or 2013 tax returns claiming disaster losses

Six months ago, north-central Colorado was ravaged by floods.

Back then, the Internal Revenue Service gave Coloradans extra time to meet impending tax deadlines.

The agency is doing it again.

The IRS is giving affected Colorado taxpayers until Oct. 15 to decide which tax year in which to claim disaster losses sustained from the severe storms that struck the state between Sept. 11, 2013, and Sept. 30, 2013.

Last fall, historic rainfall swept through the state, with some areas receiving more than 17 inches of rain, followed by flooding, landslides and mudslides. Ten people lost their lives. More than 18,000 Coloradans were forced from their homes in the wake of weather that destroyed 1,882 structures and damaged at least 16,000 others.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) declared major federal disaster areas in 20 Colorado counties. That designation means that affected residents can choose to claim their qualifying uninsured or unreimbursed losses on their prior year tax return (2012 in this case), or the year in which the disaster occurred (2013 for Colorado filers).

The choice of tax year to claim disaster losses could make a big difference to some filers in the disaster area counties, which are Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Clear Creek, Crowley, Denver, El Paso, Fremont, Gilpin, Jefferson, Lake, Larimer, Lincoln, Logan, Morgan, Pueblo, Sedgwick, Washington and Weld.

The extra time to decide in which tax year to claim the losses is available regardless of whether a taxpayer requests a tax-filing extension.

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