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11.09.17

Reconstructing tax and property records after a disaster

Are you among the millions of people dealing with the aftermath of a natural disaster? Were your tax and financial records destroyed or lost? Taxpayers who are victims of a disaster may need to replace their records to prove their loss for insurance reimbursement, getting federal assistance and for tax purposes.

Tips on how to reconstruct your records after a disaster.

Tax Records:

• Use the Get Transcript tool on IRS.gov to obtain free tax return transcripts or call 800-908-9946 to order transcripts over the phone.

• File Form 4506, Request for Copy of Tax Return, to request copies of previous federal income tax returns. File Form 4506-T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return, to obtain copies of previous transcripts. Be sure to write the appropriate disaster designation in red letters across the top of the forms to speed up processing and to waive any fees.

Property Records:

• Take videos and/or photographs as soon as possible to determine the amount of your damage

• Contact your bank, mortgage broker or title company that processed the purchase or refinance of your home to obtain copies of closing statements or appraisals, which will help determine the fair market value of your home

• Obtain copies of your current property tax statement from your county assessor’s office, which will show land versus building ratios

• Contact your insurance company to obtain a copy of your homeowners policy. Your policy will provide you with replacement values set for your dwelling (home), other structures (sheds, garages and fences on your property), personal property (furniture, clothing, sporting goods and electronics) and loss of use coverage (temporary living expenses while your home is being restored)

• If you’ve made home improvements, contact the contractors to obtain invoices and work orders to verify the cost and work completed

• You can use past photographs or videos to show what your property looked like before the disaster to help support your loss of value

Contact your tax advisor with any further questions.