Hurricane season is once again upon us. Therefore, the IRS is reminding taxpayers to be prepared for hurricanes and other natural disasters. 

1/8/19: Do you need help with your financial records after a disaster? The IRS recently published a fact sheet that discusses the challenges encountered by taxpayers when putting together their financial records in the aftermath of a hurricane, wildfire or other catastrophe. The IRS notes that reconstructing these records soon after a disaster “may be essential for properly documenting a tax-deductible loss, supporting various tax-related transactions, or getting federal assistance or insurance reimbursement.” 

On August 21, 2018, the IRS posted Tax Tip 2018-130 suggesting important tips including:

  • Update your emergency plan annually to reflect changes in your personal and business life
  • Make electronic copies of key documents
  • Take video or photograph inventory of your valuables 

In a federally declared disaster, taxpayers can call 866-562-5227 to speak to an IRS specialist for help. You can also obtain transcripts of prior-year tax returns. 

Download the 2018-19 Tax Planning Guide

For more information on disaster losses, refer to these IRS publications:

  • Publication 547, Casualties, Disasters, and Thefts – This has information on figuring your casualty loss deduction.
  • Publication 584, Casualty, Disaster, and Theft Loss Workbook – This can help individuals make a list of stolen or damaged personal-use property and figure the loss. It has a room-by-room listing to help recreate an inventory and figure the loss on the home and its contents and any motor vehicles.
  • Publication 584-B, Business Casualty, Disaster, and Theft Loss Workbook – This is available to help businesses list stolen or damaged business or income-producing property and to figure the loss.

LBMC tax tips are provided as an informational and educational service for clients and friends of the firm. The communication is high-level and should not be considered as legal or tax advice to take any specific action. Individuals should consult with their personal tax or legal advisors before making any tax or legal-related decisions. In addition, the information and data presented are based on sources believed to be reliable, but we do not guarantee their accuracy or completeness. The information is current as of the date indicated and is subject to change without notice.