Liberty Tax Offers Tips for Safeguarding Tax Records and Declaring Losses
(Virginia Beach, VA) Having accessible backups of tax information, records and other documentation can prove invaluable in the event of a natural disaster or theft. Liberty Tax Service reminds you to plan ahead, and carefully organize tax returns, receipts and other documentation that may support deductions and credits on a tax return. Scan paper records and documentation, and copy them onto a USB drive, CD or DVD. Store these in safe spot like a bank safety deposit box, or in a location out of harm’s way with relatives or trusted friends for safekeeping. Create a room-by-room log of valuable items, their cost or basis, their fair market value, and a picture of the item.
“Declaring casualty and theft losses can be a confusing process,” said John Hewitt, Founder and CEO of Liberty Tax Service. “Taxpayers must declare casualty losses in the year they suffered them unless they are in an area determined by the President to warrant federal disaster assistance.”
Those suffering property losses in the areas declared federal disaster areas during 2009 may amend their 2008 tax return to take the loss. This action will enable them to obtain a refund sooner since they will not have to wait until the 2009 tax return is filed. Federal aid and loans may also available for residents and businesses in federally declared disaster areas.
The National Disaster Relief Act of 2008 increased benefits for taxpayers experiencing casualty and theft losses from December 31, 2008 through December 31, 2009. One provision allows taxpayers to benefit by declaring their losses, whether they itemize their deductions or not, and regardless of their adjusted gross income level.
After figuring the casualty loss on personal property, taxpayers must subtract another $500 for each casualty or theft that occurred during the year, increased from the previous $100 amount. The requirement that the total of all casualty and theft losses must be further reduced by 10% of the taxpayer’s adjusted gross income has been eliminated. New provisions include a five-year net operating loss carryback for qualified natural disaster losses. IRS has also waived “certain mortgage revenue bond requirements for affected taxpayers and allows the bond proceeds to be used for rebuilding.”
About Liberty Tax Service
Liberty Tax Service is the fastest growing retail tax preparation company in the industry’s history, with over 3,100 offices in the United States and Canada. The company plans to open up to 500 new offices in January 2010. Founded in 1997 by CEO John T. Hewitt, a pioneer in the tax industry, Liberty Tax Service has prepared over 7,000,000 individual income tax returns. With 41 years of tax industry experience, Hewitt stands as the most experienced CEO in the tax preparation business, having also founded Jackson Hewitt Tax Service (NYSE:JTX).
Liberty Tax Service provides computerized income tax preparation, electronic filing, refund loans, and online filing through eSmart Tax. Each office offers customers audit assistance, a money back guarantee, and free tax return checking. The Liberty Tax Service franchise opportunity has climbed to #3 on the latest Entrepreneur “Franchise 500.”