Hurricane Florence victims not eligible for certain deductions

GREENVILLE, NC (WITN) Time is running out if you filed an extension on your 2018 tax return. It's due Tuesday.

While many in our area were affected by Hurricane Florence, some may not be eligible for certain deductions meant for victims of natural disasters.

Many taxpayers affected by Florence are finding they can't deduct their property losses this time around because of income limits on a particular form.

The Form 4684 lets people claim deductions based on personal casualties and theft losses, including damage from federally declared disasters. But to claim casualty losses the damage must exceed 10 percent of your adjusted gross income.

Local accountants say many of their clients affected by Florence are finding they don't meet that threshold.

Victims of other natural disasters, including Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, plus the California wildfires, have been given exemptions to that 10 percent rule.

Ray Edwards is an accountant in Greenville who says a lot of his clients were not able to claim the deduction and he's still optimistic that legislation will pass to change that.

Edwards says, "We were holding some returns until closer to the deadline and hoping it might pass this summer but as I said thus far it has not passed and I just don't know if it will. I don't know."

If you're on track to miss Tuesday's deadline prepare to pay a 5 percent failure to file penalty.