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Reconstructing Financial Records After a Disaster

Natural disasters can strike without warning, and sometimes even the most diligent taxpayers are left without the important personal and financial records they need. People may need documentation for tax purposes, federal or state assistance programs or insurance claims.

Here are some steps that can help you reconstruct your important records if you’re confronted with a disaster.

Tax records

  • You can get free federal tax return transcripts immediately using Get Transcript on IRS.gov.
  • You can also order transcripts by calling 800-908-9946 and following the prompts.
  • Keep our office information in a safe place so that we can help you reconstruct tax records, if needed.

Financial statements

Financial statements from credit card companies or banks are usually available online. You can also contact your bank to get paper copies of statements.

Property records

  • If you are a homeowner, you may be able to contact the title company, escrow company or bank that handled the purchase of your home to get documents related to the purchase.
  • Many property records are available online from tax assessors or other government agencies. Check local government websites for information.
  • If you made home improvements, you can get in touch with the contractors who did the work and ask for statements to verify the work and cost. You can also get written descriptions 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.
  • Insurance companies often keep records related to property maintained in a home, so keep your property insurance contacts handy.
  • If you own a car, you can research the current fair-market value of most vehicles via resources available online and at most libraries. These include Kelley’s Blue Book, the National Automobile Dealers Association and Edmunds.

This article carries no official authority, and its contents should not be acted upon without professional advice. For more information about this topic, please contact our office.