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Stay Prepared: Peace-of-Mind Forecasting for Hurricane Season

If you’re an experienced Florida business owner, you probably don’t flinch at the mention of hurricane season. No matter how many natural disasters you weathered, you’ve learned to simultaneously keep one eye on your financial forecast and budget planning while vigilantly monitoring the hurricane’s eye and dreaded storm track maps.

Adding peace-of-mind to your own “seven day outlook” comes once you develop thorough personal and business disaster strategies:

  • Update emergency plans. Because a disaster can strike any time, be sure to review emergency plans annually. Personal and business situations change over time, as do preparedness needs. Make plans ahead of time and be fully equipped and organized.
  • Create electronic versions of documents. One of the easiest tasks to keep documents safe during any natural disaster is making an electronic back up. Transfer your tax returns and accompanying records, bank statements and insurance policies to a flash drive, CD, external drive, or cloud service and keep your original documents and copies stored separately in waterproof containers.
  • Itemize your valuables. If you must evacuate your home or business, you can’t possibly take everything with you. Good documentation of your possessions, such as receipts or video records, helps prove the value of your lost or damaged items if the worst happens. This documentation is very helpful when filing insurance claims or casualty loss deductions on your return. Need help deciding what to film or photograph? IRS Publication 584 can help.
  • Is payroll covered? If you use a payroll service provider, confirm it offers a fiduciary bond to protect you in the event of default on the part of the provider. In a disaster situation, your employees will appreciate you ensured the regular delivery of their paychecks.

Should you be a victim of a natural disaster and in need of disaster-related tax accounting help, the IRS can assist. You can reach its disaster hotline to speak with an IRS specialist trained to handle disaster-related issues at 1-866-562-5227.

The IRS provides a copy of your previous year’s tax return, by filing Form 4506 or by calling 1-800-908-9946 to request one. Copies are generally available for the current year and the past six years. Depending on the format you request, certain charges may apply.

At Patrick & Robinson CPAs, we always keep digital copies of our clients’ previous three years’ tax returns. It’s one of the many accounting services we offer.

With the height of hurricane season upon us, careful planning and preparedness can prove extremely beneficial before, during and after the storm.

If you need an accountant to assist you with disaster planning or other CPA services, contact our tax accounting team at Office@CPAsite.com or 904-396-5400.

Most importantly, stay safe!

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