Here’s how Florida hurricane victims can apply for tax relief

‘It’s for anything that insurance didn’t cover,’ tax expert says

Any Florida resident who sustained property losses during Hurricane Ian is eligible for some tax relief under federal disaster protocol.

ORLANDO, Fla. – Any Florida resident who sustained property losses during Hurricane Ian is eligible for some tax relief under federal disaster protocol.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency granted the entire state Federal Disaster Status following the catastrophic weather event on Sept. 28.

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Hurricane Ian, which made landfall in southwest Florida about two weeks ago, is considered the deadliest storm the state has experienced since the infamous 1935 Labor Day storm.

Experts predict total insurance claims could hit $60 billion.

The FEMA declaration opened the door to potential tax breaks to all homeowners affected by Hurricane Ian that reside or have a business anywhere in the state.

Kathy Pickering, the chief tax officer with H&R Block and head of the company’s tax institute, said eligible deductions may be claimed for “anything that insurance didn’t cover.”

“The concept is there’s no double dipping,” Pickering told News 6. “If you’re getting reimbursed from your insurance (company), you don’t also get to claim it as a loss on your taxes.”

As in any tax law, there are exceptions. If you feel insurance did not cover the full amount of the property or item in question, you can submit that item on your tax form to cover the difference.

“This is not like a refundable credit,” Pickering said. “You don’t get to say, ‘Oh, I had $100,000 in losses and the IRS will send a check.”

Think of the process as adding tax deductions. If you earned $100,000 last year and paid $20,000 in income taxes, you would get up to that amount in refunded taxes.

You have two options: Amend last year’s taxes or add the deductions to your 2022 tax form.

You will need casualties and thefts income tax form 4684. Be sure to write the FEMA declaration number DR-4673-FL and remember the deductions must be attributable to a federal disaster.

“You sum up all those losses and then go through the worksheet to calculate the total amount,” Pickering said.

Anyone that asked for a tax extension, which is due by Monday, Oct. 17, has additional time to submit until Feb. 15, 2023.

For more information go to and write “Hurricane Ian” in the search box on the upper right.

Click here for tax form 4684.

If you have additional questions or issues email or text the words “Make Ends Meet” along with your tax issue to 407-676-7428.

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About the Author:

News 6’s Emmy Award-winning Investigative Reporter Mike Holfeld has made Central Florida history with major investigations that have led to new policies, legislative proposals and even -- state and national laws. If you have an issue or story idea, call Mike's office at 407-521-1322.