Is it just a coincidence that Tax Day is during Spring cleaning time? We think not! All of those year(s) old receipts and piles of statements are crowding and it's time for you to clean house. Stacks of papers can attract pests and bugs. Even rodents can create nests with your 2008 bills (according to Got Bugs?)!
LATF USA did a little research when it comes to the best way to shred those bank papers and make space in your home.
Before you start shredding, what tax returns should you keep? The IRS tell us that the length of time you should keep a document depends on the action, expense, or event which the document records. Generally, you must keep your records that support an item of income, deduction or credit shown on your tax return until the period of limitations for that tax return runs out.
The period of limitations is the period of time in which you can amend your tax return to claim a credit or refund, or the IRS can assess additional tax.
Here are the period of limitations:
- Keep records for 3 years if situations (4), (5), and (6) below do not apply to 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, if you file a claim for credit or refund after you file your return.
- Keep records for 7 years if you file a claim for a loss from worthless securities or bad debt deduction.
- Keep records for 6 years if you do not report income that you should report, and it is more than 25% of the gross income shown on your return.
- Keep records indefinitely if you do not file a return.
- Keep records indefinitely if you file a fraudulent return.
- Keep employment tax records for at least 4 years after the date that the tax becomes due or is paid, whichever is later.
OK, now it's time to shred! But you don't want the headache of a clogged shredder, spending most of your time trying to clean out the edges. After testing several shredding machines, most of which failed miserably, we discovered a great at-home shredder. From Fellowes, the M-12C is compact and powerful. Retailing at about $99.99, it's well worth the investment when you're shredding this tax year.
There are only pros with the M-12C, and it's not just for paper shredding:
- You can shred credit cards, paper clips and staples!
- The Cross-Cut blades destroy 12 sheets of paper into approximately 302 particles per sheet for greater security.
- SafeSense® Technology which automatically disables the shredder when hands touch the paper opening.
The M-12C is available at Target stores nationwide and www.target.com