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April 2, 2014

Tax Preparation: What to Keep and What to Shred

Tax season has quickly approached us, and we’ve almost reached the deadline to get all of your important tax documents submitted. Don’t wait until the last minute to get everything in order; by prepping all of your financial documents ahead of time, you will save yourself from the unnecessary stress of missing the tax deadline.

Make sure you have all documents in place for getting the most out of your tax return. According to TurboTax*, most people will need the following key documents:

·         W-2 forms

·         1099 forms

·         Copies of last year’s tax return

·         Bank account and routing numbers

·         Social security numbers

·         Miscellaneous income information (scholarships, medical savings account, etc.)

Additionally, TurboTax refers to items that can help reduce the amount of income taxed:

·         Form 1098-E for student loan interest paid

·         Form 1098-T for tuition paid

·         Self-employed health insurance payment records

·         Moving expense records

·         Medical Savings Account contributions

·         Real estate tax records

·         Childcare cost records

·         Charity records

·         Self-employed work related records (computer, desk, advertising fees, other office equipment, etc.)

Retention guidelines

After you have filed your tax return, reduce your financial clutter by destroying documents you no longer need. PROSHRED has compiled a helpful retention guide to help you determine which documents to keep and which to shred. Even if you think documents are okay to throw away without proper disposal, it’s always good practice to shred anything that has your personal and sensitive information to avoid identity theft. In 2013, the IRS initiated approximately 1,492 identity theft related criminal investigations, an increase of 66 percent over investigations initiated in 2012**.

Below are the suggested retention guidelines for your tax records:

·         Annual tax filing for the organization (IRS form 990) – permanent

·         Payroll registers – permanent

·         Filings of fees paid to professionals (IRS form 1099) – 7 years

·         Payroll tax withholdings – 7 years

·         Earnings records – 7 years

·         Payroll tax returns – 7 years

·         W-2 statements – 7 years

PROSHRED® offers secure, cost-effective and convenient financial shredding services for individuals as well as corporate businesses to satisfy unique document destruction needs. You will also receive a certificate of destruction after every service to assure your financial records are disposed properly. PROSHRED® has over 25 years of mobile paper shredding experience, and the team of local business owners conducts multiple financial record destruction services, including one-time shredding, ongoing scheduled shredding and residential shredding services.

Take a look at the lists provided to see if you have extra tax documents from last year that need to be shredded. If you need to get rid of old but sensitive documents, PROSHRED® is offering 15% off purge shredding services for participating locations from March 28-April 15 to help you safely survive tax season this year.

Contact your local PROSHRED® provider today to take advantage of our safe and secure shredding services.

*Source: Intuit TurboTax www.turbotax.intuit.com

**Source: Internal Revenue Service (IRS) www.irs.gov

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