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:
- 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.