Post Tax Day Shredding: What to Keep and What to Shred


Let’s face it: Tax season makes for one hectic time of year. Businesses across the country have to compile documents, shuffle them around, meet tight deadlines – all before paying their actual taxes! When it’s all said and done, it’s easy to want to leave all those tax documents in a big pile on your desk, or just toss them all out. But a bit of organization and a little help from a professional shredding service like Secure Record Solutions can help you sort through what to keep and what to shred, ensuring your records are accurate and your data is safe.

For most tax-related documents, the magic number is three years

The IRS recommends that all records of income, credits and deductions should be kept for at least that long. This rule applies to W-2 and 1099 forms. This is because there is a three-year statute of limitations on IRS audits. Anything that proves income or other details about claims you’ve filed in that time window should be kept in a secure location.

Additionally, proof of itemized deductions on your return should be kept for at least the same time period, along with proof of any homes or properties you’ve sold and brokerages statements for stocks or bonds you’ve purchased.

The three years following the date you filed are important, because they represent the only window of time in which you can seek a refund you may be owed, or in which the IRS can contact you to substantiate any claims you’ve made for previous filings. In the case of something like an audit, you’ll want quick and easy access to those files.

The three-year period doesn’t apply in a few distinct situations

If you’re claiming less than you’re actually making, the statute applies for six years, and it never expires in the case of fraudulent returns. Also, retirement-fund related documents like Roth and traditional IRA contributions or 401(k) statements should be kept a minimum of seven years, just to be on the safe side.

What about after the three years are up?

You’re probably safe to dispose of records at that point, though you may want to keep some to be on the safe side. For everything you don’t want or need to keep, make sure you securely dispose of it. Disposing of things like tax records safely is of paramount importance. Your tax documents contain enough sensitive information to merit serious care when they’re disposed of. Partnering with a competent professional shredding service like what’s offered by Secure Record Solutions ensures that your data will be quickly and safely destroyed.

Secure Records Solutions’ offers multiple options to best fit your document destruction needs, from in-house, large scale shredding to commercial shred trucks that will travel to your location to meet your shredding needs. Secure Records Solutions even offers state-of-the-art shred bins that you can keep on-site for shredding any and all sensitive documents, whether during “tax season” or throughout the year.

Of course, for those documents you need to keep, Secure Records Solutions offers a variety of data storage solutions that may be a good fit for your business. For CPAs and other clients that deal with a large variety of documents during and after tax season, Secure Record Solutions offers tailored after-tax document management and purge projects to meet the larger scale needs unique to those clients.

Whether you’re concerned about convenient and affordable data storage options or a safe and simple way to destroy your old records, you can contact Secure Record Solutions for a plan that fits your needs.


Our Latest Consulting Insights

Records retention

Three Factors to Help You Determine Retention for Records

During the introduction to this retention series, Are You Ready to Become an Expert on Retention Policies, we addressed that retention is a complicated subject. In our efforts to simplify this complex topic, we discovered common themes regarding various aspects of retention policy that help […]

Read More

Summer vacation, classroom clean-out, school shredding

School Shredding: The Perfect Way to End the School Year

When the last school bell rings in May, students rejoice – summer is finally here. But educators and school administrators know, however, that their work is only just beginning. Summer offers some of the most productive time for those behind-the-scenes projects best completed while students […]

Read More

Retention policies

Are You Ready to Become an Expert on Retention Policies?

Retention. For many, just the word itself induces a slight feeling of panic. Retention policies are complex, standards are unclear, and breaches come with serious costs. Whether you’re creating, implementing, or enforcing a retention policy, it’s a big job.   Thus, the reason for this series. […]

Read More

Document shredding

How Scheduled Shredding Helps Tifton Area Businesses Stay Compliant

No matter the industry, all business owners know that their records management practices must adhere to compliance requirements specific to their industry. Compliance requirements dictate how records are stored and for how long, making them an important factor in all records management plans. Partnering with […]

Read More

Earth day, long leaf pines, invest in our earth

Secure Records Solutions Commitment to Sustainability

At Secure Records Solutions, we understand our clients care about the sustainability of the solutions we provide. For us, sustainability is not a catch phrase. It’s an expression of who we are. Every day we work to improve the lives of others, while providing sustainable […]

Read More

Outsourcing Document Management Keeps Car Retailers FTC Compliant

How Outsourcing Document Management Keeps Car Retailers FTC Compliant

Automotive industry retailers know that staying in compliance with Federal Trade Commission Guidelines is a key feature of doing business. One of the most important steps to ensuring constant compliance with FTC guidelines is employing an effective document management system.   Automotive industry retailers, whether in […]

Read More

Puzzles and problem solving

Puzzles and First Principles

As originally published by Partner & COO Christopher Powell Jones: Since I was young, I’ve always loved solving problems. I prefer attempting the impossible, addressing the unanswerable, and slaying dragons to eating dessert. When I was little, my mother asked me what I wanted to […]

Read More