Hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, floods and other natural disasters are common during the summer months. Take a few simple steps to protect your tax and financial records in case a disaster strikes. Here are four tips to help you protect your important records.
- Backup Records Electronically. Keep an extra set of electronic records in a safe place away from where you store your originals. You can use an external hard drive, CD, or DVD to store the most important records. You can take these with you to keep your records safe. You may want to store items such as bank statements, tax returns and insurance policies.
- Document Valuables. Videotape or take pictures of the contents of your home or place of business. This may help you prove the value of your lost items for insurance claims and casualty loss deductions. Keep the pictures or videotape in a safe place away from where your valuables are stored.
- Update Emergency Plans. Review your emergency plans every year. You may need to update them as your personal or business situation changes.
- Get Copies of Tax Returns or Transcripts. Contact the taxing agencies to replace lost or destroyed tax returns.