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Reconstructing Records after a Disaster

In the event of a disaster, you might need to reconstruct records to prove their loss. Doing this may be essential for tax purposes, getting federal assistance, or insurance reimbursement.

Here are 12 things you can do to help reconstruct your records after a disaster:

– You can get free tax return transcripts by using the Get Transcript tool on IRS.gov. You can also call 800-908-9946 to order them by phone.
– To establish the extent of the damage, you should take photographs or videos as soon after the disaster as possible.
– 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 are a homeowner, you should review your insurance policy as the policy usually lists the value of a building to establish a base figure for replacement.
– If you’ve made improvements to your home, you should contact the contractors who did the work to see if records are available. If possible, you should also 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 you determine the current fair-market value of most cars on the road. These resources are all available online and at most libraries: Kelley’s Blue Book, National Automobile Dealers Association, and Edmunds.
– You can look on your mobile phone for pictures that show the damaged property before the disaster.
– 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 contact your credit card company or bank for past statements.
– If you don’t have photographs or videos of your property, a simple method to help you remember what items you lost is to sketch pictures of each room that was impacted.

This message brought to you by: Cormier & Rea, Inc. Sturbridge MA. Providers of Income tax planning and preparation and financial planning. For more information about this or any other issues regarding income tax planning or preparation or financial planning, feel free to contact us. Like Cormier & Rea, Inc. on Facebook and follow @Taxman2436 on Twitter for timely updates.

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