As we close out October, many businesses and residents are preparing to close out the final quarter of the year. Here’s how Legal Shred can help you clean up!
This is a good time to consider document management processes, which include discarding documents that have met or exceeded their retention periods.
Managing the flow of documents is a complex and critical task for many industries, particularly financial services, government, marketing agencies, or publishing. Even our home files can get out of hand if not dealt with on a regular basis: there’s old tax returns, credit card statements, bank statements, and old medical records. Anyone that generates records that contain information that could be misused need to take measures to protect the information, and employ proper destruction methods when it’s time to dispose of the records. Some examples of these documents include personnel records, student records, financial records, and health records. With the end of the quarter looming, consider gathering your documents for purging.
Quarterly Cleanup = Less Mess
Keeping your files clean on a regular basis means less mess, and quarterly cleanup is a great schedule to keep, as it happens 4 times a year. Set aside a time during each quarter to go through what needs to stay and what needs to go and deal with it accordingly.
When to Toss
You should hang onto bank statements for a period of 3 years if you’ve been audited by the IRS. Most banks provide online statements that you can download and save to your computer if you prefer to save some space in your home or office.
For tax returns, it’s a bit trickier: The IRS suggests that you “keep records for 3 years from the date you filed your original return or 2 years from the date you paid the tax, whichever is later.”
Real estate and other investment records should be retained for 3 years for capital gains tax purposes.
Keep the calendar year’s pay stubs until you reconcile them with your annual W-2 form, then shred them.
For businesses, you can toss employment applications, general correspondence, miscellaneous internal reports, petty cash vouchers, and physical inventory for 3 years. Financial documents, such as bank reconciliations, bank statements, canceled checks, deposit slips, and expense reports should be kept for 7 years.
Get Ready to Purge!
If you have documents that have met or exceeded the above retention periods, it’s time to prepare for your year-end cleanup!
Legal Shred works with businesses and consumers to keep offices and homes free of paper clutter, in addition to keeping identities safe and secure.
With Legal Shred, you get:
- Complete protection of information
- Compliance with government regulations and document destruction laws
- Prevention of information and identity theft
- Saved space, time, and money
When it doubt, always check with your local government agencies for document retention periods.
Ready for your quarterly cleanup? Contact Legal Shred today!