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National Preparedness Month has just begun. The IRS is urging everyone to develop a plan as a way to be ready for anything. A lot of disasters could happen at the drop of a pin. Having a plan ready could help you from losing all your tax information in the long run. You can start to prepare by following certain steps. An important step is to start securing your tax information as this could help you with tax and government benefits after a disaster. A great location to place your important documents is a waterproof container. Make sure it’s in a secure place where you can easily grab the container.

Yet a great plan also involves copying these documents. You can make paper copies, leaving them with someone trusted or store them in a flash drive which can be easily transported with you.

These can be done before disaster strikes, but what can you do after the disaster strikes? According to the IRS, you need to document what you have, especially if it is really valuable. The IRS will help you make a list, but doing it beforehand will be more helpful. Even with the list made, disasters can happen at any moment. You need to be ready to reconstruct records to get help with taxes or insurance. To help with that, you can find out if your financial institutions provide an electronic version of financial documents. If you can’t get electronic versions and you lose some documents, you can visit the IRS’ Reconstruction webpage to see what you can do. The IRS is always ready to help, even if you are not fully prepared, you can go on their website to see what you can do if anything happens to your documents.

Preparedness is something that can be done immediately, but you may have some questions about what documents to protect and which ones can be taken online. If you have questions about any type of financial documentation or are looking for financial advice, contact Lakeesha Browne, CPA.

“September is National Preparedness Month; IRS urges taxpayers to prepare for natural disasters.” IRS, 30 Aug. 2021, September is National Preparedness Month; IRS urges taxpayers to prepare for natural disasters | Internal Revenue Service. Accessed 1 Sept. 2021.