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Taking Care Of Taxes In Disaster Relief

August 29th

So far this year, we haven’t had many weather related disasters. However, as Hurricane Isaac makes landfall today, the IRS wants to remind taxpayers of ways they can safeguard their financial information from the consequences of major storms.

Emergency Plan

Even though it isn’t tax time yet, the IRS advocates that people keep track of their financial information and documents all year long to prevent tax debt troubles. When weather-related or personal disaster strikes, many people have found themselves unprepared for the outcome. Therefore, the IRS encourages everyone to have an emergency plan in place to protect vital information.

First, make sure all you have a duplicate copy or backup of all your financial records. You can make hard copies of your information and store them in a lock box away from your home, or create an electronic back up of your data. Paychecks, bank records, investment or retirement account documents and any receipts for itemized claims should all be protected as part of your back up files.

Also, document what is valuable in your home. Take pictures of your assets and personal property and store these photos off-site along with your financial records. Any items that are damaged during the storm may be eligible to be claimed as casualty losses on your next tax return.  The more evidence you have that a particular item existed and was then damaged; the better your chances of getting a tax break for the cost of replacing such items.

The IRS does have special representatives that deal solely with disaster relief. Even if you aren’t in the path of Hurricane Isaac, take steps to protect your information and keep the IRS’ contact information on hand. Anyone needing more information about disaster relief from the IRS can call 1-866-562-5227.






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