Protect tax records and financial documents from weather-related threats
Published 1:02 pm Monday, May 6, 2019
PRESS RELEASE — BATON ROUGE – To mark National Hurricane Preparedness Week (May 5-11), the Louisiana Department of Revenue encourages taxpayers to protect their tax records and other financial documents from flood damage and other weather-related threats.
“A few simple steps can help to minimize hardship and confusion in the aftermath of a storm,” Secretary of Revenue Kimberly Lewis Robinson said. “There is no substitute for being prepared.”
Keep documents secure
Paper records are especially vulnerable to water damage. Protect these documents by placing them in airtight plastic containers or zip closure bags, and moving them out of harm’s way.
Scan important records such as tax returns, payroll records and insurance documents into an electronic format. Many commercially available home printers include scanning features.
Use paperless media & cloud storage
Save electronic records to portable storage media such as flash memory drives and store them in waterproof containers; or upload electronic records to cloud storage from your home or business computer and retrieve them later from any device with internet access. This can be helpful if you are evacuated.
Document valuables and business equipment
Compile a room-by-room list of your belongings or business equipment. Photograph or videotape the contents of your home or business, especially items of high value. Having a visual record of your valuables can provide proof for an insurance claim, and can help to verify losses for state and federal tax purposes.
Get a Game Plan
If you have to leave your home to escape severe weather, the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness recommends you bring the following documents with you in a waterproof container:
- Driver’s license or personal identification
- Social Security card
- Proof of residence (deed or lease)
- Insurance policies
- Birth and marriage certificates
- Stocks, bonds and other negotiable certificates
- Wills, deeds and copies of recent tax returns