Memorial Day thanks for the ultimate military sacrifice
Plus 10 tax benefits for U.S. military men and women still serving
Winners of meet-the-candidate contests face tax costs

Uncle Sam offers tax help for disaster recovery

The 2015 Memorial Day weekend weather was horrid for much of the United States.

The unofficial start of summer kicked off with record rainfall across the midsection of the country, causing flash floods in formerly drought-stricken areas. Tornadoes touched down. People lost their businesses, homes and tragically some lost their lives.

Central Texas was among the hard hit areas. Twisters get a lot of attention and rightly so. There was damage in the Austin area from straight-line winds and small tornadoes that danced across the area.

But it was the water that wreaked the most havoc, here and in neighboring Oklahoma. Downtown Austin was briefly flooded Memorial Day afternoon. Two days earlier in Hays County south of Austin, up to 400 homes were washed away as the Blanco River rose 26 feet in just one hour.

Our part of the city was deluged, too, but we were very lucky. Some minor leakage. And we briefly got a nice mini waterfall in our backyard.

Backyard mini waterfall

For those who weren't so fortunate, once they get their bearings back, they should look into the possibility of claiming storm damages on their tax returns.

In areas where a major disaster is declared, you have the option to amend your prior year's tax return and claim the damage. This could get you a tax refund more quickly that could help pay for repair costs.

The Internal Revenue Service today issued 10 tips on deducting disaster losses. More about taxes and natural disasters is available on the ol' blog's Storm Warnings page.

As hurricane season approaches -- it runs June 1 through Nov. 30 -- check out the tips on getting ready before disaster strikes.

And most importantly, be ready and be safe, regardless of what type of natural catastrophes might be prevalent in your area.


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