January 24th, 2007 05:26 EST
FEMA or State Disaster Aid Will Not Affect Social Security or Taxes
ALBANY , N.Y. -- New Yorkers who receive disaster grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) or New York State will not pay additional taxes, lose their Social Security benefits or give up income-based benefit programs.
FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer Marianne C. Jackson said, “A state or federal grant to individuals does not add to their taxable income, as long as the grant is given as assistance to recover from a disaster.”
Disaster assistance for temporary housing, home repair, to repair or replace personal property, or for other serious needs does not count as income and will not be taxed.
Disaster relief payments from the government or donations from charitable organizations will not affect eligibility for individual federal or State benefits such as Social Security or welfare assistance.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is providing special tax relief for taxpayers living in Broome and Chenango counties in New York . Deadlines for affected taxpayers to file returns, pay taxes and perform other time-sensitive acts falling on or after November 16, 2006 have been postponed to February 12, 2007. The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance has also postponed certain tax filing and payment deadlines for taxpayers affected by the November 16 floods. Taxpayers may obtain forms, instructions and other information from the NYS Tax Department website at www.nystax.gov or from the department's fax-on-demand service at 1-800-748-3676. For general tax information, call 1-800-225-5829.
For more information on tax relief in disaster situations, visit the IRS web site at www.irs.gov. The IRS toll-free number for general tax questions is 1-800-829-1040 or TTY 1-800-829-4059 for the hearing and speech impaired.
For more information on Social Security, visit the web site at www.socialsecurity.gov . To ask specific questions, call toll free 1-800-772-1213 or TTY 1-800-325-0778 for the hearing and speech impaired.
FEMA manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident, initiates mitigation activities and manages the National Flood Insurance Program. FEMA works closely with state and local emergency managers, law enforcement personnel, firefighters and other first responders. FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003.