When Disaster Strikes, Will Your Business Be Prepared?1 min read

by | Blog, Business Tax Planning

Do you know how your business would be affected in the event of a disaster?  It may be time to begin planning if you’re not sure.  The following is a quick look at how you can prepare as well as what relief might be available following a disaster.
Identify key issues. Begin a brainstorming session with your key managers and executives in order to determine what steps would be critical for disaster recovery.  Take into consideration at least two scenarios:  a regional disaster that affects the entire area as well as something more company-specific that would only affect your business, such as a fire.  The goal will be to identify key issues and take necessary precautions. It won’t be possible for you to anticipate every need that will arise.
Establish a communications protocol. Consider how you will communicate with vendors, customers and employees.  Each manager should, at least, keep a contact list to include phone numbers and personal email addresses for key employees.
Backup company records. Determine which company records are crucial and plan how to access them in the event of a disaster.  Keep a backup of all electronic information in a safe, off-site location.  Paper backups of certain information may also be necessary in the event of a power outage.  Organize a list of federal, state, and city tax information, bank account passwords, insurance policy numbers and account numbers with login information.
Review your insurance. Be certain that you understand your insurance coverage by taking some time to meet with your agent.  You will want to review the scope and dollar limits of your coverage and discuss business interruption insurance as well.
Apply for relief assistance. Be aware of processes involved with insurance reimbursements and federal disaster loans or grants and know the steps required to apply for assistance.
Take advantage of tax breaks. Consult your tax professional to see if your business qualifies for a casualty loss deduction and when to claim it.  Those in a Presidentially declared disaster area have the option of a faster refund by being able to claim the deduction against prior year’s taxes.
Additional benefits may include penalty relief and extended due dates.  We can help with your unique circumstances.  Call our office for advice!

By Simons Bitzer

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