Disaster Losses and Gains for Businesses


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Disaster losses occur with frequency when a natural disaster occurs in the area which affects the possible gains in profits and revenue. The potential for profit in the year is subsequently damaged to the point that the Internal Revenue Service provides tax deductions to the company for the previous year with an amended return.

When a business is able to deduct disaster losses from current or past taxes, the owner may alleviate worry and current debt issues. While the amounts are similar to a ten percent adjusted gross income alteration for individuals that may accept disaster losses, the business may obtain a higher amount in deductions or altered numbers. Some losses may include a lack of income due to the disaster, destroyed property such as buildings and a loss of other assets that may involve flooded areas with products no longer usable. In these instances where the natural disaster has destroyed so much, there are agencies and organizations which provide relief from taxes and other assistance.

Claims of Disaster in a Previous Year

When the tax season is over, many may believe that there is no hope for changing the return after disaster strikes. However, it is possible to amend the return and ensure the tax return increases based on these catastrophic incidences. When the return changes, the company may receive the tax refund quickly based on various processes in effect to help. However, when an insurance settlement covers property or other assets in these disasters, it is possible that a tax return is then part of a gain instead of covering other losses. In these situations, the company must make a decision on how to proceed.

Disaster Gains Explained

When a company faces disaster, and may lose assets and property, there are various remedies to these situations. Some may acquire donations or payments for certain services, while others receive insurance settlements for policy coverage of the disaster. The addition of disaster relief through amended tax returns may provide a gain in monetary support. This is above what is necessary to recover from the catastrophic damage. However, the gains may alter to ensure that the company benefits while still taking advantage of the tax relief. The gain may also come from the insurance company above what is necessary for recovery. This is also a tax gain.

To mitigate the possible consequences that a gain may cause, the owner has the option to purchase additional property or assets to help the company. The cost must be at least as much as the gain, but it may include additional expenses. The purchased must occur and include possible use for the business within two years of the understood gain. Through adding assets or property in this manner, the company both recovers and is able to increase stock or other items. These situations are as beneficial as losses that provide tax relief. However, it is important to have a lawyer ensure the purchase and any other matters are valid and legal.

Special and other Deductions

During disasters, a business employee or owner may claim various miscellaneous items based on the specifics of the disaster relief or tax laws in effect. Organizations and agencies involved in these matters may explain how to proceed with a deduction. However, many companies must use a lawyer or other tax professional to ensure no violation occurs. By working closely with a professional, it is possible to itemize all deductions and acquire a large tax return to recover from the catastrophic event. Insurance settlements, grants, loans and other payments to the company may increase the chances of a full salvage of assets from the tragedy. Through applying a settlement and deducting the losses continuing business transactions may occur quicker than without utilizing these processes.

The Professional and Legal Services in Disaster Losses

Some experts such as an accountant or tax professional may supply the company with services that increase the capability of deducting various items. Others may increase chances of receiving additional aid when the assets or property are completely destroyed from the disaster. This may lead to the company hiring or using a tax lawyer to ensure no violations lead to severe consequences.

A lawyer may advise or prevent against invalid transactions. He or she may also explain what is necessary on forms and how to ensure all legitimate deductions occur based on the forms and sections. The legal representative may also provide contact information for the authorities and offices to help the company in these times of need.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

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