Disasters can and will happen at any time and in any place. Virginia Tax encourages you to be prepared, especially on a financial basis. The following tax-related tips can help you get ready before an emergency strikes:  

Before a Disaster

Take advantage of paperless recordkeeping for financial and tax records: 

  • Many people receive bank statements and documents by email. This can be a good way to secure financial records. Important tax records such as W-2s, tax returns, and other paper documents can be scanned onto an electronic format.
  • Be sure you backup your electronic files and store them in a safe place. Making duplicates and keeping them in a separate location is a good business practice. Other options include utilizing cloud technology to store critical information, as well as copying files onto a CD or DVD. Also, many retail stores sell computer software packages that you can use for recordkeeping. 
  • When choosing a place to keep your important records, proximity to your home should not be your primary concern. Remember, a disaster that strikes your home is also likely to affect other facilities nearby, making quick retrieval of your records difficult and maybe even impossible. 

After a Disaster 

  • If you need tax information following a disaster and used commercial software to prepare your returns, you should be able to log into your account and view or print copies of your last tax returns, including all attachments and W-2s, without charge. 
  • If you used a tax preparer to prepare your returns, the tax preparer may be able to provide a copy of your last return filings quickly, free of charge.
  • You can also contact Virginia Tax to request a copy of a previously filed Virginia return.
  • Additionally, you can request a copy of a federal return and all attachments (including Form W-2) through the IRS.
Additional Resources