Tax Information for Disaster Survivors

After a disaster, we strongly suggest you get a basic understanding of the relevant income tax rules as part of your financial decision-making process on the road to recovery.

Regardless of whether you prepared your own taxes before your loss or used a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or Enrolled Agent (EA), now is the time to consult with an experienced professional. Casualty loss rules are a particularly complex part of the Internal Revenue Code, and it’s hard enough for the average person to understand them, let alone use take full advantage of them. We recommend contacting a CPA or EA that has worked with disaster survivors in the past. Discuss with them how they developed their skills in this area of the tax law. Or, if you have a tax professional you trust but this is their first time preparing a casualty loss return; ask him or her to consult with a colleague who has the necessary experience.

While there is no substitute for having an experienced professional evaluate your tax situation, here are our ten tips to consider as soon as possible after your loss and before making major decisions about rebuilding your home, replacing property and filing your tax return.

Tax Tips for Disaster Survivors

Post Disaster Income Tax Issues Video (April, 2014)

Tips and Information

IRS Forms and Publications


Links to Useful Websites

The information presented in this publication is for general informational purposes and is not a substitute for legal advice. If you have a specific legal issue or problem, United Policyholders recommends that you consult with an attorney. Guidance on hiring professional help can be found in the “Find Help” section of United Policyholders does not sell insurance or certify, endorse or warrant any of the insurance products, vendors, or professionals identified on our website.

Date: December 8, 2021