American Taxation Association

Hurrican Katrina Updates

Hurricane Katrina Tax Relief Guide

E&Y's guide has helpful tax information for individuals and small businesses affected by Hurricane Katrina. The 55-page guide addresses filing extensions and other available tax relief from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, Congress, and individual states. Relief options include greater flexibility to use retirement accounts, more liberal deductions for casualty losses, and abatement of federal taxes normally due on certain types of debt forgiveness.

If you have any information about our colleagues in the hurricane area, please pass the information along to the webmaster. Read updates below from A.J. Cataldo. and Andy Schmidt . The Chronicle of Higher Education has general updates at

Message from Tom Omer on 9/1/2005:

Hello Everyone:

As I watched the news over the last several days the devastation that has occurred in Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi is hard to comprehend. ATA members are in the middle of this crisis and I would like to express my heartfelt concern for these members and their families and hope that the events of the last several days have not been an undue hardship. Because communications with the area are negligible, I am hoping that the membership at large will pass along any information they might have concerning how members in these states are faring. If you have information, please forward to me or Amy and we will try to post on the webpage how everyone is doing.


Tom Omer
ATA President

Barbara Scofield wrote on 9/6/05:

I have good news from Hammond Louisiana (where Southeastern Louisiana University is). I contacted friends there yesterday when phone service was at least partially restored. I taught at Southeastern Louisiana University 1993-1996. My friends told us that Hammond received very little rain, but a lot of wind damage that has kept power off and until recently communications lines cut. A very fortunate result.

What was most remarkable was that our friends 50 miles from New Orleans had no idea the extent of the damage in New Orleans because they have been so isolated, and so we were in the position of telling them about the flooding and evacuation of New Orleans!

Barbara W. Scofield, PhD, CPA
Associate Professor of Accounting
University of Dallas

Andy Schmidt wrote on 9/5/2005::

I have a bit of Katrina-related news for you.  My wife and I made it safely out of New Orleans the Saturday before Katrina hit (my wife is a marketing professor at Loyola University in NO, she was spending the summer with me in NYC and I flew back with her the night before to help her get ready for the Fall semester).  We drove to Houston to stay with her family. We got out early enough to avoid major traffic; it took us the usual 7 hours to get there (in contrast, last year when she evacuated at the last minute for Ivan, it took her 16 hours to get to Houston).  We live in an area close to the French Quarter, so there was no flooding and relatively little damage to our apartment building (compared to the rest of the city).  We are both in NYC now, as I started teaching last Tuesday.

It is my understanding that all of the accounting department at Loyola made it out ok - I'm not sure if any are ATA members.  Also, Deen Kemsley was in Houston when Katrina hit and is now back in Connecticut - I believe all of is family is ok, too.  I've heard that there is minimal storm damage at Loyola and Tulane.

Andrew Schmidt
Columbia University

A.J. Cataldo wrote on 9/1/2005 :

Larry Crumbley (LSU; editor of Journal of Forensic Accounting) indicated
that he was well and Dale and Tonya Flesher (Ole Miss) indicated that they
had a brief power outage, but are well..


Justin Pope, "Tulane Cancels Fall Semester Because of Hurricane Katrina," Associated Press , September 2, 2005 ---

Tulane University canceled its fall semester Friday because of Hurricane Katrina and encouraged its students to take classes through others schools while the New Orleans university tries to clean up from the flooding. Several schools already have offered to take in displaced Gulf Coast college students - as many as 100,000 in the New Orleans area alone, according to the American Council on Education . . . Tulane President Scott Cowen, working from Houston, said the school of 8,000 undergraduates would accept credit from any regionally accredited university and was encouraging students to take courses they would otherwise be taking at Tulane. Cowen also said the school would work to keep its sports teams together and continuing to represent Tulane by relying on other schools for practice and playing facilities. "Our student-athletes are an integral part of this plan. We want our athletes to carry the torch, face, and name of Tulane University during this difficult time," he said. Marvalene Hughes, president of Dillard University, a historically black college in New Orleans, said she was planning further discussions with staff Friday night but was exploring a range of options and was not yet prepared to give up on the semester. "I don't give up that easily," said Hughes, who has been president for just two months and was staying with family in Alabama . Norman Francis, president of Xavier University in New Orleans, had been located and was safe after being out of touch for several days because of the hurricane, Hartle said. There was no immediate word from other colleges but Hartle said he expected most schools in New Orleans would be closed until at least January. Officials have said it will be months before the city is functioning again.

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