BATON ROUGE – The Louisiana Department of Revenue encourages taxpayers to protect their tax records and other financial documents from flood damage and other weather-related threats during hurricane season.
“A little preparation goes a long way,” Secretary of Revenue Tim Barfield said. “A few common-sense precautions can make the recovery process easier in the aftermath of an emergency.”
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.
Use paperless media
Bank statements and other financial documents are available as electronic records from your financial institution. Preserve these records by saving them to portable memory drives or burning them to CDs. Store them in airtight containers.
Scan important records such as such as tax returns, W-2s and payroll records into an electronic format. Many commercially available home printers include scanning features.
Web-based email services such as Google’s Gmail and Microsoft’s Hotmail offer account holders free online data storage. You can upload electronic records from your home computer and retrieve them later from any device with Internet access. This can be helpful if you are evacuated from your home.
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. It can also help to verify a loss claim on state and federal tax returns.
In case of a disaster, the Department of Revenue can provide information on potential tax deductions or credits, filing extensions, and other tax-related information. Bookmark www.revenue.louisiana.gov.