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Friday, September 15, 2017

Disaster Relief Tax Links

Updated 1/17/18 - Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria in 2017, as well as wildfires in northern California, left many in distress. In addition to the need for resources to help in the recovery, tax considerations exist. For example, is aid taxable, what about insurance recovery, what if you pull money from your retirement account, what if employees give up leave so their employers can donate it to relief efforts? Tax returns and taxes are due, but most are extended to January 31, 2018. Some taxpayers might not be directly affected, but have records lost in the disaster.

The IRS has lots of information to help - here +  Pub 547  +  resources for tax professionals + IRS Recap of Relief for all 3 hurricanes (IR-2017-160 (9/26/17)) + links regarding additional disasters including California wildfires + Virgin Islands + Puerto Rico.

On 12/13/17, the IRS released guidance on safe harbor methods for measuring losses from casualty for a home and personal belongings including special cost indexes that can be used for 2017 hurricane property (Rev. Procs. 2018-08 and 2018-09; see IR-2017-202).

On 1/17/18, the IRS release guidance on relief for victims of fires and floods in specific southern California counties - CA-2018-01.

COST and the AICPA have a list of information from state tax agencies about state relief.

FinCEN states that FBAR forms normally due 10/15 are due 1/31/18 for those eligible for Hurricane and Wildfire relief.

The AICPA has information for tax practitioners:

Links on Hurricane Harvey relief from Texas Society of CPAs
Resources from the Florida Institute of CPAs
Disaster Recovery Resources from the Society of Louisiana CPAs

Resources from Gerard Schreiber, CPA:

Revised Form 4684, Casualties and Thefts, for 2016: Form + Instructions

Information from Consumer Reports on how to help victims of hurricanes and wildfires.

Information on PL 115-63 (9/29/17) - provides additional relief to victims of the hurricanes as well as donors and employers assisting the relief effort. See the bill for details - summary and link at this 10/22 post

Guide on disasters and financial planning from the Red Cross, AICPA and NEFE.

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