Disaster recover

Hurricanes Harvey, Irma: Here’s how you can help survivors … and your clients

With one massive hurricane leaving unprecedented destruction in its wake in Texas and another threatening to do the same in Florida and Georgia, many Americans are asking, “How can I help?”

There are lots of great ideas.

  • Start with this list from NPR. It offers links to scores of organizations that need donations to serve survivors in numerous ways, from general and medical relief to shelter and food, from aid to seniors and people with disabilities to children and animals. Take your pick — they all need help.
  • Consumer Reports offers some great advice on how to pick a reputable charity to which to donate. Key quote: “The charities that most deserve your donations at this time are those that actually are in a position to help on the ground, says Bennett Weiner, chief operating officer of BBB Wise Giving Alliance.”

Meanwhile, the AICPA’s Tax Section has unlocked important disaster-related content at AICPA.org in an effort to help tax practitioners prepare their clients and communities for the aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

  • Casualty Loss Practice Guide: The guide is designed to assist practitioners in dealing with certain tax problems that arise when a client is affected by a natural disaster. The guide discusses rules for casualty losses and deductions for involuntary conversions and provides information on relevant IRS publications, as well as other useful material.
  • Disasters and Taxes: Understanding Tax Relief for Disaster Victims: This in-depth webcast features Jerry Schreiber, CPA, who discusses tax relief for individuals and businesses affected by a disaster.

And as you prepare for the next natural disaster, be sure to consult the American Red Cross’ “Disaster and Financial Planning: A Guide for Preparedness and Recovery.” It offers great tips for making a disaster plan; for protecting your property, health, life, loved ones and records; and for recovering from a disaster. Download the guide here.


Bill Sheridan