The IRS has reminded taxpayers to safeguard their records against natural disasters. Steps to take include keeping a backup set of records and taking photos/videos of possessions.
Backup records. Personal and business records that are maintained electronically can be recreated on a backup set. Paper records can be scanned into an electronic form. With documents in electronic form, taxpayers can save them to the cloud or download them to a backup storage device, such as a flash drive.
Photos/videos The IRS recommended that taxpayers take photos or videos of the contents of their home. A photo/video record can help an individual prove the market value of items for insurance and casualty loss claims.
Payroll tax liability. The IRS also advised employers that use payroll service providers to ask the provider if it has a fiduciary bond in place. In the event of default by the payroll service provider caused by a natural disaster or otherwise, the bond could protect the employer from its non-transferable liability to remit payroll taxes.
IRS services. IRS specialists are available (866-562-5227) to handle disaster-related issues. Additionally, back copies of previously-filed tax returns and all attachments, including Forms W-2, can be requested by filing Form 4506, Request for Copy of Tax Return. Alternatively, transcripts showing most line items on these returns can be ordered online, by phone (800-908-9946) or filing Form 4506T-EZ, Short Form Request for Individual Tax Return Transcript or Form 4506-T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return.
DISCLAIMER: This information is extracted with permission from IRS publications as of the date of this post.