Tuesday, Mar. 24, 2009

Claim a Natural-Disaster Deduction

You can get relief for a natural disaster. Last year was one of the worst on record for damages due to tornadoes, hurricanes, floods and other natural events. New on this year's tax form: the deduction for disaster-related losses has been moved "above the line," which means you can take the standard deduction ($5,450 for singles and $10,900 for couples) and claim your disaster credit on top of that. You do not need to itemize in order to benefit. In parts of the Midwest, living in a federally declared disaster area also entitles you to additional education tax credits. Check with fema.gov for a list of declared disaster sites.

Read about W. Craig Fugate, President Obama's nominee for FEMA chief.