As tax season winds down it's a great time to shred your personal documents. Plus, you can prevent identity thieves from claiming you as their next victim.
Join 9 On Your Side at Furniture Fair locations for our annual spring Shred Day this Saturday, April 6, 2019.
Where to go
9 On Your Side will have shredding trucks set up to accept your old papers from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the following five Furniture Fair stores:
- Fields Ertel
- Cold Spring
Bring along any private information you want to make sure stays private, as well as your over-the-counter or prescription pills that you want to dispose.
The event is free, but a small donation to Crimestoppers would be appreciated (many people give $5).
What's OK to bring
Bring up to a car trunk load of papers for free shredding.
Also allowed are notebooks, binders, paper clips and staples (you don't have to remove clips or staples). And you can bring as many bottles of prescription medicine as you want (police will be on hand to accept them).
What's not OK to bring
Please do not bring computers, TVs, batteries, hard drives, bottles, plastic jugs, glass or metal bigger than paper clips.
How long to keep old papers
Before you bring your old tax forms and bills, it's important to know what you should pitch and what you need to save.
Yahoo Finance says you can safely toss the following papers after one year:
- Old credit card bills and statements.
- Utility bills.
- Cell phone bills.
But Yahoo says wait at least three or four years to shred
- Bank statements.
- Insurance statements, in case you are filing or disputing a claim.
- And receipts for TVs, computers and big ticket items, in case you need warranty work and need proof of purchase.
What NOT to shred
Please do not shred:
- Recent tax documents. Yahoo Finance says save tax documents for at least 10 years. If you're audited you may want to have 10 years worth of back paperwork, just to back up your case.
- Papers proving you paid off your mortgage, car loan or student loan. You may need to prove you paid off a loan a decade or two from now.
- The front page of your 1040. You may want to know 20 years from how how much your earned or paid in taxes.
Questions sometimes can come up about a car loan years after you paid it off (if someone uses it in a crime, for instance) and having the documents will help greatly.
Even if it is a house you sold 20 years ago and have long since moved from, save the paperwork showing it is no longer yours, in case a later owner or tenant is sued.
So feel free to pitch the old bills and receipts, but keep loan and tax documents as long as you can so you don't waste your money.
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