January 31, 2023
What Documents Should Be Shredded After Tax Season
It’s a new year, and you know what that means: tax season is upon us. Businesses and individuals spend the year keeping track of things like receipts, credit card payments, and banking statements, and sometimes it takes effort to keep everything organized. After filing our taxes, many of us shove all that paperwork in a manila folder and hold onto it for seven years or longer. But after there is no need to retain old records, do you need to hold onto all of the paperwork?
In this blog, we’ll look at the documents you should shred after tax season, and why it’s important to dispose of them properly so your information isn’t stolen. Keep reading to learn more!
Which documents should you shred after tax season?
It’s important to shred any document with your personal information. This includes your social security number, bank account number, credit card numbers, and anything else that could be used to steal your identity. You should also shred any documents that have sensitive information about your finances. Listed below are the items you need to shred after tax season to keep your information secure.
- Tax returns – Electronic filing makes it easier than ever to get a copy of tax forms at any time.
- W-2’s – You can get a copy from your employer.
- 1099 forms – Contract or dividends from interest can easily be reprinted.
- Student loan information – Has your social security information
- Other documents that contain information about your income, deductions, or credits.
Shredding these documents will help protect you from identity theft and fraud. It will also help keep your personal and financial information private.
The Importance of Shredding Tax Documents
With identity theft and other scams on the rise, it’s no secret that keeping your data safe is more important than ever. One way to keep your sensitive information safe is by keeping important documents under lock and key and destroying paperwork after it’s no longer needed. While you may shred certain paperwork regularly, some may think they need to hold onto tax documents for seven years or more. That isn’t the case because once an electronic copy is made of your forms, there is no reason to keep a hard copy for your records.
Shredding tax documents helps protect you from identity theft and fraud. If someone gets their hands on your tax documents, they could use your personal information to steal your identity or commit fraud. Shredding your tax documents also keeps your personal and financial information private and away from scammers.
Finally, shredding tax documents helps to keep your home clutter-free. Excessive paperwork can build up over time and, before too long, can lead to over-stuffed filing cabinets and mounds of important paperwork lying exposed for anyone to find.
How to Shred Tax Documents
The best way to shred tax documents is to use a paper shredder. Shredders come in various sizes and capabilities, and small, personal shredders are perfect for shredding a few tax documents. However, large commercial shredders can handle a whole stack of papers at once for more significant paperwork like those used in medical offices and other businesses.
Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions, no matter the style or type of shredder you use. This will help avoid accidents and ensure that your documents are properly shredded. Additionally, the easiest way to ensure your documents are correctly shredded is by partnering with a company utilizing mobile shredding trucks in Houston.
Tips for Shredding Tax Documents
Now that you know what documents to shred and how important shredding them can be to your business, here are a few tips to make the process as simple as possible:
- Start with a small stack of documents – Shredding a small stack will help you get a feel for the process and avoid overloading the shredder.
- Shred documents that are no longer needed first – This helps to clear out space and make it easier to find the documents you need to shred.
- Be sure to shred both sides of the document – This helps prevent anyone from piecing the document back together.
- Always check with your CPA, Tax preparer, or tax attorney to determine what record retention guideline is right for you and shred old records on that schedule.
After shredding, be sure to dispose of the shredded paper properly. Don’t just leave it in the shredder or in a pile on the floor!
Ready to Shred Those Old Tax Documents?
PROSHRED® of Houston is a locally-owned world leader in on-site document shredding, hard drive destruction, and anything of a proprietary nature. We serve large businesses and home clients every day to securely destroy sensitive data, protect their public image, and comply with state and federal data safety compliance laws. Shredding your tax documents is the best way to keep your information safe and secure. Contact us today to learn more about our services, and let us get to work for you!