Tax help for Sandy victims

Seven On Your Side
February 19, 2013 2:42:35 PM PST
They haven't been home since Sandy's surge from the Bay almost knocked their house off its base.

"I lost all my clothes, my valuables, my furniture," Sam Puglisi said.

The rush of water cracked the concrete foundation, but insurance won't pay to put it back together.

"They said they don't cover foundation," Maria Puglisi said.

For the last 3 months, Maria and her dad Sam have called a FEMA subsidized hotel room home, while their own home languished and was even looted.

"We lost the car. We got robbed. I have crows living in my house and stray cats," she said.

Things can get much worse, but what Maria and her dad don't know is 7 On Your Side sent an SOS. Things are about to get better.

Mark Steber is a tax expert from Jackson Hewitt. We asked him to find tax savings and revenue out of the ruin.

"What you're able to do is turn a disaster into a deduction on your tax return," Steber said.

Many Sandy victims are unaware they can get cash quick by knowing what to claim on federal and state Casualty and Disaster tax deduction loss forms.

"If your loss turns out to be big enough to offset your income in those years, you'll get an immediate refund on those prior year taxes," Steber explained.

Maria is about to get some great news.

"10-12 thousand would be an easy number to see here," Steber said.

Even crazier, the IRS is expediting the money, just make sure to write Sandy across the top of your form.

"Rather than a 12 week delay, which is normal, you're looking at 4-6 weeks to get your refunds back. Your mini returns processed and cash in your hand," Steber said.

For the Puglisis and others like them, the money can be put to good use.






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