2012 was a tough year for homeowners– from landslides in Alaska to Hurricane Sandy on the East coast– who, across the country, saw 112 natural disasters. If you have been affected by a federally declared disaster, you can claim losses to personal property not covered by insurance. If you are claiming, you should write the disaster designation (Superstorm Sandy, etc.) across your tax form to insure a quick return.

The IRS has promised to remove late-payment, late-filing, and interest for anyone in an affected area. They are also helping those who are outside of the affected area, but whose records and professionals may be within the affected area. If you are outside of the affected area, call the IRS hotline at 1-866-562-5227 to make a claim.

The IRS is waiving the usual fees for copies of previously filed tax returns for disaster-affected taxpayers. Taxpayers should write the assigned Disaster Designation in red ink at the top of Form 4506 (Request for Copy of Tax Return) or Form 4506-T (Request for Transcript of Tax Return) before submitting it to the IRS.