November 3, 2022 - Douglas Myser

IRS urges record retention for disasters. The IRS, in light of recent hurricanes hitting the East Coast, is reminding everyone in Internal Revenue memo IR-2022-156, to be prepared for these events, by documenting records that they deem vital, in case disaster strikes. We have spoken to a large number of individuals who have been displace by natural disasters, and many have not records to show deductions that could be used to lower the amount in tax they will owe. Is this poor planning, or that they don't think a natural disaster will strike them ? Either way, a little bit of advance planning can save a large amount of headache and save a person, or business, thousands in tax dollars. IRS urges record retention for disasters.

The IRS suggestions for record retention are common sense suggestions. The first is to secure all documents in waterproof containers, and this also applies to homeowners who don't have a natural disaster, but simply have a broken water main, or water pipe that cause flooding, usually in a basement, where records are often stored. The second idea is to make copies, and have a second set of copies in a separate secure location. Making a list of valuables and documents is a good idea as well.

For business owners, getting a employer fiduciary bond, to ensure that the provider they use will protect them in case of disaster. Having a checklist of where you can obtain help prior to a natural disaster is critical, as your phones and cell phone service will probably not work in the event of a real disaster, so unless you have those ready, you may not get access to critical services. Keeping those records in a secure area, not in your cell phone makes common sense. Also having the IRS and other Federal and State Agency phone numbers would be helpful, not just local services thru your community.