After all the hardship and suffering many of us have endured since Superstorm Sandy, there is some consolation: We might be able to recoup some losses at tax time. Residents in areas that suffered through one of the 10 federally declared disaster areas in 2012 can deduct the value of their lost property on their tax returns.

For this reason, the 177,000 people in the Sandy corridor and some 64,000 other storm victims might actually be looking forward to dealing with the Internal Revenue Service this tax season. But get ready, because like all things storm-related, there's going to be lots of paperwork involved.

You need to get an appraisal and you've got to know if you're going to rebuild, and what those expenses will be. And then you need to know how much insurance you're going to get. And if you don't know those things, then you can't file."

Losses that are not reimbursed by insurance can be deducted using IRS Form 4684: Casualties and Thefts. This includes loss of personal property (many flood policies did not cover items such as furniture and clothing) as well as a decrease in the value of your home - something an appraiser would have to calculate.

To figure the decrease in Fair Market Value (FMV) because of a casualty, you generally need a compe­tent appraisal.

An appraisal to determine the difference between the FMV immediately before a casualty and immediately afterwards should be made by a competent appraiser.

The appraiser must recognize the effects of any general market decline that may occur along with the casualty. This information is needed to limit any deduction to the actual loss resulting from damage to the property.

With over 26 years of appraisal experience in Ocean and Monmouth County we are capable of determining a pre and post Sandy value on you home.

Call or email us today for a no obligation consultation. We're local, we live here and we know what a daunting task it is to get back on track.