Sunday October 22, 2017
Protecting Your Financial and Tax Records
As the summer season approaches, the IRS published IR-2017-98 with suggestions for safeguarding your tax and financial records. Summer is often the peak season for hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and other natural disasters.
- Disaster Plans - Both businesses and individuals should have a disaster plan. It is helpful to review this disaster plan each year. Your plan may reflect the type of risk in your location. With a hurricane or flood, you may have a day or more of notice. If you are victimized by a tornado, there is often no notice and no time to take protective actions.
- Electronic Documents - You should have a secure version of all bank statements, tax returns and insurance policies in a safe location. You may want to scan your documents and save them as PDFs. You can then upload these PDFs and other electronic documents to an external hard drive, a USB drive or burn them to a CD or DVD.
- Records of Valuables - If you have art, a collection, jewelry or other valuable personal items, it is helpful to have photos or videos of these valuable items. These records will be useful if you later must file an insurance claim or report a loss for tax purposes.
- IRS Assistance - The IRS has a disaster office, which you can contact by calling 866-562-5227. It may be able to assist you with copies of tax returns or forms W-2. You also may request a tax return with IRS Form 4506. Another option is the Get Transcript link on www.IRS.gov.
Published May 12, 2017