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April's terrible, tragic tornado toll;
IRS offers relief for more storm victims

It's official. April was a record-setting month for tornadoes.

A preliminary count of 692 tornadoes last month shatters the previous record for the number of twisters in any month. That had been 542 tornadoes in May 2003.

The worst of this April's damage came between noon Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) April 25 and 5:30 p.m. EDT April 28. Dr. Greg Forbes, The Weather Channel's severe weather expert, says that tornadoes were reported nearly continuously during that 76-hour period.

There have been 194 confirmed tornadoes in that late April storm system, with another 126 twister reports yet to be verified.

That tops the previously most active spate of tornadoes, the 170 that struck the United States between May 29-31, 2004.

  April25-28-2011-severe-weather-montage-NOAA-SPC Apr. 25-28, 2011 severe reports (tornadoes in red) | Images: NOAA/SPC

On April 27 alone 107 tornadoes were confirmed; 68 reports for that day are still under investigation.

So far, meteorologists say 13 of the late April tornadoes were EF-4 or stronger on the Enhanced Fujita Scale, meaning winds were at least 166 miles per hour. Two were determined to be EF-5, with winds of more than 200 MPH.

Given that data, it's not surprising that FEMA analyses of the damages prompted the president to declare major disaster areas across much of the eastern half of the United States.

Following those declarations, the IRS issued special tax considerations for individuals and businesses in several of the states hit by severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and associated flooding in April:

As further storm damage determinations are made, the IRS will post information about possible tax relief in other states on its website.

In addition to extended filing deadlines, storm victims in presidentially declared disaster areas also should check out the special casualty loss rules.

Eligible taxpayers might be able to deduct their disaster losses on amended 2010 returns and get refund money sooner to help with repairs.

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IRS issued by the severe storms, tornadoes, straight line winds and flooding related to several states in April for individuals and businesses special tax considerations.

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