Cook Wealth Management Group

Safeguard your Tax Records from Hurricane Damage

hurricane“A person doesn’t know how much he has to be thankful for until he pays taxes on it.”  – Author Unknown

For those of us on the east coast, hurricane season occurs each June through November.

What precautions do you take to ensure your tax documents are safe from damage?

If Cook Wealth prepares your tax returns, we keep copies of all forms, returns, and documents we used to prepare them. We can make these available to you when necessary.

Below are some tips from the IRS for protecting your tax records. If you are not presently doing one or more of the following, now is the time!

Create an electronic backup for your records, including bank statements, tax returns, insurance policies, etcetera, by scanning your original documents into electronic form and downloading them to a backup storage device or burning them onto a disk. Store your backup separate from the original documents. (Use the “vault” through Cook Wealth Management System and you can access your records anytime online.)

Document your valuables using photographs or video to help compile a list of all your valuables and help prove the market value of items. Do not keep the photos inside your residence. Instead, give them to a family member or friend who lives outside of your area, or store them in a safety deposit box at your bank.

Update your personal and business emergency plans and review changes annually with all family members and employees.

– If you have employees and use a payroll service, ask the provider if it has a fiduciary bond in place. A fiduciary bond will protect the employer in the event of a default by the payroll service provider.

Remember that backup copies of tax returns and all attachments and transcripts can be requested from the IRS. No fee is required for this service if the taxpayer qualifies for individual assistance by residing in a federal disaster area.