Hurricane Sandy Relief Resources & Links

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1 Hurricane Sandy Relief Resources & Links 1. Taxes a. Filing & Payment Deadlines i. Federal The Internal Revenue Service announced that any returns or payments due starting in late October and running through January 31, 2013 are extended until February 1, 2013 for taxpayers and tax preparers affected or otherwise impacted by Hurricane Sandy. This relief broadly applies to any return or payment that was or will be due subsequent to the applicable date in October (enumerated below) through January 31, It includes any type of tax return, for which the original or extended due date falls within this period regardless of the taxpayer s fiscal year end. Returns qualifying for relief include those for exempt organizations such as private foundations, trade associations, and publicly-supported charitable organizations. The relief also extends to but is not limited to individual and corporate estimated tax payments due through January 15, 2013 as well as payroll and excise returns through January 31, Relief is automatic and no other action is required by affected taxpayers. However, if a penalty or interest assessment notice is received, taxpayers or practitioners can call the phone number to request abatement due to reasonable cause on account of the storm. The relief is effective for taxpayers in the following counties: Connecticut (10/27/2012) Fairfield, Middlesex, New Haven, New London and the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan Tribal Nations. New Jersey (10/26/2012) Atlantic, Bergen, Cape May, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, Somerset & Union. New York (10/27/2012) Bronx, Kings, Nassau, New York, Queens, Richmond, Rockland, Suffolk & Westchester. The IRS also announced that Qualified Disaster Relief Payments made to individuals by their employers or others would be exempt from taxation. For more information, speak with your Anchin relationship partner or read more at: Victims html?ET=webcpa:e6275:207683a:&st= ii. New York State Guidance was announced as Governor Cuomo declared the entire State a Disaster Emergency. As such, various tax filings and corresponding payments that are due from October 26 November 14, 2012, have been extended until November 14, Interest will be charged on payments received after

2 November 14, This extension includes protective MCTMT refund claims due November 2, Taxpayers and employers directly affected by the storm and therefore eligible for filing/payment relief include: Victims of the storm who reside in or have a principal place of business in New York State, Relief workers assisting in the relief activities in designated counties. Taxpayers/Employers directly affected by the storm and therefore eligible for filing/payment/withholding relief includes: Any taxpayer/employer whose tax filing or payment records are not available due to the storm, Taxpayers/ Employers who cannot meet deadlines due to disruption in delivery services whether by carrier or electronic, or Taxpayers whose tax practitioners were unable to complete work to meet the deadlines on behalf of their clients due to the storms. Paper Filers should write Hurricane Sandy across the top of the applicable form and attach a brief explanation (other than for form NYS-1) as to the circumstances that adversely affected the ability to meet the deadline. For Web filers, instructions will be available on the NYS website at If a penalty notice is received, taxpayers or tax practitioners can call the phone number on the notice to request abatement of the penalty and any interest that was improperly assessed. iii. New York City Guidance has been issued indicating that no penalties will be imposed on returns or payments submitted by November 14, 2012 for any qualified taxpayers or return preparers affected by the storm that could not meet any filing or payment deadline between October 26th November, 14th Interest, however will be due from the original due date. Any form should be marked Hurricane Sandy at the top of the form and include a brief explanation of how the hurricane adversely affected their ability to meet the deadline. The provisions are similar to those contained within the NYS relief provisions. iv. Connecticut Guidance was announced, that for any filings or payments due this week, the deadline has been extended until November 7, Included in Connecticut s extension are payments on income tax withholdings and sales and use tax payments and filings. The state however, has announced that additional hardship waivers would be available on a case by case basis. v. New Jersey

3 Guidance was announced that for businesses which had any returns or payments due October 30 or 31, 2012 are extended until November 7, The relief applies to taxpayers affected or otherwise impacted by Hurricane Sandy. Governor Christie s executive extension covers taxpayers located in New Jersey, out-of-state businesses with operations in the state, or those whose tax records are located in New Jersey. If a penalty notice is received, taxpayers can call the phone number on the notice to request abatement by explaining the relevant circumstances. b. Other Tax Issues (including Disaster Area, Casualty Losses, Sales Tax Exemption for rebuilding materials) i. Federal Disaster Assistance and Emergency Relief for Individuals and Businesses: Assistance-and-Emergency-Relief-for-Individuals-and-Businesses-1 Disaster Resource Guide for Individuals and Businesses: For more information on how to deal with your specific business issues, contact your Anchin relationship partner. IRS Announces Special Relief to Encourage Leave-Based Donation Programs for Hurricane Victims (IR ; Notice ) (Nov. 7, 2012): The IRS has issued guidance regarding adoption by employers of leave-based donation programs to aid victims of Hurricane Sandy. Under such programs, employees elect to forgo vacation, sick, or personal leave in exchange for cash payments made by the employer to charitable organizations for the relief of victims of Hurricane Sandy General rules on payments received and Casualty Loss deductions resulting from disasters for Federal Income Tax Purposes: Disaster Relief Payments Hurricane Sandy is deemed a qualified disaster and as such any Qualified disaster relief payments are not includable in taxable income. This means that if an employer decides to offer assistance to their employees for the hardships incurred based on Hurricane Sandy, such assistance will not be taxable to the employee. Qualified disaster relief payments are amounts paid: (1) To reimburse or pay reasonable and necessary personal, family, living or funeral expenses incurred as a result of a qualified disaster, or (2) To reimburse or pay reasonable and necessary expenses incurred for the repair or rehabilitation of a personal residence or repair or replacement of its

