Q: I recently sold a property in New Orleans after Katrina.
It was not badly affected by the storm, however I am worried about the amount of capital gains taxes I will owe on April 15th.
I rented the property for 18 years before selling it and depreciated it each year. At the closing the attorney mentioned that the government was trying to pass a law giving owners a break on capital gains taxes after Katrina to encourage the sale of homes in that area.
Do you know of any such law and if not where can I go to find out. Thank you.
A: I don’t know of any such law that was passed, but the IRS recently announced that it has a new publication written specifically for people who were victims of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma. Publication 4492 is called “Information for Taxpayers affected by Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma.”
It goes over all of the new tax laws that were passed in the wake of this year’s devastating hurricane season. In addition, if you are a hurricane victim and need help with tax matters, you can call a special number at the IRS (866-562-5227) to get your questions answered.
For more information, or to download the new publication (available in .pdf form), visit the IRS’s website, www.irs.gov.