Natural disasters can strike without warning. Sometimes even the most diligent taxpayers are left without the important personal and financial records they need. People may need documentation for tax purposes, federal or state assistance programs or insurance claims.
Here are some steps that can help them reconstruct their important records.
- Taxpayers can get free federal tax return transcripts immediately using Get Transcript on IRS.gov.
- They can also order transcripts by calling 800-908-9946 and following the prompts.
- People who use a tax professional to file taxes should keep their contact information in a safe place.
Financial statements from credit card companies or banks are usually available online. People can also contact their bank to get paper copies of statements.
- Homeowners may be able to contact the title company, escrow company or bank that handled the purchase of their home or other property to get documents related to their home.
- Many property records are available online from tax assessors or other government agencies. Check local government websites for information.
- Taxpayers who made home improvements can get in touch with the contractors who did the work and ask for statements to verify the work and cost. They can also get written descriptions from friends and relatives who saw the house before and after any improvements.
- For inherited property, taxpayers can check court records for probate values. If a trust or estate existed, taxpayers can contact the attorney who handled the trust.
- Insurance companies often keep records related to property maintained in a home. Taxpayers should keep their property insurance contacts handy.
- Car owners can research the current fair-market value of most vehicles via resources available online and at most libraries. These include Kelley’s Blue Book, the National Automobile Dealers Association and Edmunds.