This year, the deadline to get all your federal taxes sorted by was the 15th of April. Hopefully you managed to get them all in on time and smoothly. However, for some, that’s not always the case.
It is believed that data loss is a big issue that complicates the tax return process for a lot of users. DataRecovery.com, one of the most popular recovery services globally, warned that all financial information should be backed up, especially during tax season.
“We receive several dozen tax-related cases every April,” said Ben Carmitchel, President of DataRecovery.com. “Data loss is always problematic, but it's especially frustrating when our clients face tax penalties due to a hard drive issue or a RAID failure.”
Data loss is not accepted as an excuse for filing your taxes late. If you don’t get them in on time then you’re going to suffer a fine.
Millions of users use their computers to help prepare their taxes. The IRS claim that more than 112 million electronic returns were submitted in 2013, an increase of 3 million from the previous year. Last year, more than 80 percent of tax returns were filed electronically. It’s a figure that is likely to only grow.
Data loss can strike in a number of ways that relate to the tax season. Businesses could find themselves unable to access their payroll data, profit/losses or other financial documents. They could even lose the data that they’ve been compiling on tax preparation programs like Quickbooks or TurboTax.
During the tax season, hard drive failures make up the majority of incidents reported to recovery companies. However, any digital system is capable of losing data. Data stored on servers or in the cloud can be corrupted, either by the system or by user error.
“Back up your data unless you can afford to lose it,” said Carmitchel. “We can recover most cases in less than a day, but we'd much rather help our clients avoid serious data loss in the first place.”
He recommends that you keep at least three digital copies of all your important data. These copies should all be stored on separate physical drives, preferably in different locations (if a natural disaster strikes then it’ll take out all copies), and with suitable encryption to stop unauthorised users accessing any sensitive data.
The IRS says that small businesses should keep all their tax records for seven years and individuals should keep their records for three years. This is so that they can follow up on any of the data should they need to.
Of course, this means that you need to protect your data constantly, not just during tax season. If you keep a tight and efficient backup plan going, then there will be no need for panic when tax season rolls around and your hard drive fails.
Hopefully all of your taxes were handed in on time and without suffering any data loss. Remember, have a backup and recovery plan in place and you’ll save your future self a whole load of potential stress.
Data Recovery During Tax Season
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