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West Side Real Estate News & Notes

7/18/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

IRS offers disaster protection tips

WASHINGTON — According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and other natural disasters are more common in the summer. The IRS encourages residents to take a few steps to protect their tax and financial records in case a disaster strikes.

Here are five tips from the IRS to help protect records:

  1. Back up records electronically. Keep an extra set of electronic records in a safe place away from where the originals are stored. Use an external hard drive, CD or DVD to store the most important records. Residents might want to store items such as bank statements, tax returns and insurance policies.
  2. Document valuables. Take pictures or videotape the contents of the home or place of business. These might help prove the value of lost items for insurance claims and casualty loss deductions. Publication 584, “Casualty, Disaster and Theft Loss Workbook,” available on www.IRS.gov, can help determine loss in a disaster.
  3. Update emergency plans. Review emergency plans every year.
  4. Get copies of tax returns or transcripts. Visit www.IRS.gov to get Form 4506, “Request for Copy of Tax Return,” to replace lost or destroyed tax returns. If you just need information from your return, you can order a transcript online.
  5. Contact the IRS. The IRS has a Disaster Hotline to help people with tax issues after a disaster. Call the IRS at 866-562-5227 to speak with a trained specialist.

For more assistance in the event of a disaster, visit www.IRS.gov and click on the “Disaster Relief” link in the lower left corner of the home page. To order forms and publications via the phone, call 800-829-3676.

 

Stephanie Kist contributed to this report.

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