Be Prepared – All Taxpayers Should Plan Ahead For Natural Disasters.
Floods, wildfires, hurricanes, tornados and other natural disasters happen quickly and often with little warning. No one can prevent these disasters from happening, but people can prepare for them.
IRS Tax Relief Details
The IRS usually announces tax relief to any area designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), as qualifying for individual assistance. The current list of eligible localities is always available on the disaster relief page on IRS.gov.
In each declaration the IRS will postpone certain deadlines for taxpayers who reside or have a business in the disaster area. As a result, affected individuals and businesses will have additional time to file returns and pay any taxes that were originally due during a disaster period. This relief typically extends also to businesses and includes payroll tax deposits.
Always check the declaration for areas covered, taxes covered and the extended date.
Tax-related Events That Often Happen After A Disaster:
The IRS gives taxpayers more time to file and pay. Taxpayers whose address of record is in an area qualifying for IRS disaster tax relief will automatically receive extra time from the IRS to file returns and pay taxes. The IRS’s disaster assistance page provides disaster updates and links to resources. Information is usually available on the IRS Twitter account as well. Taxpayers can also call the agency’s disaster line at 866-532-5227 with questions.
Taxpayers can qualify for a casualty loss tax deduction. People who have damaged or lost property due to a federally declared disaster may qualify to claim a casualty loss deduction. They can claim this on their current or prior-year tax return. This may result in a larger refund.
Taxpayers can apply for a disaster loan or grant. The Small Business Administration offers financial help to business owners, homeowners, and renters. This help is for those in a federally declared disaster area. To qualify, a taxpayer must have filed all required tax returns.
Taxpayers who relocate need to submit a change of address. After a disaster, people might need to temporarily relocate. Those who move should notify the IRS of their new address by submitting Form 8822, Change of Address.
Importance To Preserve Records
Keep in mind that the IRS has up to three years to select a tax return for audit. The FTB has up to four years to select a tax return for audit. In some cases this period is extended to six years. When a taxpayer is selected for audit, the taxpayer has the burden of proof to show that expenses claimed are properly deductible. Having the evidence handy and organized makes meeting this burden of proof much easier.
Essential Records to Have for a Tax Audit
If you are getting ready for a tax audit, one of the most important things to do is gather and organize your tax records and receipts. There’s a good chance that you have a large amount of documents and receipts in your possession. No matter how organized you are, it can be a daunting task to collect the right pieces and make sure that you have them organized and handy for the audit conference.
We have seen many tax audits that hinge on whether or not the taxpayer can provide proper documentation for their previous tax filings. A tax lawyer in Orange County or elsewhere can make sure that the documentation is complete and proper. By submitting this to your tax attorney in advance of the audit, your tax attorney can review your documentation and determine if there are any gaps that need to be addressed before starting the dialogue with the IRS agent.
So what are the most essential tax records to have ahead of your audit? Here are a few must-have items:
- Any W-2 forms from the previous year. This can include documents from full-time and part-time work, large casino and lottery winnings and more.
- Form 1098 records from your bank or lender on mortgage interest paid from the previous year.
- Records of any miscellaneous money you earned and reported to the IRS including work done as an independent contractor or freelancer, interest from savings accounts and stock dividends.
- Written letters from charities confirming your monetary donations from the previous year.
- Receipts for business expenses you claimed.
- Mileage Logs for business use of vehicle.
- Entertainment and Travel Logs for business
Develop And Implement Your Backup Plan
Do not wait for the next disaster to come for then it may be too late to retrieve your important records for a tax audit or for that matter any legal or business matter. And if you do get selected for audit and do not have all the records to support what was claimed on your tax returns, you should contact an experienced tax attorney who can argue the application of your facts and circumstances to pursue the least possible changes in an audit.
The tax attorneys at the Law Offices Of Jeffrey B. Kahn, P.C. located in Orange County (Irvine), Los Angeles Metropolitan Area (including Long Beach and Ontario) and elsewhere in California are highly skilled in handling tax matters and can effectively represent at all levels with the IRS and State Tax Agencies including criminal tax investigations and attempted prosecutions, undisclosed foreign bank accounts and other foreign assets, and unreported foreign income. And if you are involved in cannabis, check out what our cannabis tax attorneys can do for you. And if you are involved in crypto currency, check out what a bitcoin tax attorney can do for you.