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Natural Disaster Relief Provisions

July 10, 2013

Taxpayers who have been affected by hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and other natural disasters can get relief from the IRS. Taxpayers should try to make a serious effort to ensure their important tax records are safe when a natural disaster strikes, especially those in high risk areas.

Keeping Backup
To ensure the safety of their financial records, taxpayers should keep an electronic backup of their tax records. Paper records can be scanned and stored in an external hard drive, CD, DVD, or flash drive. It is important to keep the backup files in a place other than where the originals are stored. In case of a threat of a natural disaster, taxpayers should make sure they carry their important documents, such as bank statements, insurance policies and tax returns, with them.

Videotaping Real Estate
In case taxpayers worry about damage to their property, such as a home, boat or office, they can videotape the contents of their property. This will help them prove the value of lost items for insurance claims and casualty loss deductions.

IRS Helpline
The IRS provides assistance to taxpayers regarding disaster-related tax issues. Taxpayers may call the IRS’ Disaster Hotline at 1-866-562-5227 and get disaster-related tax help.

Copies of Tax Returns
Taxpayers who have lost their tax returns after a disaster may request a copy from the IRS. Requests can be made with IRS Form 4506 Request for Copy of Tax Return. Information regarding disaster relief can be received from the IRS’ Disaster Relief section on the IRS website for both businesses and individuals. Taxpayers may find a list of IRS’ tax relief efforts in disaster situations here.

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