4 contents to the extent that the need for such repair, rehabilitation or replacement is attributable to a qualified disaster; (3) by a person engaged in the furnishing or sale of transportation as a common carrier by reason of death or personal physical injuries incurred as a result of a qualified disaster, or (4) if such amount is paid by a by a federal, state or local government, or an agency or instrumentality thereof, in connection with a qualified disaster in order to promote the general welfare. But only to the extent any expense compensated by such payment is not otherwise compensated for by insurance or otherwise. Casualty Loss Deductions Individuals can claim a casualty loss deduction, subject to limitation, for losses to property arising from Hurricane Sandy. The loss for personal-use property is the lesser of the economic loss (decline in fair market value) or the adjusted basis of the property. Losses incurred with respect to property used in a trade or business. Where property held in a trade or business is partially destroyed, the amount of the deductible loss is the lesser of the adjusted basis of the property, or the loss in fair market value of the property due to the casualty. If such property is totally destroyed the deductible loss is property's adjusted basis. The casualty loss deduction can be taken in the current year and reduce 2012 taxes accordingly. At the taxpayer s option they may elect to take the deduction on an amended 2011 tax return, facilitating cash flow by getting the refund sooner. For more information on how to deal with casualty loss deductions, speak with your Anchin relationship partner. FAQ for Disaster Victims from the IRS: Disaster-Victims ii. States Books & Records Requirements Businesses are required to keep certain books and records documenting sales and purchases. Due to Hurricane Sandy, many if not all of those books and records have been destroyed. New York State has suggested that you take photos and document any business and personal records that have been destroyed. Documenting destroyed books and records could help to waive penalties for not having the required documentation on any potential future audits. This is a good suggestion for all taxpayers whose records have been damaged (not just in New York).

5 For more information on this or other issues, speak with your Anchin relationship partner. iii. New York City Sales Tax Waivers for Rebuilding Materials & Equipment HURRICANE EMERGENCY SALES TAX EXEMPTION PROGRAM (HESTEP) The New York City Industrial Development Agency (the Agency ) will provide emergency assistance to small businesses by establishing the Hurricane Emergency Sales Tax Exemption Program ( HESTEP ). This program will provide sales tax exemptions of up to $100,000 for each affected company on purchases of building, construction and renovation materials, machinery and equipment and other items of personal property and related services needed to rebuild after the storm. Highlights: Sales tax benefits issued pursuant to HESTEP will be limited to first 250 applicants Maximum sales tax benefit amount of $100,000 per applicant Applications for sales tax benefits must be received by Feb 1, 2013 Companies must commence reconstruction efforts within six months of application and must fully utilize the sales tax benefit within one year of commencement All IDA fees waived Eligibility Parameters: All businesses with storm-related physical damages are eligible. Priority will be given to industrial businesses located within Flood Zone A and the area of New York City impacted by an extensive power outage as a direct result of Hurricane Sandy. Scope of renovations may include repairs, in-kind replacements and reconstruction of facilities damages by the hurricane To apply, please fill out the following HESTEP Application and speak with your Anchin relationship partner: HESTEP-BenefitsApplication.doc 2. Insurance If you have insurance that will cover your damages, contact your agent at once, whether you have flood insurance or not. Take photographs or video of any damaged property or materials to document your losses. Below is a list of some private insurance companies and their contact statements regarding Hurricane Sandy claims:

