UPDATED, Monday, April. 10, 2023: This year has gotten off to a terrible start as far as major natural disasters. Residents of several states have been impacted, with the Internal Revenue Service offering tax relief, including extended filing and payment deadlines. If you're ever in a disaster area, be sure to take full advantage of tax and other federal government relief offered. Here are some of Uncle Sam's resources beyond the IRS that can help you get your life back on track.
The U.S. and British Virgin Islands took a whacking today from Hurricane Dorian, which struck the Caribbean islands as a category 1.
Puerto Rico, still dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in 2017, was spared major damage as Dorian decided to take a more northward turn.
Dorian is expected to shift westerly, however, and head to Florida. Forecasters say it could be a category 3 'cane by the time it reaches the U.S. mainland over the upcoming Labor Day weekend.
Thanks Mother Nature. Not!
Stay safe: The main thing for anyone in a hurricane's path is to do whatever it takes to be safe.
If you have shutters and feel like your structure is storm-ready, put 'em up and hunker down.
If, however, your local or state government says evacuate, then do.
After the storm passes, then you can worry about taxes.
Storm tax (and more) tips: As I tend to do multiple times during every summer hurricane season, I point all of the ol' blog's readers to the special pages that comprise the Storm Warnings feature.
After that introduction page, you can check out the five additional pages of posts with information on storms and disasters:
- General storm stories and information and
- More disaster resources.
Speaking of other resources, the Internal Revenue Service has its own online collection of information and links to disaster assistance and emergency relief for both individuals and businesses.
I'll let you peruse both my Storm Warnings and the IRS' material at your leisure. Of course, if you live in Florida, you don't have much leisure time right now as you rush to get ready for Dorian.
So I wanted to point out some of the additional government agency disaster resources the IRS features. Just click on the agency titles below to go to their websites:
This is a one stop Web portal that consolidates information from 17 US Government Agencies where taxpayers can apply for Small Business Administration loans through online applications, receive referral information on forms of assistance that do not have online applications, or check the progress and status of their applications online.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
Federal disaster aid programs provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are available to citizens affected by major disasters.
Small Business Administration (SBA)
The U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is responsible for providing affordable, timely and accessible financial assistance to homeowners, renters and businesses of all sizes located in a declared disaster area. Financial assistance is available in the form of low-interest, long-term loans for losses that are not fully covered by insurance or other recoveries.
Learn how individuals and business can prepare for and respond to all kinds of disasters and emergencies.
GovBenefits.gov wants to let survivors and disaster relief workers know about the many disaster relief programs available. Perhaps you have suffered damage to a home or business, lost your job, or experienced crop damage due to a natural disaster. GovBenefits.gov has a variety of national benefit and assistance programs geared toward disaster recovery.
Beware of and report price gougers: Let me add one more, the Florida Price Gouging Hotline.
I have activated Florida's Price Gouging Hotline.— Fla. AG Ashley Moody (@AGAshleyMoody) August 28, 2019
Floridians in the projected path of #HurricaneDorian prepare now—and report price gouging to my office by calling (866) 9NO-SCAM or by downloading our reporting app NO SCAM. pic.twitter.com/GRrQhj9DOZ
Yes, sometimes people are despicable, taking advantage of difficult situations to make a quick buck.
In Florida, however, it is against the law to excessively increase the price of essential goods and services in reaction to a state of emergency declaration, which was issued by Gov. Rick DeSantis did Wednesday (Aug. 28) afternoon.
That announcement and the Florida Attorney General's opening of the price gouging hotline means that at some of the unethical operators will be stopped.
Floridians can report price gouging by calling toll-free (866) 9NO-SCAM (966-7226) or by downloading the app NO SCAM.
I hope that Hurricane Dorian loses instead of gain steam as it moves closer to the Sunshine State. But just in case it doesn't, get ready now and be ready to call for help if needed afterwards.