9 Tips: Papers To Keep, Papers To Shred At BBB Shred Day April 26

Shredding sensitive but outdated papers like credit card statements, canceled checks and other financial papers can help protect you from identity theft.

Shredding sensitive but outdated papers like credit card statements, canceled checks and other financial papers can help protect you from identity theft.

By Jerri Stroud, BBB Editor

Better Business Bureau sponsors a Shred Day every spring to help consumers and businesses protect themselves from identity theft.

This year, the event will be held from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, April 26, in two locations:

  • Saint Louis Galleria, southeast parking lot near Brentwood Boulevard and Interstate 64.
  • Schnucks at 2222 Troy Road in Edwardsville, Ill.

Consumers and businesses may bring up to three (3) bags or boxes of sensitive papers for free shredding. We recommend that you use bags or boxes that can be shredded along with the papers as we cannot guarantee the return of your containers. Shred-It, a Securit company, is providing free shredding.

Financial experts say that getting rid of outdated sensitive papers is a good first step in protecting yourself from identity theft. Leaving sensitive papers where someone can find them easily in your home is an invitation to fraud.

But some of us may not be sure which papers we should keep and which we should shred. BBB has developed nine tips to help you decide which papers to discard.

  1. Tax returns and supporting documents should be kept for eight years. Supporting documents may include charitable donation receipts, medical bills and property tax records, for example.
  2. Records on contributions to individual retirement accounts should be kept permanently.
  3. Retirement and savings plan statements should be kept from one year to permanently. Keep the monthly or quarterly statements until the end of the year, then keep the year-end statement and shred the others.
  4. Brokerage statements should be kept until you sell the securities. Sale and basis records should be kept with tax returns for eight years.
  5. Insurance policies should be kept for the life of the policy.
  6. Copies of bills should be kept until you have a canceled check or other confirmation that the bill has been paid. If they relate to taxes, they should be kept for eight years.
  7. Keep credit card receipts until you get the monthly statement, then shred receipts if the statements match. Statements should be kept for eight years if they include tax-related expenses.
  8. Paycheck stubs should be kept until you get your W-2 form. If the form matches your stubs, shred the stubs unless there’s other information you need for taxes, such as union dues paid, health insurance costs or retirement plan contributions. Consider keeping the year’s final stub for seven years or permanently.
  9. House records – such as purchase price and the cost of permanent improvements – should be kept permanently, or until seven years after you sell the house.

For more BBB news and consumer tips, go to BBB’s website.

About these ads

One thought on “9 Tips: Papers To Keep, Papers To Shred At BBB Shred Day April 26

  1. If you look in the dictionary for shredding experts, you’ll see a picture of Saxon Archives! My company based in West Palm Beach had confidential documents that needed to be properly disposed so we contacted them. Their mobile shredding truck came and took care of the documents in no time. Great service, highly recommended! Check out their website at http://www.palmbeacharchive.com/mobile-shredding/

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s