No place in the world is disaster proof. Mother Nature unleashes her horrors globally and year round via hurricanes, tornadoes, wild fires, floods, blizzards and more.
This special Natural Disasters Recovery Page, part of the overall Storm Warnings collection of Don't Mess With Taxes blog posts about disasters and the associated tax implications, provides information on what you can do and where you can get help to recover as quickly as possible when Mother Nature turns into Mommy Dearest.
So, since time is of the essence when you're trying to get your life back after a natural disaster, here goes with ways to recover from the various natural disasters that many of us will face at some point in our lives.
The Internal Revenue Service isn't at the top of anyone's list, especially when they're trying to deal with a major disaster.
But in such dire situations, you should think about the tax agency. When you sustain any damage from a storm, remember that you might be able to get some disaster relief from the IRS.
You'll have to itemize your deductions and in addition to the Schedule A, there's more paperwork deal with, specifically Form 4684, Casualties and Thefts.
And the amount of your damages isn't the amount you can claim. You'll have to work through a worksheet to determine how much your loss you can claim.
But when you've suffered serious damages, any amount is welcome.
There's also a possibility that you could get special tax treatment if your damages were caused by a major disaster. W(March 4, 2019)hen this designation is issue by the president via the Federal Emergency Management Agency, you get a choice as to when to make your tax claims.
You can opt to claim your disaster losses on your current year's tax return, the year in which the disaster occurred.
Or you can file and amended return from your previous year's taxes. This which might get you more money, and sooner, from the IRS.
The tax date choice is yours. Always run the numbers to see which tax year filing will get you the most tax money.
Don't forget about your state taxes. In many disaster instances, states also offer special tax and other relief. You state's tax departments can provide the relevant disaster information.
These Don't Mess With Taxes posts, the dates published are noted in parentheses with newer ones listed first, have more details:
- MS, NJ & NY get Ida tax relief, later filing deadlines (Sept. 10, 2021)
- Moving? Let the IRS know (Sept. 7, 2021)
- IRS gives all Louisiana taxpayers Hurricane Ida tax relief (Aug. 31, 2021)
- Tracking down tax records to file a disaster claim (Aug. 24, 2021)
- Aug. 2: Tax Day for AL, TN taxpayers who were in disaster areas; deadline to end August AdvCTC payment (Aug. 2, 2021)
- Nov. 1 is new tax deadline for some storm-struck Michiganders (July 28, 2021)
- Fake tax promises, other phony ploys — Don't fall for disaster assistance cons! — are part of the 2021 IRS Dirty Dozen (June 30, 2021)
- Louisianans in 5 parishes now have Aug. 16 tax deadline (June 13, 2021)
- WV taxpayers belatedly get until June 30 to file 2020 taxes (May 27, 2021)
- New tax deadlines for disaster victims in Kentucky (June 30) and Alabama (Aug. 2) (May 1, 2021)
- Considerations in making a major disaster tax claim (Feb. 24, 2021)
- Revised tax deadlines: Jan. 15 for some disaster-affected 2019 returns, March 1 for Mississippi hurricane victims (Jan. 12, 2021)
- 10 tax moves to make in December 2020 (See #8 for extended tax deadlines of Jan. 15, 2021 for natural disaster victims in Alabama, Oregon and California and Feb. 16, 2021 for Hurricane Delta victims in Louisiana.) (Dec. 1, 2020)
- Louisiana shoppers get 2-day post-hurricane tax holiday to help with recovery needs (Nov. 20, 2020)
- Californians dealing with latest round of wildfires get federal tax relief, new Jan. 15, 2021 due date (Oct. 20, 2020)
- Alabama counties blasted by Hurricane Sally get tax relief, deadlines extended until Jan. 15, 2021 (Sept. 25, 2020)
- Drought-stricken ranchers & farmers get livestock forced-sale tax relief (Sept. 22, 2020)
- Dec. 31 is new tax deadline for Louisiana taxpayers hit by Hurricane Laura (Sept. 4, 2020)
- Dec. 15 is new tax deadline for Iowa derecho, California wildfire victims (Aug. 25, 2020)
- Tax claims now allowed for some TS Cristobal damages (June 8, 2020)
- Tennessee tornado victims' tax deadlines extended to July 15 (March 7, 2020)
- File major disaster claims on Form 4684 (March 3, 2020)
- Recovering from Mother Nature's recent outbursts (Oct. 19, 2019)
- IRS makes hardship workplace retirement plan withdrawals easier for disaster victims (Sept. 21, 2019)
- Alert property assessors of disaster damage ASAP to avoid wrong real estate tax bill (Sept. 11, 2019)
- IRS and other government resources can help you deal with a natural disaster (Aug. 28, 2019)
- Alabama tornado victims' tax deadline now July 31 (March 10, 2019)
- How to get tax help for your natural disaster losses (March 4, 2019)
- Disaster victims could get tax relief as part of new tax bill; IRS already offering some easier retirement plan access (Nov. 29, 2018)
