With the hurricane headed for the east coast we thought it would be a good idea for our clients in the path of the storm to see the IRS’ information publication regarding natural disasters as it gives a good outline of things to keep in mind. Stay safe!
From the IRS:
WASHINGTON — Because a natural disaster can strike any time, the Internal Revenue Service is reminding individuals and businesses to take time now and create or update their emergency preparedness plan.
During 2018, the IRS has offered tax relief and assistance to millions of victims of natural disasters, including hurricanes, severe storms, flooding, tornados, wildfires, high winds, tropical storms, an earthquake and a volcano.
Individuals, families and businesses begin getting ready for a disaster with a preparedness plan that includes key documents, lists of belongings and property.
Copies of key documents
Original documents, including bank statements, tax returns, deeds, titles and insurance policies, should be kept in a safe place in waterproof containers. A duplicate set of key documents should be kept with a family member or trusted friend outside the area the disaster may affect. Rather than copy paper documents, scanning them for backup storage on a hard drive, flash drive, CD or DVD takes less space. Many financial institutions provide statements and documents electronically.
Document valuables and equipment
Photographs or videos of the contents of any home or business, especially high value items, can help support claims for any available insurance or tax benefits should a disaster strike. The IRS has a disaster-loss workbook for individuals (Publication 584, Casualty, Disaster, and Theft Loss Workbook) and businesses (Publication 584-B, Business Casualty, Disaster, and Theft Loss Workbook) that can help people compile lists of belongings or business equipment. Images may fit on the same storage device as electronic documents.
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.