After a disaster, you might need to reconstruct your tax records. In this way, you could prove your losses, which may be essential for tax purposes, getting federal assistance or insurance reimbursement.
Here are some tips that can help reconstruct or get copies of specific types of records after a disaster:
Tax Return Transcripts
Proof of loss
To establish the extent of the damage, you should take photographs or videos of affected property as soon as possible after the disaster.
If you don’t have photographs or videos of your property, a simple method to help remember what items were lost is to sketch pictures of each room that was affected.
You can support the valuation of property with photographs, videos, canceled checks, receipts, or other evidence.
If you bought items using a credit card or debit card, you should gather past statements from your credit card company or bank. Statements may be available online or you can contact your financial institution for copies.
Records about property
You can contact the title company, escrow company, or bank that handled the purchase of your home to get copies of appropriate documents.
If you made improvements to your home, you should contact the contractors who did the work to see if records are available. If possible, you should get statements from the contractors to verify the work and cost. You can also get written accounts from friends and relatives who saw the house before and after any improvements.
For inherited property, you can check court records for probate values. If a trust or estate existed, you can contact the attorney who handled the trust.
When no other records are available, you can check the county assessor’s office for old records that might address the value of the property.
There are several resources that can help someone determine the current fair-market value of most cars on the road. These resources are all available online and at most libraries. They include Kelley’s Blue Book, the National Automobile Dealers Association, and Edmunds.
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