To prepare taxpayers for unexpected disasters and to protect important tax documents, the IRS has issued detailed guidelines on how taxpayers need to duplicate their records in order to safeguard their financial welfare. As part of the National Hurricane Preparedness Week (May 21-27), IRS encouraged taxpayers to keep an electronic version of their tax records at a location that is separate from the location of the original documents. Since the nature of disasters is unpredictable, these guidelines are not only for people living in hurricane-prone regions; it is also for anyone who holds important financial documentation. Anyone’s tax papers may be lost in unexpected fires, earthquakes, or even theft. Therefore, it is extremely important for taxpayers to take the necessary precautions before it is too late.
CCH (http://tax.cchgroup.com/) reports:
The IRS has released guidance encouraging taxpayers to safeguard themselves during the 2009 hurricane season. The Service suggests that taxpayers keep an extra set of records, preferably electronic records, in a location separate from their storage of original documents. The IRS also recommends that taxpayers take pictures or videos of items in their homes in order to more easily document items lost in a disaster. Finally, the IRS encourages employers to update emergency plans as needed and to ask payroll service providers if they have fiduciary bonds in place in the event of default by the provider.
If a disaster occurs, the IRS has specialists available who are trained to handle disaster-related issues at (866) 562-5227. The IRS can also provide copies or transcripts of tax returns at no cost to taxpayers located in federal disaster areas.
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