Tax Professionals


A comprehensive 8 hour continuing education course that includes 4 texts is available. The course can be presented through state CPA Societies as well as other profession CPE providers.
Contact your CPE provider to ask them to sponsor the course.
The texts are provided as PDF with the exception of a 100 page class syllabus.
The main 450+ page text and an Appraisers Guide are sold separately, Contact John Trapani at for more information. 

One and two hour short courses are also available. These presentations introduce important concepts related to serving taxpayers needs in a time of great stress.


Over the years that I have been assisting people who experience a catastrophic loss, each that has a unique story. Yes ultimately it is necessary to synthesize the information and gather the data and compile a report that looks very similar to other reports with the unique numbers for the particular taxpayer. The process of getting to that final set of reportable numbers takes time and a commitment to listen to the taxpayer and a commitment to gathering the necessary data, even if it takes unplanned hours to accomplish that goal.

That is where we start. There are different ways for taxpayers and accountants to arrive at the desired end. Here are ways we can help both taxpayers and tax professionals.


Both taxpayers and tax professionals are encouraged to use the knowledge base in the blog. Tax professionals are requested to give credit to the blog for information found on this site that is passed on to clients. But remember that the IRS Circular 230 limitations always apply. The entries are general and while the situations may look familiar to your clients facts, there will always be unique aspects that may change the outcome. If you want a tax opinion, we are happy to discuss how we might be of assistance.

Tax Advice Disclaimer
The analysis of the tax consequences of any event is based on tax laws in effect at the time of the event and the facts of the specific situation.
This material was completed on the date of the posting

If you have a website and would like to link to this blog, please do so, we would appreciate an email letting us know that you have done so. We are constantly looking for ways to expand the competent application of the tax code to the reporting by individuals and businesses of the financial aspects of a catastrophic event.

... and also for individuals
We are available to tax professionals for advice, interpretation, application and reporting. We work directly with taxpayers through the whole reporting process. Many of these situations turn into continuing client relationships. At the other end of the spectrum, we consult with taxpayers’ professionals on these situations in ways that the client has no knowledge of this firm’s involvement in their recovery. All possible combinations and possibilities of our assistance have occurred and are available to taxpayers and tax professionals.

Here are some specific ways the firm supports professionals who are faced with the important and often whelming task of assisting a client navigate the tax aspects of recovering from a catastrophic physical loss:

Sometimes a question arises in the preparation of a tax return that includes a catastrophic event and the after-recovery period. A minimum charge will apply and must be paid in advance.

Usually, the situations involve what we refer to a “call and response” process. A question is asked, there is a response, but that leads to another question. For these purposes we offer a Three Hour, Flat Fee Retainer. The three hours can be used by the professional for one client or more than one client. This is more cost effective than the cost of a single question interaction. It also allows for a quicker response time.

The Pre-paid Ten Hour Retainer allows for a cost effective choice for Tax Professionals who have a number of clients with recovery reporting responsibilities. if not all the time is used, a portion of the unused retainer at a “short rated” amount will be refunded.

There are situations where the Tax Professional is not sure of all the questions to ask, what information needs to be gathered. For these cases I have consulted with both the taxpayer and the Tax Professional, jointly. All contacts are confidential. Any material I generate for the taxpayer will be provided to the Tax Professional as a consultant for the taxpayer.

If you have prepared a tax return and would like a “second opinion” review before you submit it to the taxpayer, John is available to go over the casualty / involuntary conversion / disaster reporting prior to filing the tax return.

Over the past several years I have been approached by taxpayers who wonder about a return that they filed and Tax Professionals who come to the conclusion that the research they would need to do to properly prepare the return is more than they can justify for the value of the fee they can charge to the taxpayer.

I have reviewed a number of returns that were filed incorrectly. This necessitated preparing and filing amended returns. That opens the taxpayer up to possible, unnecessary audits.

Wouldn’t your clients be better served if the return is reviewed prior to filing?

Call me to arrange for a review of a return prior to filing.

After filing reviews have become a continuous source of taxpayer requests over the last several years. The problem for the tax preparer is that they no longer have a client. The taxpayer is upset about the lack of quality preparation attention was paid to the preparation of their disaster return. Incorrect / improper filing disclosure opens the taxpayer to being subjected to an additional disaster.

But, if as a tax return preparer, you wonder if the return you filled for the taxpayer had problems, is it better that you bring the necessity to correct it to the client than someone else?

Call me to arrange for a post-filing review.

When a tax return is called for examination of a disaster reporting tax return, the arguments that support the position on the tax return may be quite valid, but not fully documented in the tax file. I have represented a number of taxpayers over the years in these situations with excellent results.

I am available to assist the Tax Professional in preparation and if called for, assist in the presentation of the taxpayers’ position to the tax authority. The Tax Professional will have the benefit of my many years of experience in audits in general as well as audits of disaster report tax returns.

John Trapani, CPA, has prepared several continuing professional education (CPE) programs to “share the wealth of information” that he has gathered through years of continuous research, preparation of hundreds of returns with disaster disclosures and review of /  correction of returns prepared by other tax preparers.

John Trapani, CPA, has a comprehensive text book that is used in a 1-2 day continuing education program (CPE). John is available to present this course to professionals either in firm sponsored presentations or through professional education providers.

The most comprehensive program that John offers is based on a 350 page textbook that I have written.

Two short programs are available.
One program is based on a professional level discussion of the “Process of Recovery” section of this blog.

John Trapani, CPA, also has an intensive one to two hour program that concentrates on the immediate tasks and process that professional should use when assisting their clients in complying with the reporting requirements of the tax code and overall process in the recovery process.

The second is an AICPA webcast that will air on October 25, 2012, John will be one of four presenters. John will be covering the income tax aspects of disasters in this presentation.
The name of the AICPA Webcast CPE program is:
Avoiding Financial Disaster During a Natural Disaster: The CPAs Role in Planning For & Rebuilding After Loss

John Trapani, CPA, is available to the news media to comment on tax issues related to disasters.

All rights to reproduce or quote any part of the chapter in any other publication are reserved by the author. Republication rights limited by the publisher of the book in which this chapter appears also apply.


Certified Public Accountant

2975 E. Hillcrest Drive #403

Thousand Oaks, CA 91362

(805) 497-4411       E-mail


                           It All Adds Up For You                     


This material was contributed by John Trapani. A Certified Public Accountant who has assisted taxpayers since 1976, in analyzing and reporting transactions of the type covered in this material.  
© 2012, 2015, John Trapani, CPA,


Unknown said...

The process of calculating and handling the income tax reporting could be a really long and tedious one if it's done by the tax payer himself. An income tax professional and certified public accountant would be able to handle your income taxes easily and at a really affordable rate.

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