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Tax Relief Available for Victims of Natural Disasters

Given the disaster that has taken place on the Gulf Coast with Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath, I’ve put together a quick and dirty summary of some of the tax issues involved in casualty losses and federally declared disaster areas that may be of use for those of us who have clients that are located in the affected areas. Note that since this was put together rather quickly, you should confirm all of these details. I also added brief consideration of the issues to be considered with off-site backups due to the risk of a common disaster hitting both the original files and the backup—a situation that, unfortunately, has likely happened to some businesses in New Orleans.

A list of the federally declared disaster areas can be found at the FEMA website, so that you can determine the counties in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama that are subject to these rules.

In related matters, the AICPA has posted a set of resources for CPAs related to disaster recovery, as well as a link to the document Disaster Recovery: A Guide to Financial Issues that was written jointly by the National Endowment for Financial Education, the American Red Cross, and the AICPA, . As well, the AICPA has posted a page linking to various organizations to which contributions can be made to support relief efforts.

 
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