6 3. Temporary Relocation a. New York City Allstate: Allstate is prepared and ready to respond quickly to Hurricane Sandy with approximately 1,100 claim personnel ready to help. Allstate customers who suffered damage can call STORM ( ), go online to or contact their agent to file a claim or receive additional information about the claims process. Claims personnel are available 24/7. Farmers: Farmers Insurance Group, including subsidiaries Foremost Insurance, 21st Century and Bristol West, are prepared to help customers in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Customers with damage should immediately contact their agent or call Farmers' 24-hour-claims hotline, for immediate assistance. Geico: Teams of GEICO claim adjusters have deployed to affected areas, and will remain there until they have resolved every hurricane-related claim. If you need to report a claim, please visit or call Claims personnel are available 24/7. The Hartford: The Hartford Insurance Company has set up a catastrophe information center for its customers. Please call or go online to for more information. Travelers: Travelers has thousands of trained claim professionals countrywide, who are ready to help as soon as it is safe to enter the affected areas. Travelers insurance customers can find more information or report a claim online at or call for personal insurance or for business insurance. In order to best protect yourself and your business, read over your policies and speak with your Anchin relationship partner or your insurance professional. Free Temporary Space, Supplies and Services Short-term "swing" office space is available in all five boroughs. NYCEDC has identified private commercial space that will be offered at no rent to businesses displaced by Hurricane Sandy. Temporary space is also available at no rent at Brooklyn Army Terminal and the Sunshine Bronx business incubator. Additionally, NYCEDC has received offers of other free services and supplies for impacted businesses. For a full list of these resources, including location and contact info for available spaces, visit b. New Jersey Temporary Hubs for Affected Business to access telephones and Internet Services in New Jersey:

7 4. Loan Programs Homeless Businesses Find Their Angels (Crain s NY Business) Federal: Administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration for affected counties which includes all counties in New York City, Nassau and Suffolk counties in New York, Atlantic, Bergen, Cape May, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, Somerset and Union Counties in New Jersey. For Connecticut the affected counties are Fairfield, Middlesex, New Haven, New London and the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and the Mohegan Tribal Nation. For additional information on additional affected counties please go to: For additional information about Disaster Loans, rates, terms and conditions, please go to: Business Physical Disaster Loan Loans of up to $2 million for businesses in declared disaster area. Can be used to repair or replace real property and leasehold improvements, machinery, equipment and fixtures. Application due December 31, 2012 For additional information please go to: Economic Injury Disaster Loan Loans of up to $ 2 million for small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses involved in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations that has suffered economic injury (inability to pay ordinary and necessary business expenses) due to impact on business due to disaster. Application due July 31, 2013 For additional information please go to: Home and Personal Property Loan Renters and homeowners may borrow up to $ 40,000 to repair or replace personal property damaged in the disaster. Homeowners may borrow up to $ 200,000 to get their primary residence back to its pre-disaster condition. Qualified rental properties not qualified under this loan program but may qualify under Business Physical Disaster Loan program (see previous section on Business Physical Disaster Loan program ).

8 New York State 5. Utilities For additional information please go to: New York City: New York Business Development Corporation (NYBDC), NYC Business Solutions and Goldman Sachs are providing emergency loans of up to $25,000 for working capital for qualified small businesses. This loan is for replacement/repairs to facilities and equipment for Areas in zone A and areas affected by Hurricane Sandy. Additional info can be found at: f Nassau County: Nassau County Industrial Development Agency (IDA) has set up a program to provide financial assistance to businesses impacted by Hurricane Sandy. The program is called Local Enterprise Assistance and Development Services (LEADS) and offers eligible businesses with 100 or fewer employees up to $99,000 of aid through a sales tax exemption on any furniture, fixtures, equipment and materials purchased for reconstruction. Applicants will only be asked to rebuild within the county. The program will also help business owners access state and federal assistance, such as Small Business Administration disaster loans. For further information, Nassau County businesses can call or Suffolk County: In Suffolk, there are small business disaster recovery locations at the county Department of Labor offices at 725 Veterans Memorial Highway, Hauppauge and 300 Center Drive, Riverhead. Representatives from the Small Business Administration, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the state s Small Business Development Centers will be on hand. Businesses can also contact their local Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) at a. Power Availability i. Con Edison: ii. Long Island Power Authority: iii. PSE&G: iv. Connecticut Light & Power: 6. Gasoline/Fuel

9 a. Where to find gas: 7. Other Resources & Links a. Other articles and resources: b. Donations: State of New Jersey Hurricane Sandy Information Center: Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA): Phone FEMA Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) New York Hurricane Sandy (DR-4085) Relief & News: Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) New Jersey Hurricane Sandy (DR-4086) Relief & News: Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Connecticut Hurricane Sandy (DR-4087) Relief & News: New York Extends Deadlines for Sandy-Affected Businesses Permits, Licenses & Payments (Long Island Business News): New Jersey Storm Emergency Information: New York City Economic Development Corporation Hurricane Sandy Business Recovery Information: Long Island City Partnership Hurricane Sandy Update: Free Resources for Impacted Businesses: The Museum of Modern Art s Conservation Resources for recovering works of art damaged in Hurricane Sandy: New York City Service want to volunteer? The American Red Cross in Greater New York Food Bank for New York City

