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  • September 14, 2017 8:41 AM | Mo N. ElDeiry, Esquire (Administrator)

    On 09/12/17 - IRS issued this statement:


    Hurricane Irma victims in parts of Florida and elsewhere have until Jan. 31, 2018, to file certain individual and business tax returns and make certain tax payments." 


    Individuals who reside or have a business in Broward, Charlotte, Clay, Collier, Duval, Flagler, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Palm Beach, Pinellas, Putnam, Sarasota and St. Johns are covered by this announcement.  


    Affected taxpayers include anyone reliant on K-1s and other information from entities impacted by the storm. 

     

    Find further details on the 


    IRS site


    https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-gives-tax-relief-to-victims-of-hurricane-irma-like-harvey-extension-filers-have-until-jan-31-to-file-additional-relief-planned.


  • September 07, 2017 12:23 PM | Magda Abdo Gomez

    TAX TIPS FOR HURRICANE SEASON

         Disaster can strike anywhere, any time. For those of us living in South Florida June first signals the start of hurricane season. While we generally focus on readying our home and keeping our loved ones safe, we must also take steps before and after a disaster to prepare for its impact on our taxes.


    BEFORE A DISASTER

          If you have important personal or business documents in paper format, these should be scanned and stored electronically. Make sure that electronic documents are backed up.


        In the event you are ever audited, loss of records due to a disaster is not a winning defense. At most the IRS will provide you additional time to obtain the documents. Failure to provide substantiation for an item on a return will result in disallowance.


    Photograph your home and business before and after the disaster. An actual inventory of the contents of your home and business is also helpful. This will make it easier to make claims against your insurance company for any loss due to a natural disaster. It may also be useful for claiming a casualty loss deduction on your return, if applicable.


    AFTER A DISASTER

    Tax filing and payment deadlines do not change as a result of a natural disaster. If the area is federally declared as a disaster area the IRS will issue a notice setting forth the applicable postponement period, which can be up to one year. This does not constitute an extension of the deadline; it allows the IRS to disregard the time period for filing and paying during the postponement period.


    The IRS notice will specify which states and counties can take advantage of the postponement period. A taxpayer does not have to reside/operate in the disaster area to be considered a taxpayer “affected” by the disaster. A taxpayer is affected by the disaster if records needed to comply with filing and payment deadlines are located in a declared disaster area.


    It is important to know that the postponement relief does not apply to all tax filings and deadlines. For employers, the postponement does not apply to the duty to deposit employment taxes, and to issue W-2s and 1099s. Additionally, the postponement does not apply to interest accruing on tax balances which were outstanding prior to the disaster.


    In the event a taxpayer incurs a casualty loss as a result of the disaster, it may be possible to elect to deduct the loss in the year prior to the disaster by filing an amended return. This would provide a taxpayer with a refund of taxes previously paid at a time when cash may be in short supply as a result of the disaster.

     

    The 2017 hurricane season is forecast to be a busy one. Let’s hope that these predictions are wrong. Just in case, prepare your financial documents so you are ready for any storm. Don’t forget that I am here to provide tax assistance no matter the weather!


  • September 07, 2017 9:26 AM | Erwin Acle

    Hello everyone,


    We hope that you and your family are safe and prepared as Hurricane Irma rapidly approaches. As you may be aware, our firm has extensive experience assisting clients with property damage insurance claims (homes, condominiums, commercial buildings, etc.), so we wanted to share some helpful advice with you that could help when dealing with your insurance company after the storm. We also suggest that you share this post with your friends and family as they may find this information helpful.


    Before the storm:


    • Take pictures of your home both before and after you have done your storm preparations. This includes the interior, exterior, roof, and contents (including model #'s and receipts you may still have). One thing we learned from handling Hurricane Wilma and various other windstorm claims is that windows and doors might not show significant damage at first, but still allow small amounts water to enter into the home. Please make sure to take extra pictures of these openings as you may be required to install hurricane impact windows and doors if old windows are damaged. Insurance companies will often claim damages were preexisting and use this as a basis to deny or underpay a claim. By having pictures of your home you have created a record of the condition your home.


    • Please make sure to put up all wind protection devices for your home (shutters, panels, etc.). These devices do more than just minimize the damage your home may suffer, they have likely also resulted in you receiving a discount from your insurance company. In exchange for this discount you are likely required to put them on your home or you may have your hurricane claim denied.


    • Have all of your insurance documents ready for after the storm. Specifically, you should have the current insurance policy in a safe place. You should also save the information on your phone in case something happens to the paper copies. If you do not have a copy of your insurance policy then contact your insurance agent as soon as possible to obtain a copy of the policy or its declarations pages. If your agent is unable to provide this then ask him to provide the name of your insurance company and the phone number needed to report the claim.


    After the storm:


    • Report the claim as soon as possible. This will do more than help you get paid quicker for your claim. Insurance companies will often allege that their customers have delayed in reporting their claim and use this as a basis to deny it. We even have a case where the insurance company is claiming that a loss reported three (3) days after the loss occurred was late reporting. It is important that you report damage even if you, or your agent, do not feel that there is enough damage to meet your hurricane deductible. One of the biggest mistakes we saw after Hurricane Wilma was that people did not report a claim for this reason and then had a difficult time with the insurance company because the hidden damages they reported later were worse than they originally saw or believed.


    • You should also take steps to protect the property from further damage. Your policy will require that you do this to minimize the amount of repairs necessary for your home. This will include things like placing a tarp on the roof, covering any damaged windows and doors, drying any water within the home (including in the walls or ceiling), etc. We are familiar with many companies that provide these services and will happily provide you with their information if you need it.


    • One of the biggest mistakes we see in these insurance claims is the failure to comply with the insurance policy’s post-loss obligations. Failure to comply with these obligations could result in the denial of an insurance claim. These obligations include, but are not limited to, reporting the loss as soon as possible, providing a recorded statement, protecting the property from further damage, providing documents requested by the insurance company, keeping all receipts for expenses associated with the damage or alternative living arrangements if all or part the home was unlivable, providing a sworn statement in proof of loss, and submitting to an Examination Under Oath.


    As you can see, there are many things you need to be aware of when reporting and handling insurance claims.  Please note that the above information is general in nature and your individual circumstances may require more attention.  Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions you may have or if you or someone you know needs assistance with a claim after the storm.


    Best regards,



    Erwin Acle

    Managing Partner

    Law Firm of Erwin A. Acle, PLLC

    8603 South Dixie Highway

    Suite 409

    Miami, Florida 33143

    Telephone: (786) 508-2258

    Facsimile: (305) 503-9371

    erwinacle@eaalegal.com


  • September 07, 2017 9:04 AM | Mo N. ElDeiry, Esquire (Administrator)

    Greetings everyone.


    [FLN - Members] have been sending in lots of great information in preparation for the perils of IRMA, so members can use the [FLN - Blog] section to post and provide relevant information.


    Only [FLN - Members] are able to post, so you must be logged into your account for you to post.


    Stay safe and secure....





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