Flood Relief Briefs
SCDOR to Offer Tax Relief to those Impacted by Severe Storms and Flooding in SC
South Carolina taxpayers impacted by the severe storms and flooding that began October 1, 2015 may qualify for tax relief from the South Carolina Department of Revenue (SCDOR).
The IRS has provided special filing and payment relief to victims of flooding in certain counties in South Carolina (IR 2015-112, dated October 7, 2015). The tax relief postpones various tax filing and payment deadlines that occurred starting on October 1, 2015. As a result, affected individuals and businesses will have until February 16, 2016 to file these returns and pay any taxes due. This includes the October 15, 2015 deadline for those who received an extension to file their 2014 return and the deadline for making quarterly estimated payments.
The IRS filing and payment relief applies to the following counties identified by the President’s declaration as a federal disaster area, including Berkeley and Charleston counties.
The SCDOR will provide the same relief to the taxes that it administers. An Information Letter outlining additional details will be published by the SCDOR later this week.
South Carolina Storm Survivors Urged To Register For Disaster Assistance
Homeowners, renters and business owners affected by the recent flooding in South Carolina can now register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency for disaster assistance.
The presidential disaster declaration of Oct. 5 makes federal assistance available to eligible individuals and business owners in Berkeley, Charleston, Clarendon, Dorchester, Georgetown, Horry, Lexington, Orangeburg, Richland, Sumter and Williamsburg counties.
Survivors in the designated South Carolina counties can register online at DisasterAssistance.gov. Applicants may also call 800-621-3362 or (TTY) 800-462-7585. For Video Relay Services, call 800-621-3362. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate 24 hours a day until further notice. Multilingual operators are available.
Assistance can include money for temporary housing and essential home repairs, and for other serious disaster-related needs, such as medical and dental expenses or funeral and burial costs. Low-interest disaster loans from the Small Business Administration may also be available to cover losses not fully compensated by insurance.
South Carolina survivors should register with FEMA even if they have insurance. FEMA cannot duplicate insurance payments, but under-insured applicants may receive help after their insurance claims have been settled.
For questions about flood insurance, National Flood Insurance Program policyholders can call 800-621-3362, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. until further notice.
Registering with FEMA is required for federal aid, even if a survivor has registered with another disaster-relief organization. FEMA registrants must use the name that appears on their Social Security card. Applicants will be asked for the following information: Social Security number, address of the damaged home or apartment, description of the damage, information about insurance coverage, a current contact telephone number, an address where they can receive mail, bank account and routing numbers for direct deposit of funds.
What To Expect After South Carolina Survivors Call FEMA
Registering with the Federal Emergency Management Agency is the first step to getting federal disaster assistance.
After you apply, FEMA will send you a copy of your application and a copy of “Help After a Disaster: Applicant’s Guide to the Individuals and Households Program,” which will answer many of your questions.
If your home or its contents are damaged and you are uninsured or underinsured, verifying disaster damage is part of the process to establish the amount and type of damage you suffered.
You will get a call from an inspector who has construction background and is fully qualified to do the job. Inspectors are private contractors who wear official FEMA ID badges. If you have concerns with the legitimacy of a FEMA housing inspector, you should contact your local law enforcement, as they will be able to validate their identification.
Authorized inspectors will only confirm personal detailed information that you previously provided during the registration process, such as your registration number. They never charge for an inspection.
After you register – either online at DisasterAssistance.gov, by calling 800-621-3362 (TTY 800-462-7585) or visiting a disaster recovery center – a nine-digit application number is assigned. An inspector will then call to schedule an appointment to visit your damaged property – generally no longer than 10 days after registration.
Inspectors will review both structural and personal property damage and file a report, but they do not determine eligibility or determine the value of damage or losses.
A FEMA inspection is not an insurance inspection. If you are covered by insurance, you should contact your insurance company immediately as FEMA cannot duplicate payments.
The inspector will ask for identification and proof of ownership and occupancy (for homeowners) and occupancy only (for renters).
You will receive a letter from FEMA containing a decision within 10 days of the inspector’s visit. If you are eligible for assistance, the letter will be followed by a check or an electronic funds transfer. The letter explains how the money can be used. You may receive a low-interest disaster loan application in the packet from the SBA. You do not have to accept a loan. However, you must complete the application and return it to SBA to remain eligible for other types of federal assistance, such as FEMA grants.