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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 the time. (Image via Wikipedia; click here to see radar loop) Tax season 2023 starts today, but some more filers won't have to worry about meeting the April Tax Day deadline because Mother Nature continues to wreak havoc across the United States. Her Mommy Dearest outbursts earlier this month resulted in major natural disaster declarations in Alabama and Georgia. That, in... Read more →


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 plenty of extremes. That includes weather. Over the last few days, the Golden State has gone from devastating drought to equally devasting flooding. This week began with around 90 percent of California's population under a flood watch. Today, the Internal Revenue Service announced that it is giving taxpayers who are dealing with the disastrous conditions in 31... 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 →


A heat pump's outdoor unit is pulling what warmth it can out of the air in freezing conditions. (Photo by Peter Eastern via Wikipedia Commons) North winds are gusting up to 30 mph right now here in suburban Austin, Texas. By sunset, we'll be at freezing, with temperatures in the area tonight expected to drop to between 10 and 15 degrees. Despite my alternately freaking out thanks to memories of 2021's snow, ice, and prolonged freezing temperatures that led to extended electric and water utility outages across most of Texas, ranting, and stuffing old hand towels into every new window... 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 →


Hurricane Ian nearing South Carolina landfall. (NOAA GOES image) As expected, the Internal Revenue Service has provided tax relief, including a new filing deadline, for residents of North and South Carolina following Hurricane Ian. After pummeling Florida, the deadly hurricane entered the Atlantic Ocean and then turned toward the East Coast. Ian made a second U.S. landfall on Sept. 30 as a Category 1 hurricane near Georgetown, South Carolina, then moved inland as a weaker, but still dangerous storm. Residents anywhere in either of the Carolinas, both of which sustained deleterious Ian effects, now have until Feb. 15, 2023, to... Read more →


Updated Oct. 6, 2023, to reflect added Hurricane Ian tax relief and new filing deadline. Before you and your family celebrate Halloween, check out these October tax moves. Your calendar isn't wrong. We're already into the first week of October, the beginning of the fourth quarter of the year. Once you get through repeating (like me) "Already?", it's time for the annual fall push. Between picking out your Halloween outfit and locating a secure hiding place for the holiday treats that your family can't find, it's time to make some tax moves. Here are four tax tasks that you need... Read more →


UPDATE, Oct. 6, 2022: North and South Carolina, which were hit when Ian made a second U.S. landfall after devastating southwest Florida, now also get until Feb. 15, 2023, to meet various tax deadlines. More in my Carolinas/Ian follow-up post. This image from the NASA/Landsat Operational Land Imager (OLI) was taken about three hours before Hurricane Ian made landfall on Sept. 28 in Cayo Costa, Florida. (NASA Earth Observatory image by Joshua Stevens, using Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey, GEOS-5 data from the Global Modeling and Assimilation Office at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, and roads from OpenStreetMap.... Read more →


This National Hurricane Center graphic shows how the strength and extent of Hurricane Ian's winds changed over its development. The orange segments are tropical storm force. The red swaths are hurricane force. For those of us who've visited Florida's Gulf Coast, the images of how Hurricane Ian destroyed a huge swath of it are gutting. My heart is breaking for Sanibel Island. I cannot image how the people who live there are feeling or coping. Landfall didn't stop this deadly monster. As Ian moved across the Sunshine State, it left in its wake similar, albeit less severe, damages. Now South... Read more →


Watch out! Hurricane shark! Photos like this show up every time sea water rushes into streets. @Gutfeldfox somehow a shark ended up in a Fort Myers neighborhood during Hurricane Ian.. 😬 pic.twitter.com/l3WbzgNQHj — Brad Habuda (@BradHabuda) September 28, 2022 And here's the YouTube version. At least Hurricane Ian prompted a new fake shark image. I was getting tired of the Great White alongside an auto. UPDATE, Sept. 28, 2022, 7 p.m. CT: The fish apparently is real, with some marine experts saying it could be a juvenile shark. What isn't up for debate, though, is the post-storm scams. They are... Read more →


Satellite image of Hurricane Fiona's landfall on the southwestern corner of Puerto Rico at 3:35 p.m. Atlantic Standard Time on Sunday, Sept. 18. (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration photo) Fiona, the first major hurricane of the 2022 tropical season, not only wiped out power to most of Puerto Rico, it also was responsible for four deaths on the island. Hurricane Fiona made landfall at the southwestern edge of Puerto Rico the afternoon of Sunday, Sept. 18, but was big and strong enough to wreak havoc across the entire U.S. island territory. The strike came almost exactly five years after Hurricane... Read more →


