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WASHINGTON — With the start of this year's hurricane season, the Internal Revenue Service encourages individuals and businesses to safeguard themselves against natural disasters by taking a few simple steps.
Create a Backup Set of Records Electronically
Taxpayers should keep a set of backup records in a safe place. The backup should be stored away from the original set.
Keeping a backup set of records — including, for example, bank statements, tax returns, insurance policies, etc. — is easier now that many financial institutions provide statements and documents electronically, and much financial information is available on the Internet. Even if the original records are provided only on paper, they can be scanned into an electronic format. With documents in electronic form, taxpayers can download them to a backup storage device, like an external hard drive, or burn them to a CD or DVD.
Another step a taxpayer can take to prepare for disaster is to photograph or videotape the contents of his or her home, especially items of higher value. The IRS has a disaster loss workbook, Publication 584, which can help taxpayers compile a room-by-room list of belongings.
A photographic record can help an individual prove the market value of items for insurance and casualty loss claims. Photos should be stored with a friend or family member who lives outside the area.
Update Emergency Plans
Emergency plans should be reviewed annually. Personal and business situations change over time as do preparedness needs. When employers hire new employees or when a company or organization changes functions, plans should be updated accordingly and employees should be informed of the changes.
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.
IRS Ready to Help
If disaster strikes, an affected taxpayer can call 1-866-562-5227 to speak with an IRS specialist trained to handle disaster-related issues.
Back copies of previously-filed tax returns and all attachments, including Forms W-2, can be requested by filing Form 4506, Request for Copy of Tax Return. Alternatively, transcripts showing most line items on these returns can be ordered on-line, by calling 1-800-908-9946 or by using Form 4506T-EZ, Short Form Request for Individual Tax Return Transcript or Form 4506-T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return.
Save secure digital copies of your tax documents with TaxACT DocVault. It's fast, easy and FREE! Easily create photos of your W-2s, 1099s, charitable donations, and other tax documents with the free mobile app. Upload images from the app or your computer to your secure web account at www.taxactdocvault.com, where you can save up to 3GB of images for free. At tax time, import your images into TaxACT Deluxe for safekeeping with your tax return. Learn more and get DocVault here.
June 10 — Employees who work for tips
If you received $20 or more in tips during May, report them to your employer - Details
June 10 — Communications and air transportation taxes under the alternative method.
Deposit the tax included in amounts billed or tickets sold during the first 15 days of May.
June 14 — Regular method taxesDeposit the tax for the last 16 days of May.
June 15 — Individuals
If you are a U.S. citizen or resident alien living and working (or on military duty) outside the United States and Puerto Rico, file Form 1040 and pay any tax, interest, and penalties due. If you want additional time to file your return, file Form 4868 to obtain 4 additional months to file - Details
June 15 — Individuals
Make a payment of your 2016 estimated tax if you are not paying your income tax for the year through withholding (or will not pay in enough tax that way). Use Form 1040-ES. This is the second installment - Details
June 15 — Corporations
Deposit the second installment of estimated income tax for 2016 - Details
June 15 — Social security, Medicare, and withheld income tax
If the monthly deposit rule applies, deposit the tax for payments in May.
June 15 — Nonpayroll withholdingIf the monthly deposit rule applies, deposit the tax for payments in May.
June 27 — Communications and air transportation taxes under the alternative method.
Deposit the tax included in amounts billed or tickets sold during the first 16 days of May.
June 29 — Regular method taxes
Deposit the tax for the first 15 days of June.
June 30 — Wagering tax
File Form 730 and pay the tax on wagers accepted during May.
June 30 — Heavy highway vehicle use tax
File Form 2290 and pay the tax for vehicles first used in May.
June 30 — Floor stocks tax for ozone depleting chemicals
(IRS No. 20). Deposit the tax for January 1, 2016.