RE/MAX 440
John F. O'Hara

John F. O'Hara
731 W Skippack Pike  Blue Bell  PA 19422
Phone:  610-277-4060
Office:  215-643-3200
Cell:  267-481-1786
Fax:  267-354-6973

My Blog

Don't Let Tax Records Take a Hit from Hurricanes

June 4, 2015 1:24 am

When hurricanes and other seasonal storms are set to strike, it is important to protect personal documents, including tax records. To ensure your tax records are safe from whatever nature has in store, take the following steps, courtesy of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

1. Create an Electronic Set of Records
Taxpayers should keep a duplicate set of records including bank statements, tax returns, identifications and insurance policies in a safe place such as a waterproof container, and away from the original set.

Keeping an additional set of records is easier now that many financial institutions provide statements and documents electronically, and much financial information is available on the Internet. Even if the original records are only provided on paper, these can be scanned into an electronic format. This way, taxpayers can save them to the cloud, download them to a storage device such as an external hard drive or USB flash drive, or burn them to a CD or DVD.

2. Document Valuables
Another step a taxpayer can take to prepare for a disaster is to photograph or videotape the contents of his or her home, especially items of higher value. The IRS has a disaster loss workbook (Publication 584) which can help taxpayers compile a room-by-room list of belongings.

A photographic record can help an individual prove the fair market value of items for insurance and casualty loss claims. Ideally, photos should be stored with a friend or family member who lives outside the area.

3. Update Emergency Plans
Emergency plans should be reviewed annually. Personal and business situations change over time, as do preparedness needs. When employers hire new employees or when a company or organization changes functions, plans should be updated accordingly and employees should be informed of the changes. Make your plans ahead of time and practice them.

4. Check on Fiduciary Bonds
Employers who use payroll service providers should ask the provider if it has a fiduciary bond in place. The bond could protect the employer in the event of default by the payroll service provider.

If disaster strikes, an affected taxpayer can call 1-866-562-52271-866-562-5227 FREE (FREE) to speak with an IRS specialist trained to handle disaster-related issues.

Source: IRS.gov

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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6 Garage Safeguards for New Homeowners

June 4, 2015 1:24 am

Most new homeowners are not only new to homeownership, but new to owning a garage, as well. It’s important for all homeowners, especially those with children, to stay safe while entering and exiting the garage. Here’s how, according to the experts at OverheadDoor.com.

1. Make sure the garage door opener control button is out of the reach of children and their small fingers and do not let them play with garage door remote controls.

2. Never place fingers between door sections. Consider pinch-resistant door panels to help prevent accidents.

3. Visually inspect the garage door for wear and tear. Pay particular attention to springs, cables, rollers and pulleys. Do not attempt to remove, adjust or repair these parts or anything attached to them. These parts are under high tension and should only be fixed by a trained garage door professional.

4. Test the reversing mechanism by placing a 2-inch by 4-inch board in the door's path. If the door does not reverse after contacting the object, call a qualified garage door professional for repair. If the opener has not been replaced since 1993, replace the garage door opener with a new one that has safety beams and auto-reverse as a standard feature.

5. While on vacation, unplug the garage door opener unit or use the vacation lock security switch on the wall console, which renders remotes unusable and is an optional accessory to most openers.

6. Do not leave the garage door partially open. When activated again, it may travel downward and come in contact with an object in its path. This also compromises a home's security.

Source: OverheadDoor.com

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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