Disaster Feed

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... Read more →


The Weather Channel meteorologist Ari Sarsalari says we don't need to worry too much about the low-pressure system that's formed in the Gulf of Mexico. You can watch his full forecast by clicking the screen capture above or here. The continental United States' hurricane season starts today. It runs through Nov. 30 for tropical storms that form in the Atlantic Ocean or Gulf of Mexico. The season's first tropical disturbance, officially Invest 91L, has formed in the Gulf and right now looks like it could head toward Florida. UPDATE: That was quick. Invest 91L now is Tropical Depression 2. UPDATE,... Read more →


The upcoming Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer. It's also the start of a couple of sales tax holidays in Texas and Florida. Texas energy & water tax savings: Let's start here in Texas. Beginning Saturday, May 27, and running through Monday, May 29, Lone Star State shoppers won't have to pay state and local sales taxes that usually apply to purchases of energy- and water-saving products. The tax-free qualifying appliance purchases and related items include — Energy Star-qualified air conditioners priced at $6,000 or less; refrigerators priced at $2,000 or less; ceiling fans; incandescent and fluorescent... Read more →


Coastal flooding in a Florida community. (Photo by Barry Bahler via Wikipedia Commons) They may be more than 3,100 miles apart, but residents of counties in California and Florida now have a couple of things in common. They recently were pummeled by major disasters. They now have an Aug. 15 deadline to meet certain federal tax responsibilities. Florida flooding: The Internal Revenue Service is offering relief to those who live or have businesses in the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) disaster designation are of South Florida that endured tornadoes, severe storms, and flooding from April 12 to April 14. The... Read more →


Homemade Gifts Made Easy May. A short word with many meanings. It's the name of the fifth month of the year. Here in the Norther Hemisphere, it's when springtime comes in fully. That's fitting, since its name comes from Maia, the Greek goddess of spring and growth. The Oxford English Dictionary also says the word is a verb that expresses possibility, as in "that may be true," or permission, as in "may I ask a few questions?" When it comes to taxes, I like to combine the meanings. May is a time of growth and renewal and the possibility of... Read more →


A Cole, Oklahoma, home destroyed by the EF3 tornado that went through McClain County on April 19, 2023. The National Weather Service estimated winds at 152 miles per hour. (Photo by U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration via Wikipedia Commons) The Oklahoma City area seems to be a tornado magnet. I'm aware of this unwanted meteorological frequency not just because of my weather fixation and its tax connection, but also because my brother lived in OKC back in 1999 when an EF5 twister destroyed much of the state capital's southern suburbs. Back then, my parents were in Western Oklahoma, which... Read more →


Whatever your reason for moving, be it a temporary disaster displacement or settling into your forever dream home, you need to let the Internal Revenue Service know where you are. (Photo by HiveBoxx on Unsplash) A couple of houses on our block are for sale. We've been watching the painters and window washers and steam cleaners and landscapers come and go. And that's just part of the sale process. Once the deeds are transferred, my former neighbors get to alert everyone of their new addresses. That includes family, friends, creditors (if they're not family or friends), subscription services, financial account... Read more →


Photo by Lachlan Ross Procrastinating taxpayers are rushing to file their returns this Tax Day 2023. Some, however, have extra time. Unfortunately for them, the reason for the delayed filing deadline is not one any of us want. They live or have businesses in areas that were declared major disaster areas. Indiana residents are the latest to join this later Tax Day club. Today, the Internal Revenue Service announced that Hoosier storm victims now have until July 31 to file various federal individual and business tax returns and make tax payments. Yeah, I know getting the word out that Tax... Read more →


Tax Day means double tax duty for millions of taxpayers. In addition to filing their annual return for last year's earnings, they also must make their first estimated tax payment for the current year. For 2023, these dual payments are due next week, on Tuesday, April 18. Next week's April 18 Tax Day is the end of the 2022 tax year for millions of filers. It's also the beginning of the 2023 tax year for those who pay estimated taxes. Our tax system is pay as earn, which for most employed people is taken care via withholding from their paychecks.... Read more →


The IRS' tax relief for tornado-stricken Tennessee residents and business owners is welcome. But that's just one part of picking up the pieces after a major disaster. Keep reading after the Volunteer State tax specifics for tips that all of us can use to recover, financially and physically, if we ever must cope with a catastrophe. Damage caused by an EF3 tornado that touched down southwest of Covington, Tennessee. Covington is the county seat of Tipton County, one of 10 counties in the Volunteer State that the Internal Revenue Service granted tax relief following the March 31-April 1 tornado and... Read more →


Scammers tend to use tried and true techniques to con people out of their identities and money. One of the most popular schemes involves crooks pretending to be real-life officials. And the Internal Revenue Service is near the top of government agencies that con artists impersonate. CloudFlare, a company which provides security for many companies' online operations, says that the IRS ranks sixth in the 50 top brands when it comes to phishing attempts that use fake sites. The example given by CloudFlare included "IRS" along with the words "contact" and "payment." A big tip-off that the URL is fake... Read more →


