Expert Tips for Your Tax Season File Room Cleanout

Category
Document Management
Author
Rainey
Last updated
May 16, 2024
bigstock Businessman holding stack of f 186047587

Since the inception of the United States income tax in 1861, taxes have become an enduring aspect of modern life. As tax season approaches, preparing for corporate tax filing becomes critical. One effective strategy is to begin by organizing your files, clearing out the old clutter, and reorganizing your current documents. A well-organized file room can significantly streamline the tax filing process.

What to Keep and What to Toss

Sorting through documents can be a daunting task, but knowing what to keep and what to discard is essential for an efficient cleanout. Here’s a guide to help you navigate this process:

What to Toss

  • Check Legal Requirements: Consult state and federal laws and relevant regulatory bodies to ensure compliance when discarding documents, particularly historical records.
  • Remove Documents Past Retention Period: Dispose of information that has surpassed its retention period, as keeping such documents can lead to non-compliance.
  • Discard Duplicate Copies: Keep only necessary copies and remove any duplicates to reduce clutter.
  • Go Digital: Dispose of hard copies of documents that are already available in digital format, such as credit card and bank statements, to save space.
  • Purge Old Medical Bills and Insurance Policies: Dispose of outdated medical bills and expired insurance policies to free up space.
  • Manage Employee Records: Follow legal guidelines for retaining employee records, such as keeping payroll records for three years and certain employment records for two years.
  • Ensure Proper Destruction: Shred all discarded documents to prevent unauthorized access and comply with privacy laws. Consider using a NAID AAA Certified shredding company to help with your one-time purge to ensure strict security measures.

What to Keep

  • Establish Consistency: Adopt a clear and effective filing system that all staff members understand and follow consistently so there is no confusion when attempting to locate files that need to be purged.
  • Consider Scanning: While you’re reviewing files during the cleanout, you may wish to convert some documents into digital format for easier access and to reduce physical storage needs. Use a professional scanning service for optimal results.
  • Preserve Vital Documents: Keep essential documents such as articles of incorporation, business licenses, lease agreements, deeds, contracts, and meeting minutes.
  • Organize Tax Documents: Sort tax receipts, forms, and documents to facilitate the tax preparation process. Maintain separate files for receipts received during the current year to prevent misplacement.

Partner with a Secure Shredding Service

Secure Records Solutions can assist in your file room cleanout process by securely shredding your documents. Our NAID AAA Certification ensures compliance with all known data protection laws. To inquire about one-time purge shredding or scheduled shredding, please call us at 800-614-0856 or complete the form on this page.

What’s Challenging You?

Do you have a document management challenge that's been keeping you up at night? Whether it's a specific issue or a broader concern, our team loves a good challenge and we’re eager to hear from you.
Call an SRS Consultant today at
1-800-614-0856 or complete this form and let us put our expertise to work for you.

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