10 c. Volunteer Attorneys: The New York State Bar Association is offering free legal advice from volunteer lawyers to victims of Hurricane Sandy. The toll free hotline is Attorneys wishing to volunteer can visit: or call d. Entering Employees into The Shared Work Program: e. Help Employees Receive Disaster Unemployment Assistance: f. Business Interruption (from NYC Business Solutions Website: Take steps that can help reduce and recover your losses If you have access to your building, gather employee and supplier contact information, legal, insurance and financial records Lock your facility Document your losses and take high-quality photos of damages to the structure and your inventory Contact your insurance company Try to assess value of each item, with invoices and receipts where possible Discard perishable/dangerous items after documenting them Keep everything else to show to insurance companies Keep invoices or receipts if you are repairing the damages Contact your customers, your employees, and your suppliers Collect any logs of business decisions, communications, and correspondence you have g. Disaster Recovery Centers: A Disaster Recovery Center is a readily accessible facility or mobile office where applicants may go for information about FEMA or other disaster assistance programs, or for questions related to your case. h. Review Your Emergency Planning Procedures: i. Rental Assistance New York State storm survivors who lost their home because of damages caused by Hurricane Sandy may be eligible to receive rental assistance, the New York State Office of Emergency Management (NYSOEM) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). FEMA s Individual and Households Program (IHP) offer funds to rent alternative housing for a limited period of time while repairs are made to the dwelling and a free referral service to find a safe replacement rental property.

11 Residents should first apply by calling the FEMA Helpline at ; TTY Multilingual assistance is also available by phone. Applicants can also register online at or with a Smartphone at m.fema.gov. Have the following information at hand when calling: Your Social Security number A general list of damages and losses you suffered; Clear directions to the property that was damaged Current mailing address and phone number Insurance information General financial information Bank account code if you wish to speed up your assistance with direct deposit Storm Survivors Looking For a Place to Rent Call the FEMA Helpline and asking for rental resources by town, county, number of bedrooms, accessibility and other criteria. Visit the nearest Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) and consulting a FEMA specialist. Go online to the FEMA Housing Portal at and searching available properties by location, rent amount, accessibility, and other criteria. Visit the New York State website: New Yorkers With Property To Rent to Storm Survivor(s) Call the FEMA Helpline and provide the following information: Address of rental property Monthly rent Number of bedrooms If the property is accessible to people with disabilities If you accept pets, and the deposit required for pets, if any Disaster Assistance Guide Updated: Nov. 2, 2012 Household Appliance Grant Program New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services offer an appliance grant program for New York state residents who sustained property damage due to Hurricane Sandy. The program will help cover the cost of replacing vital household appliances, such as refrigerators, boilers, hot water/heater tanks, washing machines, dryers, dehumidifiers, and furnaces damaged by flooding. Purchase of appliances and equipment must be for replacement purposes only and were not covered by insurance or FEMA. To apply call or check website: ELIGIBLE APPLIANCES/EQUIPMENT AND REBATE AMOUNT will be determined post disaster

12 How to replace documents lost in a disaster Part of disaster preparation is for people to put critical documents in a safe place. This means placing them in a sealable plastic bag or other watertight container and securing that container where it is best protected and can easily be located. Unfortunately, sometimes even these steps will not keep documents from being lost or destroyed, especially in the event of tornados, hurricanes or wildfires. If papers are lost like birth certificates, Social Security cards, drivers licenses, tax records and so on New York state and FEMA are advising residents on how to recover them: Birth certificates: If you were born within the confines of the five boroughs of New York City, visit or write to the Office of Vital Records, 125 Worth Street, Room 133, New York, N.Y (A photo ID is required both by mail and in person.) The office advises the fastest way to get records is online at The phone number is (212) To download and print an application, log onto to apply online, log onto If you were born in New York state outside of New York City, log onto or phone This will connect you to a company called VitalChek, which is contracted with the state to handle credit-card orders. There are modest fees involved. Drivers licenses: Visit any New York Department of Motor Vehicles office. To find an office nearby, log onto Social Security cards: Call the U.S. Social Security office at , Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. local time. For TTY users the number is , or log onto for more information. Federal tax records: Call , Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. local time, or log onto New York state tax records and New York City tax records: Log onto or phone For copies of your utility bills, bank records, insurance policies, mortgage payments and the like, call the appropriate firm and speak to a customer-service representative. It is also a good idea to make copies of all your vital and important documents and mail them to a friend or relative you can trust to keep them safe and retrievable in case disaster strikes.

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