- California wildfire, Virginia hurricane victims get tax relief (Nov. 20, 2018)
- How to claim major disaster tax losses (Oct. 16, 2018)
- More folks affected by Hurricanes Florence and Michael get more time to file Oct. 15 tax extensions (Oct. 14, 2018)
- IRS provides tax relief for folks hit by Hurricane Michael (Oct. 12, 2018)
- After Hurricane Michael passes, expect and claim all possible tax relief (Oct. 10, 2018)
- IRS offers tax relief for Hurricane Florence victims (Sept. 15, 2018)
- Hawaii's hurricane, California's wildfires get added FEMA & tax attention (Aug. 24, 2018)
- California wildfire declared major disaster, opening door for financial and possible tax help (Aug. 9, 2018)
- US territory taxpayers face hurricane-delayed 6/29 deadline (June 28, 2018)
- With Hawaii's Kilauea volcano declared major disaster, IRS grants residents tax relief (June 20, 2018)
- No federal tax help for Volcano Kilauea damage…yet (May 6, 2018)
- An active 2018 hurricane season could be complicated by new limits on casualty tax loss claims (April 6, 2018)
- Casualty loss tax deduction elimination fires up some California lawmakers (Dec. 8, 2017)
- Louisiana, South Carolina now get hurricane tax relief (Oct. 31, 2017)
- California, U.S. territory taxpayers get disaster tax relief (Oct. 14, 2017)
- Georgia residents now get Hurricane Irma tax relief (Sept. 19, 2017)
- IRS Irma tax relief echoes that given Harvey victims (Sept. 12, 2017)
- Reconstructing tax and other records after a natural disaster (Sept. 6, 2017)
- IRS eases access to workplace retirement plan money for Hurricane Harvey's Texas victims (Aug. 31, 2017)
- Home basis, not market value, key amount in calculating disaster loss tax claim (Aug. 30, 2017)
- IRS grants tax relief to Texans hard hit by Hurricane Harvey (Aug. 29, 2017)
- Special tax relief for West Virginia summer storm victims (Aug. 26, 2017)
- Catastrophe Savings Accounts (CSAs) offer homeowners in Alabama, Mississippi and South Carolina tax-advantaged way to pay for storm recovery (June 20, 2017)
- Tropical storm season 2017 heats up. It's time to get ready physically, fiscally and tax wise (June 19, 2017)
- IRS grants automatic tax filing and payment extensions to taxpayers in major disaster areas (April 14, 2017)
- FEMA relief for victims of Golden State's January storms. Expect similar help for California's latest deadly weather (Feb. 18, 2017)
- IRS offers tax relief to 2016's many disaster victims (Dec. 27, 2016)
- IRS grants more tax relief for Hurricane Matthew filers in Florida, Georgia and North and South Carolina (Oct. 17, 2016)
- Oct. 17 is final filing deadline for most, but is extended further for folks in FL, LA, NC and WVA disaster areas (Oct. 12, 2016)
- Louisiana flood victims can tap retirement accounts (Aug. 31, 2016)
- Disaster declaration offers Texas storm victims tax relief (Aug. 26, 2016)
- Louisiana flood victims get special tax consideration (Aug. 15, 2016)
- Uncle Sam offers tax help for disaster recovery (May 26, 2016)
- Tax help for fire, ice and other disasters (Nov. 14, 2014)
- Northern California rocked by major earthquake (Aug. 24, 2014)
- Tornado-ravaged areas of Oklahoma declared major disasters, leading to special tax relief from IRS (May 21, 2013)
- Helping Oklahoma tornado survivors, planning for the next natural disaster (May 21, 2013)
- Moore, Oklahoma, still recovering from horrific 2013 tornado; other areas receive tax relief for 2014's severe storms (May 20, 2014)
- Disaster victims should seek tax recovery help after the skies clear (April 28, 2014)
- Extended tax filing deadlines for certain Colorado, Washington State and Massachusetts taxpayers (April 15, 2014)
- Hurricane season costs tax collectors as well as homeowners (July 9, 2013)
- Special tax treatment for major disaster victims (May 29, 2013)
- N.Y., N.J. residents in Superstorm Sandy's path get additional tax relief (Feb. 21, 2013)
- Winter Storm Athena damages could mean additional relief from the IRS (Nov. 9, 2012)
- Drought-stricken farmers, ranchers can postpone tax on some livestock sale gains (Sept. 29, 2012)
- Tax relief for Hurricane Isaac victims in Louisiana and Mississippi (Sept. 15, 2012)
- When the storm's over, don't forget to claim possible tax help for your losses (Aug. 28, 2012)
- Terrible tax timing for tornado victims in Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska and Oklahoma (April 18, 2012)
- Indiana tornado victims get federal disaster declaration, help from the IRS (March 13, 2012)
- Help from the IRS for tornado victims (March 8, 2012)
- Vermont to provide property tax relief to Hurricane Irene, flood victims (Nov. 3, 2011)
- Form 4684, a disaster victim's best friend (Aug. 28, 2011)
- No escaping disasters, but tax help possible (Aug. 23, 2011)
- Get disaster help from the IRS; Before storms strike, prepare! (June 1, 2011)
- Tax relief for disaster victims (May 12, 2008)
Looking for more or other disaster info? Check out the the separate Storm Warning pages pages on preparing for a disaster, how to donate to groups that help disaster survivors, general storm stories and information and additional disaster resources.