CPA Services for Those Affected by Disaster 

    Published October 18, 2006

    CPAs can provide a wide range of services to help people manage their finances during the traumatic aftermath of a disaster. A sampling of possible CPA services is listed below.

    Insurance Assistance:

    • How to file claims (documenting losses, developing inventories, reporting requirements, working with agents and adjustors, etc.)
    • Understanding policy provisions (deductibles, exclusions, co-pays, limits, etc.)
    • Creating an inventory of damaged or destroyed property
    • Understanding or evaluating property or life settlements
    • Assistance in filing appeals for denied claims
    • Managing insurance proceeds and expenses
    • Planning for uninsured and underinsured (where to get financial assistance)

    Tax Return Filings and Other Tax Issues:

    • How to file a casualty loss on an individual tax return
    • Documenting and reporting unreimbursed medical expenditures
    • Tax preparation services
    • Understanding the taxation of insurance proceeds and expense reimbursements.
    • Understanding the taxation of unemployment income due to job loss.
    • Recreating tax records lost in the fire.
    • Managing retirement plan distributions and loans (Understanding tax implications of tapping into retirement savings for cash needs or withdrawal/rollover options for a deceased individual)

    Debt Management and Expenses:

    • Cash flow planning
    • Managing debt and expense payments through insurance settlements
    • Prioritizing expenses and strategies to manage late or partial payments

    Financial Planning:

    • Assessing future insurance needs and alternatives
    • Education funding for retraining due to injury (client cannot continue in current job position) or death of working spouse
    • Planning financially for unexpected future disasters
    • Strategies to recover financially in the event a primary wage earner is deceased
    • Referring clients to estate attorneys for legal document drafting or amendments (updating wills, trusts, powers of attorney, etc.)

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