People should put together an emergency preparedness plan for their household – and include copies of their vital records and financial information. By creating an emergency preparedness plan and updating it annually, people will be able to start the recovery process faster if they’re affected by a disaster or other emergency.
Here are some things taxpayers can do to help protect their financial records.
Update emergency preparedness plan annually
Personal and business situations are constantly evolving, so taxpayers should review their emergency preparedness plan annually. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Ready.gov website has resources and checklists to help people put together their emergency preparedness plan.
Create electronic copies of documents
Taxpayers should keep important documents in a safe place. This includes bank statements, tax returns and insurance policies. This is especially easy now since many financial institutions provide statements and documents electronically. If original documents are available only on paper, taxpayers can use a scanner and save them on a USB flash drive or in the cloud.
Documenting valuables by taking pictures or videoing them before disaster strikes makes it easier to claim insurance and tax benefits. IRS.gov has a disaster loss workbook that can help taxpayers compile a room-by-room list of belongings.
2022 Organizer Pages are available here:
Engagement letter (pdf)
Client information (pdf)
Business Income (pdf)
Rental Property (pdf)
Other Income and Adjustments (pdf)
Itemized deductions (pdf)
Auto expenses (pdf)
Education Credits (pdf)
Child & dependent care (pdf)
Keep a record of the date, amount, and name of charitable organization
Here's a nice worksheet to help you keep track.
You can deduct cash payments that you have receipts for and checks*
Market Day purchases - 10% is a donation
License Plate fee – fees for additional charges for certain plates are tax deductible (i.e. endangered resources, celebrate children, etc.)
Sponsor someone to walk a mile, run a mile, read a book, jump rope for heart, bowl-a-thon, Breast Cancer 3-Day, etc.
*You must have a receipt for all contributions and if the amount is $250 or more, you must get a receipt showing the dollar amount and a statement that you did not receive anything in return for the donation
Fundraising items - part of the cost is a donation and part is payment for the items. Make sure you have receipts for the items you purchased.
Nonperishable food items given to schools, churches, business, the barrels at the grocery stores, etc. Save your grocery receipts so you can highlight the items donated.
Volunteer work – you get nothing for your time(except a pat on the back) but you can deduct any out of pocket expenses and you can take a deduction for miles, parking, and tolls.
Clothing, household items, and other personal items - even if you get a receipt from the organization collecting the items, they don't put a value on them. Make a list and put a value on them before you give them away. (We have a sample Salvation Army list.)