When sorting through your personal or business files, you’re going to find many old tax-related documents and receipts. You might be wondering what you should do with old tax records like these. There are a few key steps to follow when it comes to handling tax records that you should know about. Keep reading to learn more about these crucial security steps.
Check Tax Record Age
The first thing you should do when going through old tax records is to check their date. If your tax files are less than three years old, you should continue to hold onto them in case of audits from the IRS or if you wish to seek an amended return. In some cases, the IRS can look back up to six years in tax records, but this is an exception to the standard three-year period. After three years pass, you can keep your information safer and more organized by disposing of old tax documents. If you retain old tax records for too long, you risk losing them or putting them at risk of theft.
Destroy Old Records
There are right and wrong ways to dispose of old tax documents that you should note for both business and personal reference. Never throw confidential information like tax records directly into your garbage can or recycling bin. You should always use a shredder to destroy paper documents and a disintegrator machine to destroy digital files on storage devices. When destroying tax documents for your business, it’s especially important to utilize a high-security shredder to remain compliant with information destruction laws and guidelines. You can utilize a high-security personal paper shredder for destroying information at the office or disposing of personal tax records at home.
Recycle or Throw Away Old Records
Finally, once you’ve thoroughly shredded and destroyed the information in your tax documents, you can dispose of them safely. You can toss them into the trash or recycling bin—though not all recycling programs accept tiny paper scraps and particles. Fortunately, there are other ways to use your paper scraps if you’re against throwing them out with the trash. Consider using paper shreds as packing materials or adding them to your local compost pile. Now that you can no longer access their original information, these materials are safe to dispose of however you wish.
When it comes to organizing old tax records, it’s crucial that you follow these steps to safely handle them. Remember these tips for what to do with your old tax records in the future. If your business needs a shredder to handle confidential materials like tax records, you can find a variety of certified high-security paper shredders at Capital Shredder.