Facts of Life: Natural Disasters and Taxes
- September 15, 2016
- Posted by: jd-admin
- Category: Blog
The recent floods in Louisiana have been a hard-hitting reminder, right next door to us, of just how unpredictable life can be. People’s lives, their homes, and businesses, have been swept away in the blink of an eye. Having had our own trials with floods these last few years, not to mention wildfires and the occasional tornado, those of us in Central Texas know more than many about the havoc Mother Nature can wreak. Our Austin-based IRS enrolled agents here at Escobar & Associates have compiled a few ideas for you to keep in mind, should the unthinkable become a reality.
No amount of preparation can truly be made to guard against such violent acts of nature. However, some forethought and precaution-taking can ensure that your business is able to get back up on its feet as soon as possible after it’s all over. Beyond physical location damage and the money incurred by repairing it, one expense that most people don’t consider after a natural disaster is the loss of business records. Floods, fires, and tornadoes all have their own special ways of abducting and destroying paperwork. Even files contained in safes or fireboxes can get swept away, never to return. It’s important to keep digital backups of all of your business documentation to safeguard your critical records.
In addition to keeping your paperwork in a safe place, and backing it up digitally on a computer and or external hard drive, you might want to think about also backing your records up online. While laptops and flash drives are much lighter and more portable than traditional paper files, they still might be difficult to rescue if you’re away from your place of business when disaster strikes, or if circumstances escalate quickly. There are a number of different online and cloud-based backup services these days available to small businesses. No matter what your needs or budget, there exists a backup solution suited to you and your work.
After a disaster occurs, make sure to check in with the IRS and see whether or not they are providing any tax relief and or are pushing back any deadlines on filing or payments. They often do extend time limits for months at a time for businesses and individuals in disaster areas. Taking advantage of this can give you some much-needed time and space to get your affairs back in order, without the pressure of impending obligations to the government crowding your to-do list. We also offer IRS support if you need to try and negotiate for more time.
While we hope you never need assistance recovering from a natural disaster, be assured that Escobar & Associates’ IRS enrolled agents in Austin are here for you if you do. We’ve been a part of this community for decades and will continue to be for years to come. We want to help ensure that you and your business are as well. Contact us today for a consultation, and let’s see what we can do to help you batten down the hatches in case of ill winds.