Are you prepared for a Natural Disaster? What to do?
September is National Preparedness Month. With the height of hurricane season fast approaching and the ongoing threat of wildfires in some parts of the country, the Internal Revenue Service reminds everyone to develop an emergency preparedness plan.
All taxpayers, from individuals to organizations and businesses, should take time now to create or update their emergency plans. Clients can begin getting ready for a disaster with a preparedness plan that includes securing and duplicating essential tax and financial documents, creating lists of property and knowing where to find information once a disaster has occurred. Securing this information can help in the aftermath of a disaster, and it can help people more quickly take advantage of disaster relief available from the IRS.
Start secure. Clients should keep critical original documents inside waterproof containers in a secure space. Documents such as tax returns, birth certificates, deeds, titles and insurance policies should also be duplicated and kept with a trusted person outside the area a natural disaster may affect.
Make copies. If original documents are available only on paper, taxpayers can use a scanner and save them on a USB flash drive, CD or in the cloud, which provide security and easy portability.
Document valuables. After a disaster hits, photographs and videos of a home or business’s contents can help support claims for insurance or tax benefits. All property, especially expensive and high-value items, should be recorded.
We are ready to help. Clients living in a federally declared disaster can contact us or visit the IRS Tax Relief in Disaster Situations webpage or Around the Nation on IRS.gov and check for the available disaster tax relief. If you are having trouble reconstructing records, please let us know.
For more information about National Preparedness Month, visit: https://www.ready.gov/september