How People Can Reconstruct Records lost in a Natural Disaster

From Virginia: For those who filed an extension - the deadline to guarantee that the returns will be done before the 15th is Monday, October 5th. If it is in by then, we will guarantee they will be done on time. If received after the 5th, then we will do our best but can not guarantee they will be completed by the 15th.

Reconstructing records after a disaster is important for several reasons including insurance reimbursement and taxes. Most importantly, records can help people prove their disaster-related losses. More accurately estimated losses can help people get more recovery assistance like loans or grants.


Whether it’s personal or business property that has been lost or destroyed, here are some steps that can help people reconstruct important records. 


Tax records


Get free tax return transcripts immediately using the Get Transcript on IRS.gov or through the IRS2Go app.


Order transcripts by calling 800-908-9946 and following the prompts. 
Financial statements


People can gather past statements from their credit card company or bank. These records may be available online. People can also contact their bank to get paper copies of these statements.


Property records


To get documents related to property, homeowners can contact the title company, escrow company or bank that handled the purchase of their home or other property.


Taxpayers who made home improvements can get in touch with the contractors who did the work and ask for statements to verify the work and cost. They can also get written descriptions from friends and relatives who saw the house before and after any improvements.
For inherited property, taxpayers can check court records for probate values. If a trust or estate existed, taxpayers can contact the attorney who handled the trust.


When no other records are available, people should check the county assessor's office for old records that might address the value of the property.


Car owners can research the current fair-market value for most vehicles. Resources are available online and at most libraries. These include Kelley's Blue Book, the National Automobile Dealers Association and Edmunds.

More Information:
Publication 547, Casualties, Disasters and Thefts 
Publication 584, Casualty, Disaster and Theft Loss Workbook 
Publication 584-B, Business Casualty, Disaster and Theft Loss Workbook 
Publication 976, Disaster Relief 
Small Business Administration
DisasterAssistance.gov


 

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