The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) newsletter issue, IR-2022-156, announces the annual, September 2022, National Preparedness Month. The IRS reminds everyone to develop an emergency preparedness plan or make updates to their existing plan annually or as often as needed.
Everyone, from individuals to organizations and businesses, is encouraged to:
- Secure and duplicate essential tax and financial documents. Store in waterproof containers in secure spaces. Consider having a relative, friend, or trusted person retain duplicate copies of all documents at a separate location, outside of the potentially impacted disaster area or in a secure digital location, such as a cloud-based storage application. Store printed copies of account numbers and contact information for family members, insurance agents, banks, service companies, and government agencies.
- Create lists of property and business contents in a detailed inventory list. Record descriptions of possessions in photos, videos, and documents. Include the year, make, and model numbers, where appropriate. This kind of documentation can help support claims for insurance or tax benefits after a disaster hits.
- Know where to find your information and assistance once a disaster occurs. This is crucial in saving time and resources. Reconstructing records after a disaster may be required for tax purposes, getting federal assistance or insurance reimbursement. Most financial institutions can provide statements and documents electronically, an option that can aid the reconstruction process. For tips on reconstructing records, visit IRS’s Reconstructing Records.
Storm, flooding, and wildfire relief options are already available in several states in 2022, and the active hurricane season is approaching. Disaster assistance and emergency relief often help taxpayers and businesses recover financially from the impact of a disaster. Having updated documents and other readily available information will help with relief applications from the IRS and other agencies when the federal government declares your area to be a disaster area. Additional time to file returns and pay taxes are other relief options to be aware of. For a list of areas qualifying for relief and details on the relief available, visit the IRS Tax Relief in Disaster Situations webpage or Around the Nation on IRS.gov.
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