How it works: Federal tax reform bill means victims of historic flood can write off more in damages

How it works: Federal tax reform bill means victims of historic flood can write off more in damages

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Louisiana residents affected by the March and August floods of 2016 can get some extra money back on their federal tax return thanks to tweaks to the tax code included in the overhaul passed by Congress this week.

If you deducted casualty loss from either flood when you filed your 2016 taxes, you now can retroactively file an amended tax return, according to J David Shoptaugh, a certified public accountant in Baton Rouge.

Shoptaugh explains that before the overhaul was passed, taxpayers were required to deduct 10 percent of their income from the casualty loss they were deducting. Now, those affected by last year's flood can deduct the total amount of casualty loss.

Rep. Garret Graves - (R) Baton Rouge, who represents Louisiana's 6th congressional district, told WAFB's Kevin Frey that residents have three years from when they filed their 2016 tax return to file an amendment.

Graves also recommends residents keep all documentation of costs relating to the flood, such as invoice from contractors or receipts of building supplies from hardware stores. The congressman says it's important to keep those documents "in the event that an audit [from the IRS] comes up in the future." He also suggests if residents are unsure about filing an amendment to consult with a tax preparer.

Copyright 2017 WAFB. All rights reserved.