U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Vicksburg District engineers at the O.B. Curtis Water Treatment Plant in Jackson, Mississippi, after flooding led to a water crisis in the state's capital city. The pumping system is getting back online. In the meantime, a couple of Uncle Sam's agencies are offering residents relief. (USACE photo by Sabrina Dalton via Wikipedia Commons) Thursday, Sept. 15, is the deadline for most taxpayers who must make third quarter estimated tax payments. Some Mississippi filer, however, get until next February. But the reason for the extension is not one they, or anyone, would want. Heavy rains... Read more →


UPDATED, Friday, Dec. 16, 2022: The Internal Revenue Service today announced that Hurricane Nicole victims in Florida now have until March 15, 2023, to file various individual and business tax returns. The new mid-March 2023 deadline applies to individuals' quarterly estimated tax payments, normally due on Jan. 17, 2023, and to the quarterly business payroll and excise tax returns, normally due on Jan. 31, 2023. The IRS announcement lists the affected counties (more were added Dec. 23, 2022), as well as links to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) information on disaster relief for those who sustained damage from Nicole. UPDATED,... Read more →


St Louis, Missouri, residents are rescued from flood waters that swamped the city after record rainfall in late July. (Photo: West County EMS and Fire) Severe storms brought flooding rains to parts of eastern Missouri before moving into Kentucky. But Bluegrass State residents got Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Internal Revenue Service attention first, with that relief granted last week. But now, some Show Me State storm victims also are getting federal assistance, including some easing of certain tax filing and payment deadlines. The IRS today (Aug. 10) announced that Missouri individuals and businesses in the City of St.... Read more →


A Kentucky National Guardsman views flood damage in the southeastern part of the state on July 29 from a Blackhawk helicopter as the Bluegrass State unit flies in to provide help. (U.S. Army National Guard Photo by Sgt. Jesse Elbouab via Flickr) Historic flooding ravaged southeastern Kentucky last week, destroying homes and killing at least 37 people. Tens of thousands who were spared the worst of the overwhelming water damage are coping with power losses. Now some of those folks are getting from help from the federal government. President Joe Biden declared the most severely hit parts of the Bluegrass... Read more →


Updated, Thursday, July 28, 2022 Photo of Midwest flooding by Don Becker, USGS via Wikimedia Commons St. Louis, Missouri, area residents are just starting to recover from this week's record setting rainfall and deadly flash flooding. Southeastern Kentucky now, July 28, is being inundated, with at least three dead and from floods that reached in some places to homes' rooftops. Parts of both states are likely to be declared a major disaster areas by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). When those proclamations are issued, flood victims will be eligible to receive some federal help in their recovery efforts. The Internal... Read more →


The state of Texas, which I celebrate personally in my house with many Lone Star-themed furnishings, shows a lot of love for businesses, but not so much for its residents, according to a recent CNBC analysis. (Photo by Kay Bell) The Lone Star State has a storied literary tradition, but it's a 19th century English writer's description that apparently now applies to Texas. It's the best of times for Texas businesses, but the worst of times for the state's residents, according to a Charles Dickens' echoing report by CNBC. The cable business news network scored all 50 states on 88... Read more →


Photo by Amol Mande We're into the second month of the annual Atlantic/Gulf of Mexico hurricane season, but it's other disaster outbursts that have prompted action by Uncle Sam. In early May, parts of Oklahoma were hit by severe storms, tornadoes and flooding. A month later, Montanan faced severe storms and flooding. After Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) review, the White House issued major disaster area declarations in both states. Now the Internal Revenue Service, as is usually the case, is providing affected taxpayers some relief. Sept. 1 deadline for Oklahomans: Individual and business taxpayers in Oklahoma who were hit... Read more →


National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) satellite image of Hurricane Irma on Sept. 4, 2017 South Florida has been getting soaked from the first tropical system of the 2022. But it's nameless. As soon as Agatha, the first Pacific hurricane of the year, developed, then struck Mexico, and continued northeast across that country, U.S. residents wondered whether its remnants would reform as the first named Atlantic hurricane of 2022. That didn't happen. But hurricane watchers now say they expect the weather mass to organize and pass near Bermuda as Tropical Storm Alex on Monday, June 6. UPDATE, Sunday, June 5:... Read more →


Photo by Jill Wellington Summer doesn't officially start until the solstice a bit later this month, but that doesn't stop us from celebrating the unofficial arrival of lazy, hazy days today, June 1. But before heading out to the beach, a cool mountain retreat, your favorite amusement park, or distant family members you haven't seen in ages, it's tax time. Yes, Tax Day was six weeks ago for most of us. But even if you got an extension to file your 2021 return, there still are some tax moves you should make or at least consider this month. I know... Read more →