As Hurricane Florence advances, SCACPA is sharing the following preparedness advice from the IRS.

In the coming days, South Carolina is projected to be affected by severe storms, flooding and high winds that can cause major disruptions. For emergency updates, check in with the South Carolina Emergency Management Division at www.scemd.org.

Individuals, families and businesses are urged to have a preparedness plan that includes key documents, lists of belongings and property.

Document Valuables and Equipment

Photographs or videos of the contents of any home or business, especially high value items, can help support claims for any available insurance or tax benefits should a disaster strike. The IRS has a disaster-loss workbook for individuals (Publication 584, Casualty, Disaster, and Theft Loss Workbook) and businesses (Publication 584-B, Business Casualty, Disaster, and Theft Loss Workbook) that can help people compile lists of belongings or business equipment. Images may fit on the same storage device as electronic documents.

IRS is Ready to Help

Taxpayers can get copies of previously filed tax returns and all attachments, including Forms W-2, by filing Form 4506, Request for Copy of Tax Return.

Tax transcripts that show most line items on a tax return can be ordered through the Get Transcript link on IRS.gov, by calling 800.908.9946 or by using Form 4506T-EZ, Short Form Request for Individual Tax Return Transcript, or Form 4506-T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return.

In the case of a federally declared disaster with FEMA Individual Assistance (which has not yet been declared for Hurricane Florence in South Carolina as of Sept. 10, 2018), an affected taxpayer can call 866.562.5227 to speak with an IRS specialist trained to handle disaster-related issues.

Copies of Key Documents

Original documents, including bank statements, tax returns, deeds, titles and insurance policies, should be kept in a safe place in waterproof containers. A duplicate set of key documents should be kept with a family member or trusted friend outside the area the disaster may affect. Rather than copy paper documents, scanning them for backup storage on a hard drive, flash drive, CD or DVD takes less space. Many financial institutions provide statements and documents electronically.

Check on fiduciary bonds

Employers who use payroll service providers should ask the provider if it has a fiduciary bond in place. The bond could protect the employer in the event of default by the payroll service provider.

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