LDR News Release – Protect tax records and financial documents during hurricane season

BATON ROUGE – The time to protect your tax records and financial documents is now, not when a major storm is already taking aim at the Gulf Coast.  The Louisiana Department of Revenue (LDR) reminds individual taxpayers and business owners to make preparations sooner, rather than later.

Methods for protecting financial information include:

Paperless Media

Most bank statements and other financial documents are available as electronic records from your financial institution.  Backing these data up by burning them to CDs or saving them to portable memory drives is a cost-effective way to protect your information in the event of a natural disaster.

It is also a good idea to scan important tax records such as W-2s and other pay information, tax returns, and other paper documents into an electronic format.  Many commercially available home printers are available with easy-to-use scanning features.

In addition, some web-based e-mail services, such as Google’s Gmail or Microsoft’s Hotmail, offer online document storage.  Check with your service to see what storage options might be available.

Document Valuables and Business Equipment

Compile a room-by-room list of your belongings or business equipment. This will help you verify the market value of items for insurance and casualty loss claims. Photograph or videotape the contents of your home or business, especially items of high value.

Having a record of your valuables can provide proof for an insurance claim. It will also help you remember what you might be able to claim as a loss on state and federal taxes.

You should store photos or videos on CDs, DVDs, or portable memory drives in a safe location away from the area at risk.

Count on the Louisiana Department of Revenue

In the event of a disaster – and well after – the Louisiana Department of Revenue can provide information on potential tax deductions or credits, business disaster assistance, calculating losses, and other tax-related matters. Check LDR’s website, www.revenue.louisiana.gov, for news about disaster-related tax matters. As a top priority after a disaster, LDR will update forms and offer explanations of loss-relief programs.

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Protect financial, tax records during hurricane season

With the 2009 Atlantic hurricane season underway, the Louisiana Department of Revenue (LDR) urges individual and businesses taxpayers to protect financial and tax records in advance of storms and other potential disasters.

Some tips on protecting personal or business information:

Take Advantage of Paperless Media for Financial and Tax Records

Many people receive bank statements and other financial documents by e-mail. Even though most of these records are also retained by banks and corporations, you can back your records up easily and at little cost with CDs and portable memory drives.

“It’s also a good idea to scan important tax records such as W-2s and other pay information, tax returns, and other paper documents into an electronic format,” says Secretary of Revenue Cynthia Bridges.

Document Valuables and Business Equipment

Compile a room-by-room list of your belongings or business equipment. This will help you verify the market value of items for insurance and casualty loss claims. Photograph or videotape the contents of your home or business, especially items of high value.

“Having a record of your valuables can provide proof for an insurance claim. It will also help you remember what you might be able to claim as a loss on state and federal taxes,” Bridges says.

You should store photos or videos on CDs, DVDs, or portable memory drives in a safe location away from the area at risk. 

Count on the Louisiana Department of Revenue

In the event of a disaster – and well after – the Louisiana Department of Revenue stands ready to help. LDR will provide valuable information on approved tax credits, business assistance, calculating losses, etc. Check LDR’s website at www.revenue.louisiana.gov  for news about disaster-related tax matters. As a top priority after a disaster, LDR will update forms and offer explanations of loss-relief programs.

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