IRS Tips for Natural Disasters

IRS Offers Tips on Preparing for Natural Disasters

With hurricane season approaching, the IRS is offering advice to those impacted by storms and other natural disasters.

The following tips from the IRS may help businesses prepare for natural disasters

  • Use electronic records. Businesses may have access to bank and other financial statements online. If so, their statements are already securely stored there. Businesses can also keep an additional set of records electronically by scanning tax records and insurance policies onto an electronic format. Businesses may also want to download important records to an external hard drive or USB flash drive.
  • Document valuables. Take time- and date-stamped photos or videos of the contents of your business. These visual records can help prove the value of lost items, which can help with insurance claims or casualty loss deductions on a tax return. Businesses should store these records in a safe place.
  • Contact the IRS for help. Businesses that fall victim to a disaster may call the IRS disaster hotline at 866-562-5227 for special help with disaster-related tax issues.
  • Get copies of prior year tax records. If a business needs a copy of its tax return, it should file IRS Form 4506, Request for Copy of Tax Return. While the usual fee per copy is $50, the IRS is expected to waive this fee if a business is a victim of a federally declared disaster. For information that shows most line items from a tax return, call 1-800-908-9946 to request a free transcript. Alternatively, businesses may file IRS Form 4506T-EZ, Short Form Request for Individual Tax Return Transcript, or IRS Form 4506-T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return.

The IRS offers many resources to help employers plan for and recover from disasters, including IRS Publication 584-B, Business Casualty, Disaster, and Theft Loss Workbook, and web pages devoted to preparing for a disaster and tax relief in disaster situations.


Information provided HR360, the award-winning online HR library featuring easy-to-understand guidance on federal and state labor laws and Health Care Reform along with interactive HR tools and hundreds of forms and posters.The information and materials herein are provided for general information purposes only and are not intended to constitute legal or other advice or opinions on any specific matters and are not intended to replace the advice of a qualified attorney, plan provider or other professional advisor. This information has been taken from sources which we believe to be reliable, but there is no guarantee as to its accuracy.