Disaster Feed

UPDATED, Monday, April. 10, 2023: This year has gotten off to a terrible start as far as major natural disasters. Residents of several states have been impacted, with the Internal Revenue Service offering tax relief, including extended filing and payment deadlines. If you're ever in a disaster area, be sure to take full advantage of tax and other federal government relief offered. Here are some of Uncle Sam's resources beyond the IRS that can help you get your life back on track. The U.S. and British Virgin Islands took a whacking today from Hurricane Dorian, which struck the Caribbean islands... Read more →


Update, Sept. 6, 2023: As expected, South Carolina taxpayers get essentially the same tax relief, since Idalia marched through the Palmetto State as a tropical storm after she hit Florida. Update, Sept. 13, 2023: Finally! Even though Idalia moved through southeastern Georgia before hitting South Carolina, it took a little longer for the IRS to grant tax relief to affected Georgians. The agency made it official today, giving the same basic tax relief to individuals and businesses in 28 of the Peach State's counties. Storm surge along Bayshore Boulevard and the Tampa Convention Center on Aug. 30, 2023, morning as... Read more →


Click image for animated loop view. Hurricane Season 2023 finally is looking normal. After an historic detour to California for Hurricane Hilary, weather watchers and east coast residents are settling in for the start of the usual, busiest part of the annual tropical system season. This week we have Tropical Storm Idalia whirling in the western Caribbean Sea, soon to head to the upper west coast of Florida. By the time it makes landfall on Sunshine State shores on Wednesday, forecasters say she could be a major hurricane. Of course, Floridians would just as soon have an abnormal hurricane season.... Read more →


Hawai'i Air National Guard loadmasters and maintenance specialists deliver supplies at Kahului Airport, Maui, to help with the recovery from the fires that devastated the island. The Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Internal Revenue Service also are offering affected residents and businesses relief. (Photo by U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. John Linzmeier via Wikimedia Commons) The Internal Revenue Service has made it official. Hawaii wildfire victims in Maui and Hawaii counties have been granted tax relief, including a Feb. 15, 2024, deadline to file various federal individual and business tax returns and make tax payments. The... Read more →


NOAA NHC CPHC It's that time of the blog year when I become an ersatz meteorologist. A hurricane is heading toward the United States. This time, though, it's Hurricane Hilary's path to and across Southern California and into Nevada. A hurricane is never good news. That's particularly true in the Golden State, where most of the residents are still dealing with winter storm flooding. Now they are awaiting Hilary, forecast by weather officials to be the wettest tropical cyclone in state history. The storm also has prompted the first-ever Tropical Storm Watch issued for California. As California mobilizes to meet... Read more →


County of Maui photo via Facebook Late summer is wildfire season across much of the United States, and this particularly hot 2023 season has helped feed ferocious fires. Our 50th state has been hit the hardest. A series of wildfires erupted on several of the Aloha State's islands in early August, fed by strong winds from Hurricane Dora as it passed south of Hawai'i. The worst fires were on Maui, where starting Aug. 8 they burned out of control. By the time the flames were out, they left tragic evidence. The Maui fire is the deadliest in the United States... Read more →


Residents of four states this spring found themselves dealing with the aftermath of tornadoes that ravaged their neighborhoods. They were given more time to meet various tax deadlines. Their new Tax Day, July 31, is almost here. (Photo by Chandler Cruttenden on Unsplash) Attention residents of areas of Arkansas, Indiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee that were declared major disaster areas this spring. Your deadline for filing your 2022 tax return, and completing other tax tasks, is Monday, July 31. All of the affected taxpayers in those states were in places hard hit by Mother Nature in late March and early April... Read more →


A Vermont waterway in a more bucolic time. (Photo by Brian Urso on Unsplash) Vermont was inundated earlier this week by what many are saying is the worst flooding since Tropical Storm Irene devastated the area 12 years ago. That's still to be determined, as state and federal officials continue to literally dig out of the waters' aftermath, as shown in the tweet below. Finally got to return to the house and get my stuff — here’s the aftermath of yesterday’s mudslide and flood in Ludlow, Vermont. Grateful I got out when I did! Don’t think I’ll be moving that... Read more →


Hello, July! Yeah, I know my welcome to the first full month of summer is a bit late. But admit it. You don't really focus on the month either until after you wrap up July 4th celebrations. Since Independence Day this year fell on Tuesday, that meant an extra-long holiday weekend for lots of us. But the fireworks are over and, sadly, we'll never be independent of taxes. So it's back to work this first week of July, and back to making tax moves that can at least keep a few more dollars out of Uncle Sam's clutches. Here are... Read more →


The Internal Revenue Service incorrectly sent tax payment due notices earlier this year to taxpayers whose filing deadline hadn't yet arrived. Now the IRS is contacting these folks again, but with less alarming news. The first errant CP14, Balance Due $5 or More, No Math Error, went in May and June to residents of areas that had been declared major disaster areas. But because of that official federal designation, the IRS granted them a variety of tax relief, including new tax filing and payment dates. This second IRS mailing reassures these disaster area filers in eight states that they do... Read more →


