Safeguard those records... because if your Tax Documents get damaged- you might be out of luck. Some things like receipts for deductions are irreplaceable, but there are plenty of tools and resources you can rely on to replace tax documents, bills, and receipts.
The "Paperless" Advantage
Putting all of your eggs in one basket is dangerous. When you go Paperless with your Tax Documents, you have the option of keeping your file in a variety of places. Here's a few ideas.
1. You can scan your tax forms and documents and uploaded them to a server or save them to a CD/DVD
2. Take advantage of online banking, which secures financial records and can take the place of purchase receipts.
3. Use one of the commercially available record keeping software services available online or for purchase at a retail store to keep all files organized and backed-up.
The IRS will help you replace lost documents if necessary. Here's the forms you'll need to know:
Form 4506, Request for Copy of Tax Return- You can use this to request a copy of your Tax Return immediately after a disaster
Form 4506, T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return- If you need information for your return you can call 1-800-829-1040 or use Form 4506. The Transcripts available will be from the current year and returns processed in the three prior years.
Final Tip With a little prior preparation you won't have to reconstruct your records if the worst case scenarios occur. But keep in mind, the IRS offers plenty of opportunities and resources for recovering lost information. With few exceptions, natural disaster, hurricane or not, if you don't have your taxes ready by the due date, you will face the consequences.