The IRS Has Tips for Disaster Victims
To help hurricane victims in Flordia, Texas, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands, the Internal Revenue Service this week issued twelve tips for reconstructing records that may have been lost in a natural disaster. These records are often necessary for insurance purposes and receiving federal assistance.
- Use Get Transcript on IRS.gov to access free tax return transcripts.
- Photograph or film property damage ASAP.
- Get copies of important financial documents by contacting the title company, escrow company, or bank.
- Read through their insurance policy to quickly find the value of their home.
- Get a statement from contractors who performed any home improvements. (They can also get written accounts from friends and family who saw their home before and after the improvements.)
- Check court records for the value of inherited property.
- Contact the court assessor’s office for older records that might include property value.
- Consult third-party valuation companies—Kelley Blue Book, NADA, and Edmunds—to determine the current fair-market value of damaged vehicles.
- Review old cell phone pictures that might include images of pre-damage property.
- Use any old pictures, videos, cancelled checks, receipts, or other recovered financial records to support the value of property.
- Contact the credit card company or bank for records related to credit and debit card purchases.
- Draw pictures of property, pre-damage, to help jog their memory.