Sunday, August 4, 2013
Hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, fires and other natural disasters are more common in the summer and fall. The IRS encourages you to take a few simple steps to protect your tax and financial records in case a disaster strikes.
The IRS has five tips from to help you protect your important records:
Document Valuables. Take pictures or videotape the contents of your home. These may help you prove the value of your lost items for insurance claims and casualty loss deductions. Publication 584, Casualty, Disaster and Theft firesLoss Workbook, can help you determine your loss if a disaster strikes.
Update Emergency Plans. Review your emergency plans every year. You may need to update them each time your personal situation changes.
Get Copies of Tax Returns or Transcripts. Request for Copy of Tax Return, to replace lost or destroyed tax returns. If you just need information from your return, you can order a transcript online.
Backup Records Electronically. Keep an extra set of electronic records in a safe place away from where you store the originals. You can use an external hard drive, CD or DVD to store the most important records. You can take these with you to keep your copies safe. Count on the IRS. The IRS has a Disaster Hotline to help people with tax issues after a disaster. Call the IRS at 1-866-562-5227 to speak with a specialist trained to handle disaster-related tax issues.