While most of us inlanders were not directly affected by the hurricanes that have wreaked havoc on so many individuals this year, this just goes to show that you never can tell when a disaster might strike and cause untold damage to every aspect of your life…
We spoke in a previous blog post regarding tax tips for how to deal with disasters. Here we’ll cover some basics on disaster prep.
Make digital copies of all key documents
Many people are already in the process of doing this, which is great. It not only clears up clutter in your house, but keeps anything from accidentally being thrown away, or worse yet, destroyed in a fire or flood. It’s good practice to keep paper copies of bank statements, tax returns, ID, and insurance policies in a waterproof container away from the originals, but digital seems to be the best option nowadays.
With financial institutions offering multiple, multiple backups of their data, you can rest assured that, unless the world ends, your data will likely always be a click away.
Document your valuables
Especially concerning your most valuable items, it’s a good practice to take pictures or video of the contents of your home. You’ll have a much easier time making insurance claims if the time comes. This IRS workbook will help you make a list of everything.
Are you a business owner with payroll?
Make sure to have a fiduciary bond in place. This could protect you if you must default on payroll.
Read over these workbooks provided by the IRS for further detail on what to do when experiencing a casualty, disaster, or theft loss:
Update (and have) emergency plans
Review these every year, and let your employees know of any changes. You never know when you’ll be needing that plan, so practice as much as you feel is necessary.
The IRS is offering a toll-free number to taxpayers in federally-declared disaster areas. Call 866-562-5227 to speak with their disaster specialists.