Prepare For Hurricanes, Disasters By Safeguarding Tax Records

Hurricane Preparedness

With the early start of this year’s hurricane season, the our firm would like to encourage individuals and businesses to safeguard themselves against natural disasters by taking a few simple steps.

Create a Backup Set of Records Electronically

You should develop a backup set of records that are kept in a safe place – and away from the originals.

Doing this electronically is easier than ever now that many financial institutions provide statements and documents electronically, and much financial information is available on the Internet. Even if the original records are provided only on paper, they can be scanned into an electronic format and stored on the cloud or traditional media, such as a backup storage device like an external hard drive or burn them to a CD or DVD.

Document Valuables

Another step you can take to prepare for disaster is to photograph or videotape the contents of your home, especially items of higher value. The IRS has a disaster loss workbook,Publication 584, which can help you compile a room-by-room list of belongings. A photographic record can help an individual prove the market value of items for insurance and casualty loss claims. Photos should be stored with a friend or family member who lives outside the area. Moreover, you can store the files digitally as well and keep them with your electronic backup materials.

Update Emergency Plans

Emergency plans should be reviewed annually. Personal and business situations change over time as do preparedness needs. When employers hire new employees or when a company or organization changes functions, plans should be updated accordingly and employees should be informed of the changes.

Check on Fiduciary Bonds

Employers who use payroll service providers should ask the provider if it has a fiduciary bond in place. The bond could protect the employer in the event of default by the payroll service provider.

We can Help You

The professionals in our firm can assist you or your business in developing a disaster recovery plan. Call us today.