BDO Disaster Response

September 2018


Hurricane Florence

As we prepare for Hurricane Florence, you may find your business facing significant losses – not only from the damage to physical property, but also from the interruption to business operations that hurricanes inevitably cause. Even if your business is able to avoid physical damage, your vendors, suppliers, and customers may not be so fortunate.

In the aftermath of the storm, BDO’s Forensic Insurance and Recovery Practice can help those impacted by Florence navigate the insurance claim process to recoup losses, repair damages, and resume business operations as quickly as possible.

Hurricane Florence Relief

The IRS announced on September 15 that taxpayers affected by Hurricane Florence may qualify for relief from certain filing deadlines, tax payments, and other time-sensitive acts.




Top 5 Tips For Filing a Post-Disaster Insurance Claim

When disaster strikes, organizations can face significant losses—not only from damage to physical property, but also from the business interruption caused by the event. As companies take steps to recover and rebuild, BDO's Forensic Insurance & Recovery Practice helps those impacted navigate the insurance claim process. Take a look at five key tips to keep in mind when filing an insurance claim after a disaster.



How Employers Can Assist Employees Who Are Victims of Hurricanes

In the case of a presidentially declared disaster, such as a hurricane, an employer has several opportunities to provide assistance to affected employees that have favorable tax treatment.  
  • Payments to employees who are adversely affected by a disaster can receive tax-free assistance from employers for disaster-related expenses
  • Salary continuation retains regular taxation
  • Affected employees and their close family members can access 401(k) retirement funds under streamlined and tax favorable procedures


After Hurricane Devastation, IRS Outlines Ways to Assist

Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have wreaked havoc on the lives of thousands of Americans, leaving many looking for ways to assist those in need and achieve favorable tax treatment. The IRS has maintained historical guidance and made recent announcements that provide guidance for those individuals and employers looking to assist victims.



Relief Measures Impacting Employee Benefit Plan Sponsors

In response to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, the IRS announced that employer-sponsored retirement plans can make participant loans and hardship distributions available to participants and certain members of their families who live or work in the affected disaster areas designated for individual assistance by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) – relaxing procedural and administrative rules that normally apply to participant loans and hardship distributions, including the abatement of the six-month ban on employee contributions following the hardship distribution.



Hurricane Victims Not Immune to Cyber Threats

Cyber threats continue to grow in size and sophistication, targeting organizations of all sizes across any industry. Cyber criminals thrive by uncovering vulnerabilities, and those impacted by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma are no exception. The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) has warned of a number of potential phishing scams targeting organizations and individuals across the country.


Federal Tax: Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma Relief

The IRS announced on September 12, 2017, that victims of Hurricane Irma on September 4, 2017, in parts of Florida and elsewhere may qualify for relief from certain filing deadlines and tax payments.  This follows the IRS announcement that victims of Hurricane Harvey on August 23, 2017, impacting the state of Texas may qualify for relief from certain filing deadlines.



Restaurants Getting Back to Business After a Natural Disaster

Coastal states from Texas to Georgia and surrounding tropical islands are reeling following Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma. Now individuals and businesses are gearing up for recovery and bracing themselves for potential follow-up storms. As businesses assess damage and move toward reopening, there are several risk management factors to keep in mind following these storms, and to prepare for future events.




Recovering And Reopening Following A Natural Disaster

The first several weeks following a big storm, businesses that are properly covered by insurance are likely beginning to check off steps on their emergency preparedness checklist. Those that don’t have developed contingency plans, or are noticing gaps in their path forward, should consider incorporating the below next steps for coping with disaster and picking up the pieces.



Disaster Tax Relief And Airport And Airway Extension Act Of 2017

President Trump signed into law the Disaster Tax Relief and Airport and Airway Extension Act of 2017 (Public Law 115-63).  As part of the Act, eligible employers located in a federally designated disaster zone on specified dates may be eligible for an employee retention credit equal to the lower of $6,000 or 40% of qualified wages paid to eligible employees for periods during which the employer’s business was inoperable.




Irma, Maria Highlight Pharma’s Need to Balance Supply Chain

When it comes to natural disasters, it’s not about if your supply chain will be impacted, it’s when. 

For the life sciences industry, the consequences of supply chain disruption become a public safety concern. Like 1998’s Hurricane George, Hurricanes Irma and Maria have underlined this concern. Following the storms, the FDA announced that the U.S. will likely experience drug shortages due to the natural disasters’ residual impact on the drug manufacturing industry in Puerto Rico.