February 05, 2019

Assisting Disaster Survivors

Resources for Assisting Disaster Survivors

The past few years has seen a number of natural disasters of significant magnitude, including hurricanes and wildfires. While tax issues may not be the first concern of survivors of disasters, eventually they may need to know the resources available to them in this area. The Tax Section, through the collective efforts of its diverse membership and its Committees on Pro Bono and Tax Clinics and Individual and Family Taxation, has the expertise to provide tax assistance to those most in need in the wake of such devastating circumstances. We aim to create resources that can be activated by tax attorneys throughout the country wanting to help when a disaster strikes. If you are interested in learning more and in getting involved in ABA efforts to assist disaster survivors, this page includes links to Tax Section and other ABA content as well as to IRS information about tax relief in disaster situations.

ABA Resources

Tax Section Publications

Andrew R. Roberson, Tax Impacts of Natural Disasters, 37 ABA Tax Times (November 2017).

Mandi L. Matlock, Mary Ann David, R. Paul Tuttle, & Andrew Van Singel, Assisting Victims of Disasters, in Effectively Representing Your Client Before the IRS, 7th Edition (2018).

Patrick E. Tolan, Jr., Time to Change the Casualty Loss Deduction, 36 ABA Tax Times (November 2016).

Joanna Sylwester, Characterizing Loss: Tax Consequences for Victims of the 2014 SR530 Landslide, 35 ABA Tax Times (June 2016).

Michael Hirschfeld, The Tax Section's Role in Assisting Those Affected by Disasters and Other Tragedies, 68 Tax Law. 433 (Spring 2015).

Tax Section Panel Presentations

"Tax Implications for California Wildfire Survivors"Materials from a CLE panel presented by the Committees on Pro Bono & Tax Clinics and Individual Family Taxation, February 10, 2018, Section of Taxation Midyear Meeting.

"Disaster Tax Issues"Audio and materials from a CLE panel presented by the Committees on Pro Bono & Tax Clinics and Individual Family Taxation, January 21, 2017, Section of Taxation Midyear Meeting.

"Planning for Disaster: Making Sure the Flood, Fire, Hurricane or Tornado Isn't a Disaster for Your Practice" Audio and materials from a CLE panel presented by the Tax Practice Management Committee, May 10, 2014, Section of Taxation May Meeting.

"Disaster Resiliency: How Tax Attorneys Can Assist When a Disaster Strikes" Audio and materials (and supplemental materials) from a CLE webinar presented for 2018 Celebrate Pro Bono Week, on October 25, 2018.

Other ABA Resources

ABA Young Lawyers Division Disaster Legal Services Program - Hurricane Harvey Relief

ABA Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section - Hurricane Harvey Relief


IRS Resources

Tax Relief in Disaster Situations

Announcement 2017-11: Relief for Victims of Hurricane Harvey