With the start of this year’s hurricane season, the Internal Revenue Service is encouraging individuals and businesses to protect themselves in the event of a natural disaster by taking a few simple steps.

Taxpayers should keep a set of backup records in a safe place, the IRS cautioned. The backup should be stored away from the original set. Keeping a backup set of records—including, for example, bank statements, tax returns and insurance policies—is easier now that many financial institutions provide statements and documents electronically, and much financial information is available on the Internet, the IRS noted. 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.

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