Automation often makes life easier, until it doesn't. Some very surprised California taxpayers learned that lesson this week. So did the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS' automated notice issuance system sent most California taxpayers letters saying that they had missed their filing deadline and owed the U.S. Treasury. The IRS was wrong. The agency's mistake understandably freaked out Golden State residents whom the IRS previously granted a new Oct. 16 due date. The extra time was allotted so the taxpayers could deal with problems caused by widespread natural disaster across the state earlier this year. The IRS issued a mea... Read more →


Three years ago, the COVID-19 pandemic shut down summer. It wasn't just recreational activities that took a hit. Lots of people lost income, even their entire jobs, as businesses closed to help slow the coronavirus spread. Several laws were enacted to help companies and individuals deal with the financial problems created by COVID and our response to it. One of the early ones was the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, a $2 trillion relief package that took effect on March 27, 2020. Now, many people are facing a deadline in connection with one of the CARES Act's... Read more →


Welcome to the first full week of June. Have you finished making your vacation plans? I hope you left some time to also deal with summer tax tasks. That's right, taxes don't go on holiday. And while they aren't fun, there are some tax moves you need to make, or at least consider, this June. Since we're already on fifth day of the month, let's get right to them, focusing on some other relevant numbers. Don't miss Tax Day take two. June 15 is Tax Day for U.S. taxpayers who live and work outside the United States and Puerto Rico.... Read more →


Click on image for animation. Tropical Storm Arlene marked the official opening on Thursday, June 1, of the 2023 hurricane season. The good news is that she's now fizzled, as the above animated satellite image from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Hurricane Center, or NOAA NHC for all my fellow government acronym fans. Better news is that the NHC says it doesn't expect any tropical cyclone activity for the next 48 hours. The lull could be longer; that's just the time range that Uncle Sam's forecasters are using. A slow hurricane season start is not unusual. The Weather... Read more →


UPDATED, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2023: The United States tends to be the target of tropical systems that form in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico. But this week, California is in the path of Pacific-spawned Hurricane Hilary. And depending on Hilary's precise path, she could substantially impact Arizona, and even Nevada. Now is the time for West Coast residents and their inland neighbors to get ready. The Weather Channel meteorologist Ari Sarsalari says we don't need to worry too much about the low-pressure system that's formed in the Gulf of Mexico. You can watch his full forecast by clicking the... Read more →


The upcoming Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer. It's also the start of a couple of sales tax holidays in Texas and Florida. Texas energy & water tax savings: Let's start here in Texas. Beginning Saturday, May 27, and running through Monday, May 29, Lone Star State shoppers won't have to pay state and local sales taxes that usually apply to purchases of energy- and water-saving products. The tax-free qualifying appliance purchases and related items include — Energy Star-qualified air conditioners priced at $6,000 or less; refrigerators priced at $2,000 or less; ceiling fans; incandescent and fluorescent... Read more →


Coastal flooding in a Florida community. (Photo by Barry Bahler via Wikipedia Commons) They may be more than 3,100 miles apart, but residents of counties in California and Florida now have a couple of things in common. They recently were pummeled by major disasters. They now have an Aug. 15 deadline to meet certain federal tax responsibilities. Florida flooding: The Internal Revenue Service is offering relief to those who live or have businesses in the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) disaster designation are of South Florida that endured tornadoes, severe storms, and flooding from April 12 to April 14. The... Read more →


Homemade Gifts Made Easy May. A short word with many meanings. It's the name of the fifth month of the year. Here in the Norther Hemisphere, it's when springtime comes in fully. That's fitting, since its name comes from Maia, the Greek goddess of spring and growth. The Oxford English Dictionary also says the word is a verb that expresses possibility, as in "that may be true," or permission, as in "may I ask a few questions?" When it comes to taxes, I like to combine the meanings. May is a time of growth and renewal and the possibility of... Read more →


A Cole, Oklahoma, home destroyed by the EF3 tornado that went through McClain County on April 19, 2023. The National Weather Service estimated winds at 152 miles per hour. (Photo by U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration via Wikipedia Commons) The Oklahoma City area seems to be a tornado magnet. I'm aware of this unwanted meteorological frequency not just because of my weather fixation and its tax connection, but also because my brother lived in OKC back in 1999 when an EF5 twister destroyed much of the state capital's southern suburbs. Back then, my parents were in Western Oklahoma, which... Read more →


Whatever your reason for moving, be it a temporary disaster displacement or settling into your forever dream home, you need to let the Internal Revenue Service know where you are. (Photo by HiveBoxx on Unsplash) A couple of houses on our block are for sale. We've been watching the painters and window washers and steam cleaners and landscapers come and go. And that's just part of the sale process. Once the deeds are transferred, my former neighbors get to alert everyone of their new addresses. That includes family, friends, creditors (if they're not family or friends), subscription services, financial account... Read more →


Photo by Lachlan Ross Procrastinating taxpayers are rushing to file their returns this Tax Day 2023. Some, however, have extra time. Unfortunately for them, the reason for the delayed filing deadline is not one any of us want. They live or have businesses in areas that were declared major disaster areas. Indiana residents are the latest to join this later Tax Day club. Today, the Internal Revenue Service announced that Hoosier storm victims now have until July 31 to file various federal individual and business tax returns and make tax payments. Yeah, I know getting the word out that Tax... Read more →