April 13, 2022
What to Know About Tax Season Shredding
The 2022 tax season is upon us, and San Diego businesses are in the process of filing 2021 returns. This time of year is never without its challenges, and no matter what type of business you run, preparing taxes can be a headache at the best of times. This year, the IRS has already announced that it is expecting delays in the time it takes to review returns. And on top of all of that, there is an ever-present risk of fraud and identity theft during a time when so many financial documents are on the move both electronically and physically.
To help protect yourself against fraud and cover your bases when it comes to document retention and destruction, we’ve written this blog to tell you everything you need to know about tax season shredding.
Keep Documents Secure During Tax Season
Tax documents contain a large quantity of personal and financial information, from Social Security Numbers to credit card information. The first step to protecting yourself this tax season is to make sure you put in place measures to keep tax documents safe while you prepare your returns.
This can look a variety of ways, including maintaining a clean desk policy so no one can swipe documents from your office. This means having a password protected computer and using a locked filing cabinet to store sensitive information. You should also take steps to protect any digital files with proper cybersecurity protocols, as well as only using digital document storage and document scanning solutions that you can trust.
Another component of this is watching out for tax scams. Many people will impersonate IRS agents to attempt to get information from you. Know that the IRS will never contact you over the phone and immediately demand payment, or try to get any financial information out of you in a phone call. Requests from the IRS typically come in the form of a mailed letter.
Other fraudulent schemes include people promoting fake charities or targeting businesses with phishing scams to obtain employee tax forms. It’s a good idea to train employees to recognize these scams so that your company does not fall prey to data thieves.
And finally, if you are mailing your tax returns, don’t just stick them in your mailbox. Take them to the post office and send them as certified mail to ensure the utmost security while your return is in transit.
Know How Long to Keep Tax Documents
Once you have filed your tax returns, you will need to know what records should be kept and how long you should keep them. Generally, the IRS recommends keeping tax documents for at least three years after filing. Some documents, however, fall under this rule, while others should be kept for much longer. Here’s a general guideline for how long to keep tax documents:
Keep for 1 Year
- Pay stubs
- Monthly brokerage statements
Keep for 3 Years
- Tax Returns
- Canceled checks
- Receipts from charitable contributions
- Contributions to tax-deductible retirement savings accounts
Keep for 6 years
- All receipts and business expenses from the past 6 years
There are some special situations that require different retention times, so it is best to refer to your CPA or another qualified tax expert who can give you insight on how long to keep your specific records.
Get Secure Tax Record Shredding with PROSHRED® San Diego
Once your tax documents have reached the end of their useful life, it is time to get rid of them in as secure a way as possible. The best way to shred tax documents is to use a professional shredding service like PROSHRED® San Diego. That’s because traditional office shredders use a strip-cut method to shred documents, which is the least secure method of document shredding. It can also be incredibly time consuming to shred documents if you have a large amount. At PROSHRED®, our shredding machines create more secure shred particles than conventional office shredders and shred documents in a fraction of the time. We offer a variety of shredding services to fit your needs, whether you are a business owner or a resident.
For businesses that will be needing to shred a large amount of documents, we recommend the use of a mobile shredding service. When you schedule a shredding event, we will drive one of our state-of-the art mobile shredding trucks to your location and shred all of your tax records on site, right in front of you, for ultimate peace of mind. If you have a small amount of documents, it is recommended that you utilize our drop-off services. This allows you to bring your documents directly to our facility, where they will be shredded the same day you drop them off. Either way, using our professional services to destroy your sensitive financial documents is the best way to ward off fraud and identity theft and keep your information protected as it is being destroyed.
As an NAID AAA and ISO 9001 certified shredding service provider, we pride ourselves on our customer service and the high level of security we provide our business and residential customers. For more information on our services or to schedule an appointment, give us a call today!