Whether you are worried about fires and earthquakes in California, tornados in the Midwest, hurricanes in the South, or epic thunder and snowstorms in the east, natural disasters can be devastating. Anyone who has lived with and through a natural disaster knows full well the impact can be tremendous and long lasting. The ability to respond, adapt, and recover from a disaster quickly and efficiently depends a great deal on the amount of preparation done ahead of time. A tax attorney can help you prepare for a disaster or help you recover from one if needed.
One of the key resources available in the 21st century is electronic record keeping. Bank statements, financial documents, and tax records can all be sent and recorded via email. Generally, email providers keep redundant storage off-site and in safe distributed locations. Even documents that are not being sent through email servers can be scanned and stored electronically, either in the cloud or on an electronic backup. Backing up your files has never been easier or more important. There are numerous tools available to individual taxpayers, small business, giant corporations, and anything scaled in-between. Make sure your records are physically and electronically secure and quickly accessible should disaster strike. For some people, it might be as simple as a thumb drive locked in the office. You have a number of choices. Pick the ones that suit you and your business.
Every quarter or every year, you should document your valuables and business equipment. This can be as simple as a logbook. You can also take digital photographs of the contents of your home or business. Your documentation should include a thorough room-by-room accounting along with paperwork that proves the market value of the items for insurance loss claims. Again, back up and store these documents in a highly secure fashion. For information on the tax implications of business property and loss, you can speak to a tax attorney.
It is also vital to prepare a Continuity of Operations Plan. You need to be informed and inform your employees of potential hazards and what to do in an emergency. Your software and data needs to be backed up securely. Make a plan for communicating with employees, vendors, and clients. Be prepared for a lack of electricity, through either cell phones, batteries, generators and the like. Assemble a disaster supply kit to make sure needs can be met over the short term. Include information for community and school plans in the event of a disaster. Be familiar with evacuation procedures and practice them.
It would also be worthwhile to check on fiduciary bonds to protect the employer. If needed, the IRS can help by providing a copy of returns and attachments. For more information about how your tax attorney can help you please contact us at 913-735-4829