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Preparing for a Disaster

Six things churches and their members should know.

In response to the record number of tornadoes in 2011, and projections for an above-average number of hurricanes, the IRS has issued guidance to assist individuals and employers in preparing for natural disasters. The IRS recommends the following steps:

  1. Take Advantage of Paperless Recordkeeping for Financial and Tax Records
    Many people receive bank statements and documents by e-mail. This method is an outstanding way to secure financial records. Important tax records, such as W-2s, tax returns, and other paper documents, can be scanned onto an electronic format.

    Back up your electronic files and store them in a safe place. Make duplicates and keep them in a separate location. Other options include copying files onto a CD or DVD. Also, many retail stores sell computer software packages for recordkeeping.

    For off-site records storage, convenience should not be your primary concern. A disaster that strikes is also likely to affect other facilities nearby, making quick retrieval of your records difficult and maybe even impossible.

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Richard R. Hammar is an attorney, CPA and author specializing in legal and tax issues for churches and clergy.

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Posted:
  • September 1, 2011

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