Tax season may seem a long way off, but it’s actually just around the corner. And, many Americans are already starting to get their documents in order. While most may know what they’re supposed to do when it comes to the filing itself, they might not always be aware of the best way to protect their personal information. With the threat of identity theft and the possibility that the IRS may have questions about your tax documentation, it can be hard to know what to shred and what to store when it comes to important tax documents. That’s why our team at Shred Monkey of Indianapolis has put together some helpful tips, so you know whether to shred or not to shred.

Shredding Tax Documents

What to Shred

There are a number of documents that should be shredded immediately after use. Receipts from purchases and ATM transactions or canceled checks (unless they’re being used in tax filings), credit card and utility bills that have been paid, expired warranties, and even credit card mailers with pre-approved cards, should all be shredded. Shredding these documents is vital because, without being shredded, it can allow someone to open an account in a taxpayer’s name, and that can do serious damage via credit fraud.

What Not to Shred

While there are many documents associated with tax filings that should be saved forever – like Social Security cards, birth certificates, proof of citizenship, etc. – documents more directly related to annual tax filings can be a little more difficult to judge when they should be stored or shredded. According to the Federal Trade Commission, receipts and canceled checks used in tax filings should be kept for a period of seven years. This time period of seven years also applies to W-2s, 1099s, and all other records for things related to deductions or employment. Some documents only need to be kept for up to one year. Pay stubs, medical bills, bank statements, and similar bills that may have been used during the filing process may be shredded up to a year after filing your taxes. Typically, it’s advised that pay stubs can be shredded after they’ve been checked against W-2 forms to ensure there are no discrepancies. Finally, when it comes to past tax documents like returns, it’s generally wise to be safe and file them away forever.

How to Shred

Our one-time purge documents shredding or drop-off shredding service are perfect options for decluttering your home of all that tax paperwork. Pick up one or more of our free environmentally friendly reusable bags to store your documents as you clean out your filing cabinets. Once they are full, simply drop them off at our secure facility. Regardless of the amount, whether a few bags or several, we unload them all and shred them to ensure your complete privacy. Contact us at (317) 916-1800 to request a free estimate. Along with the Indianapolis area, we also provide home shredding services to Richmond, Lafayette, Terre Haute, Columbus, and nearby areas.