April's flowers are a delight, and you can enjoy them as soon as you finish up the month's tax tasks. (Photo by Eilis Garvey on Unsplash) Welcome to the first full week of April, the month that tends to bring out conflicted feelings in most of us. While most of us are delighted that we can put away our winter coats and enjoy the arrival of spring flowers, April's arrival also means that millions of us still must confront our annual tax filing tasks. If you've yet to file your 2022 return, here are six tax tasks to consider as... Read more →


The IRS' tax relief for tornado-stricken Mississippians is welcome. But devastated residents could use more help. If you want to provide some support, read on for groups that are conducting a variety of recovery efforts in the storm-stricken areas and could use donations to continue their work. The devastation from the March 24-25 tornadoes that plowed through the lower Mississippi River Valley is horrific. A massive EF4 twister that cut a 59-mile path of destruction left 26 people dead. Hundreds of residents and businesses were displaced by the severe storms. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the White House... Read more →


Photo by Zac Durant on Unsplash The damage Mother Nature can do is long-lasting. So, in the case of many storms, is the clean-up process. The Internal Revenue Service realizes this. Earlier this year, the agency extended original tax relief, including filing deadlines, it provided individuals and businesses in Alabama, California, and Georgia that were hit by major natural disasters. New York storm victims now have joined this group. A deadly winter snowstorm hit parts of the Empire State around last Christmas. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the IRS followed up quickly with, respectively, disaster declarations and tax... Read more →


Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash Enough already, Mother Nature! We're not even through two full months of 2023, and you have been in a particularly foul mood too much of this time. The latest disastrous outbursts are leaving thousands across the country dealing with blizzards, high winds, and tornadoes. And the devastating weather system is still moving east. Meantime, folks who endured major disasters in January — which now cover most of California and parts of Alabama and Georgia — are still pare still picking up the pieces. That's why the Internal Revenue Service has decided to give these... Read more →


Photo by Kay Bell All things considered, we got through last week's Central Texas ice storm pretty well. Yes, I whined about no power, hence no heat for 3½ days, but we piled on enough clothes to mimic the Michelin Man, and used our grill to cook previously frozen food before it spoiled. As for our property, our oldest and biggest tree, a live oak, lost just three limbs. Two, shown above, fell in our backyard; the other snapped on the other side of the fence and fell into our neighbor's yard. The neighbor had a clean-up crew over at... Read more →


UPDATE, Feb. 27, 2023: Since damages are so severe, and additional areas subsequently were designated by FEMA, the IRS has decided to further extend the tax deadline for victims of Alabama's and Georgia's major disasters first declared in January. Affected Yellowhammer and Peach state taxpayers now have until Oct. 16 to take care of multiple tax responsibilities. Details in this post. National Weather Service radar of a quasi-linear convective system (QLCS) and supercells, along with severe warnings in the southeastern United States during the afternoon of Jan. 12, 2023. The Autauga County, Alabama, EF3 tornado was on the ground at... Read more →


UPDATE, Feb. 27, 2023: Since damages are so severe, and additional areas subsequently were designated by FEMA, the IRS has decided to further extend the tax deadline for victims of California's major disasters first declared in January. Affected Golden State taxpayers now have until Oct. 16 to take care of multiple tax responsibilities. Details in this post. The California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) coordinates emergency responses, such as this one in early January before the latest disastrous rains and flooding engulfed the state. (Photo courtesy Cal OES Facebook) California covers a huge area, so there's room for... Read more →


Massive waves on Lake Erie splashed homes in Hamburg, New York, during the historic blizzard that moved across the Empire State just before last Christmas. While the result was a collection of real-life ice sculptures, the storm's ultimate effects were far less lovely. (Screen capture from WXChasing YouTube video) I admit it. I whined about the unusual cold front that moved into the Austin area Christmas week 2022. One of the reasons we moved here was for the area's generally moderate winters. But I was properly shamed. A few freezing nights was nothing like the deadly storm that gripped parts... Read more →


Records, tax and financial, are often among the property damaged or destroyed in a natural disaster. If you're lucky, you might be able, like this woman, to salvage some of the documents. If not, you'll need to recreate them to take advantage of tax-related storm relief. (Image courtesy Louisiana Law Blog) It looks like Florida is about to be hit by another hurricane. Current Subtropical Storm Nicole is expected to accelerate from a subtropical system into a hurricane before it makes landfall along the Sunshine State's Atlantic coast. That's terrible news for Florida residents still dealing with the aftermath of... Read more →


Getting your tax ducks in a row takes on a different meaning in November. But whatever bird you choose for the metaphor, make some time this month to complete tasks that will prevent tax turkeys. (Photo by Mohan Nannapaneni) November, the eleventh and penultimate month of the year, is like everything else in life. As a deadline nears, the end of 2022 in this case, the number of tasks to tackle grows. A lot. During these next 30 days we have holidays, both official like Thanksgiving and Veterans Day, and unofficial like National Doughnut Appreciation Day on 11/5, and which... Read more →