HR Alert

IRS Offers Guidance to Prepare for Hurricanes, Floods, and Other Disasters

September is National Preparedness Month

For September's National Preparedness Month, the IRS is offering the following guidance to those who may be affected by storms, fires, floods, or other disasters:

  • Create electronic copies of key documents. Keep a duplicate set of key documents (e.g., bank statements and tax returns) in a safe place. Much financial information is available online, and electronic documents can be downloaded to a storage device such as an external hard drive or USB flash drive, or burned to a CD or DVD. Even if original documents are only provided on paper, these can be scanned into an electronic format.
  • Document valuables. Documenting valuables (such as by photographing or videotaping) ahead of time will make it easier to quickly claim any available insurance and tax benefits after a disaster strikes. Photos should be stored outside the disaster 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.
  • Update emergency plans. Because a disaster can strike at any time, be sure to review emergency plans annually. When employers hire new employees or when a company or organization changes functions, emergency plans should be updated accordingly, and employees should be informed of the changes.
  • How to Contact the IRS. In the case of a federally declared disaster, an affected business can call 1-866-562-5227 to speak with an IRS specialist trained to handle disaster-related issues. 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.

Click here to learn more.

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