April 11, 2013 10:13:42 AM
With tax day fast approaching, area financial experts are advising people to consider destroying documents they no longer need.
Financial Concepts, located at 1121 Second Ave. N., will hold its second annual community shred day Friday from 9 a.m. to noon. Last year, the company shredded more than two tons of sensitive information, marketing communications director Laura Rice said Thursday morning.
Documents people might consider shredding include items containing social security numbers, signatures, pin numbers, credit card numbers, loan or credit card applications, employee pay stubs, expired identification cards, transcripts, travel itineraries, ATM receipts, utility bills and airline tickets.
"It's a great way for people to get rid of old documents safely," Rice said. "It all gets recycled, so it helps people and it helps the environment. Security is a problem right now, with personal information falling into the wrong hands. If you don't need it anymore, it's a good idea to shred it."
Consumer Reports recommends tax returns and supporting documents be kept for seven years. Other documents, like bank deposits, ATM receipts and investment statements, can be shredded once the new statements arrive and are reconciled. Insurance policies can be disposed of once the new policies arrive.
Credit card bills can be disposed of once they've been paid unless they are needed for tax purposes, Consumer Reports says. Documents for items under warranty should be kept, along with the purchase receipt, until the warranty expires.
Consumer Reports also recommends online banking and bill paying as a way to cut down on identity theft and keep paper clutter at a minimum.
Carmen K. Sisson is the former news editor at The Dispatch.
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