4 Documents You Should Shred Right Now

Posted on: November 19, 2015

Start fresh in the New Year—throw out any unnecessary paperwork and documents that are cluttering your Northern Virginia home. But clearing out your documents can cause confusion. What is safe to throw out? What needs to be shredded? What should be kept temporarily—or forever? Throwing away confidential information in the trash can put you and your family at risk. Once the trash leaves your control, there is a risk that someone will find personal information they can use to steal your identity.

Shredding is one of the only ways to safeguard personal information once it leaves your possession. If you’re unsure which documents need to be shredded, we’ve compiled a list of documents that you should dispose of sooner rather than later. Once you’ve gathered all your documents to dispose of, give TrueShred a call at (888) 322-3218. We can help you find a way to securely shred any paperwork with personal information.

Documents You Should Shred

The general rule is anything with account numbers, birth dates, passwords, signatures, and social security numbers should be shredded confidentially, including:

Bank Statements

Anything that has your banking account numbers and information should be shredded. To avoid having to shred your bank statement in the future, you can make the switch to online statements and store them on your computer.

Tax Records

You should plan on keeping tax returns, along with any supporting, for a period of at least three years following the date you filed or the due date of your tax return, whichever is later. We recommend three years because the stated time period is tied to the IRS statute of limitations. The statue states that if you do not file a claim for a refund that you are entitled to, you generally have the later of three years from the date you filed the original return or two years from the date you paid the tax, to file the claim.

Cancelled Checks

Voiding a check doesn’t mean the checks life is over. Your bank account number and routing number are listed on the bottom of every check—making this valuable information available to whomever gets their hands on your cancelled check.

Pay Stubs

While your pay stub might not seem like it’s a valuable document that should be shredded—it is. Your pay stub includes information like your address, your place of employment, your health care provider, and your bank accounts. Limit the amount of documents that can lead to identity theft by shredding them.

Documents You Should Keep

Some Paperwork Needs to Be Kept—But Only Temporarily

You should keep the paperwork for the following assets as long as you own them:

  • House and mortgage documents
  • Vehicle titles and loan paperwork
  • Appliance manuals and warranties
  • Insurance policies

Documents You Should NEVER Dispose Of

The following documents should be stored securely in a safe for your entire life:

  • Birth and death certificates
  • Social security cards
  • Marriage license
  • Wills, living wills, and powers of attorney

Shred Everything Else

Everything else you have you can safely shred or throw away. You should shred anything that has personal information like your name, address, phone number, social security number, or bank account information. Certain documents that have your personal information on them are often forgotten about! Make sure you shred paperwork such as ATM receipts, credit card receipts, bills, and even used airline tickets—don’t just throw them in the trash!

Document Shredding Services in Northern Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, DC

If you’re ready to declutter your home in time for the New Year and have a pile of personal records, files, and other confidential information that you want to destroy. Call TrueShred for one-time shredding—it’s an ideal alternative to sitting in front of your limited-capacity home shredder for hours! We’ll come to your home and do full personal document destruction.

TrueShred provides secure shredding service you can trust! Call us at (888) 322-3218 or contact us for a free estimate today!

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Dennis R. Akers, Audit Supervisor - Virginia Department of Taxation

”TrueShred was prompt, efficient, clean and extremely professional. I plan to continue to use your service and will highly recommend TrueShred to other businesses.”

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