Safe Storage of Financial Records in Case of a Natural Disaster

 In Blog, Educational Issues

Safe storage of financial records should be a high priority for you personally as well as for your business.  Hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and other natural disasters are more common in the summer, and in California, we never know when a earthquake may hit!

Here are a few simple steps to protect your tax and financial records in case a disaster strikes:

  1. Backup Records Electronically.  Keep an extra set of electronic records in a safe place away from where you store the originals. You can use an external hard drive, CD or DVD to store the most important records. You can take these with you to keep your copies safe. You may want to store items such as bank statements, tax returns and insurance policies.
  2. Document Valuables.  Take pictures or videotape the contents of your home or place of business. These may help you prove the value of your lost items for insurance claims and casualty loss deductions. IRS Publication 584, Casualty, Disaster and Theft Loss Workbook, can help you determine your loss if a disaster strikes.
  3. Update Emergency Plans.  Review your emergency plans every year. You may need to update them if your personal or business situation changes.
  4. Get Copies of Tax Returns or Transcripts.  Visit 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. If Bressler & Company did your tax returns in the past, we will have copies as well.
  5. Check in with the IRS.  The IRS has a Disaster Hotline to help people with tax issues after a disaster. Call the IRS at 1-866-562-5227 to speak with a specialist trained to handle disaster-related tax issues.

In the event of a disaster, the IRS stands ready to help. Visit “Disaster Assistance and Emergency Relief for Individuals and Businesses” link for for information.  You can also get forms and publications anytime at or order them by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).

Your CPA should be your first call regarding lost tax or financial information.  Give us a call at Bressler & Company at 559-924-1225 for copies, for recommendations on a system, or assistance in setting up a safe storage system for your financial records.

(Taken from IRS Summertime Tax Tip 2013-04 dated July 10, 2013)


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