For September’s National Preparedness Month, Account On Us is offering advice to taxpayers who may be affected by storms, fires, floods or other disasters.
Managed and sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Ready Campaign, National Preparedness Month encourages individuals, businesses and organizations to prepare for a variety of disaster and emergency situations.
Create Electronic Copies of Key Documents
Taxpayers can help themselves by keeping a duplicate set of key documents, including bank statements, tax returns, identifications and insurance policies in a safe place. Store them in a waterproof container and away from the original set.
Doing so is easier now that many financial institutions provide statements and documents electronically, and much financial information is available on the Internet. Even if the original documents are only provided on paper, these can be scanned into an electronic format. This way, taxpayers can download them to a storage device such as an external hard drive or USB flash drive or burn them to a CD or DVD.
It’s a good idea to photograph or videotape the contents of any home, especially items of higher value. Documenting these items ahead of time will make it easier to quickly claim any available insurance and tax benefits after the disaster strikes. The IRS has a disaster loss workbook, Publication 584, which can help taxpayers compile a room-by-room list of belongings.
Photographs can help an individual prove the fair market value of items for insurance and casualty loss claims. Ideally, photos should be stored with a friend or family member who lives outside the area.
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.
Don’t Forget to Update Emergency Plans
Because a disaster can strike any time, be sure to review emergency plans annually. Personal and business situations change over time as do preparedness needs. When employers hire new employees or when a company or organization changes functions, plans should be updated accordingly, and employees should be informed of the changes. Make plans ahead of time and be sure to practice them.
Account On Us offers many services for individuals such as income tax preparation, estate tax preparation, gift tax preparation, IRS inquiries, audits and tax planning. If you have a personal tax or accounting need, please contact Osceola County’s most trusted accounting service, tax preparation and payroll service provider. Call us today at (407) 892-1066 or contact Account On Us today! We are here to help!
Find other hurricane preparedness tips and more information about Hurricane Preparedness Week on the National Weather Service web site.
Kua’s Hurricane handbook —-> https://kua.com/hurricane-safety/