Archive for February, 2019

What Documents Should I Keep After Filing Taxes

Monday, February 18th, 2019

Now that tax season is in full swing you may be able to get rid of some of that paper that is taking up space in your filing cabinet. But, you don’t get to throw all of it out, not just yet. What you can throw out should be shredded by a professional company such as Highland Shredding.

Documents to Shred

Many of the documents that you are able to get rid of need to be securely shredded. Visit Highland Shredding’s website to learn more about shredding your documents and hard drives that contain sensitive information. Shred the following:

  • Duplicates of any receipts
  • Any records that are not related to credits and deductions
  • Medical receipts if you do not claim that receipt as a deduction if you do not need them for other purposes
  • Paycheck stubs
  • Old tax returns once the statute of limitations runs
  • W-2 and other forms that show income, once the statute of limitations runs
  • Annual social security statement
  • Any other tax-related records that the statute of limitations has run, as long as you don’t need them for other reasons

All of these records need to be shredded to prevent identity theft.

What Documents Should I Keep After Filing Taxes?

You’ll need to keep certain documents after filing your taxes. Different documents have different statute of limitations. If you don’t feel like looking everything up, seven years is a good number. Most statute of limitations run for less than seven years. However, you should keep certain documents longer, such as titles to vehicles, loan and mortgage documents and documents supporting tax deductions. Keep those as long as you own the asset.

Additional documents include:

  • Any documents related to income you earned, including but not limited to W-2 forms and 1099 forms
  • Bank statements
  • Brokerage statements
  • Any documents related to deductions, including but not limited to medical expenses, charitable gifts, child care expenses, alimony payments, credit card statements, mileage logs and canceled checks
  • Any documents related to your home, including but not limited to the deed, mortgage, note, closing statements and other documents
  • Any documents related to investments, including but not limited to mutual fund statements and brokerage statements

Keep all of these documents organized, preferably by year, and secured. If someone should break into your home, these documents should be difficult to access at best. If possible, scan the documents to a password-protected file, preferably in the cloud. Not only will those documents be protected from fire, water damage and thieves, but you’ll be able to access them from any device you want.

Seven Years

The IRS may attempt to collect monies from you or may start legal proceedings six years after you file should you omit more than 25 percent of your gross income when you file your taxes. To ensure that you are not caught without proof of your income, keep documentation for seven years past the last filing dates.

This means that you should have documents to shred every year. Tax information for taxes that were filed in 2011 for the 20010 tax year may be shredded in 2019.

Contact Highland Shredding

Contact Highland Shredding to learn more about our services or to make an appointment to shred your documents. If you have old hard drives, we are able to shred those, too. Since your hard drive is most likely not wiped, it should be shredded so that no one is able to get passwords and other sensitive information that may be on the drive.

The Benefits of Recurring Shredding Services

Tuesday, February 12th, 2019

If you have a business, you probably have documents that need to be professionally shredded.

Keeping your company’s confidential information safe not only protects your business and your customers, it prevents you from having to deal with costly, time-consuming, and reputation-damaging security breaches due to improperly disposed-of documents.

Discarding sensitive documents by throwing them away or recycling them intact offers no protection for sensitive information and exposes a company to financial and legal consequences if that information falls into the wrong hands. Even using a consumer paper shredder doesn’t offer complete document destruction.

To be completely safe, businesses should use a professional shredding company like Highland Shredding to securely destroy any unneeded documents. While Highland Shredding offers one-time purge shredding in cases when you need to dispose of a large number of documents, the more practical, affordable, and secure method for most businesses is our on-going shredding service.

When you use Highland Shredding’s regularly scheduled shredding services, you won’t have to go through the inconvenience of calling us every time your piles of paper threaten to overwhelm your storage space, and you won’t be exposing your sensitive documents to mishandling, loss, or theft by keeping them in unsecured containers in your office.

When you use our scheduled shredding service, we come to your office to assess your shredding needs based on the size of your office, number of staff members, and the volume of documents you will need to destroy. We then determine how many containers you need and place the appropriately sized secure shredding bins at easily accessible areas throughout your office.

Once the secure shredding consoles are in place, you can simply place any materials designated for shredding in the containers. Your staff will no longer have to waste time and hurt their productivity by removing staples, paperclips, or bindings—we’ll take care of all that when we come to your office to shred the materials in our high-tech mobile shredding trucks.

You’ll also never need to worry about the security of your documents. All our shredding bins are locked and have one-way feed slots so documents can’t be removed once they are placed inside.

When we arrive at your location, our Customer Service Professionals empty your consoles into a locked cart and transport it to the truck for shredding

Even though our Customer Service Professionals never directly handle your confidential documents, we still take the precaution of having all our staff members undergo a criminal background check, drug testing, and a thorough training program, and everyone is required to sign a Customer Confidentiality Agreement pledging to safeguard each customer’s sensitive materials.

Highland Shredding knows that keeping your confidential documents safe is crucial to your business, and our recurring shredding service is a solution you can trust.

Securing and Decluttering of Common Areas

Monday, February 4th, 2019

Did you know that leaving any workplace documents in an unsecured recycling bin can be a security threat? You might think a garbage or recycling bin is a safe way of disposing of information, but the reality is that most offices have common areas with these bins that pose potential threats for a data breach. For example, boardrooms, lunchrooms, and photocopy rooms can all have surprising risk points if they are not regularly decluttered. Who knew?

Let’s take a moment and think about your regular workday routine. Your day might start at your desk checking emails, followed by a mid-morning meeting in the boardroom. From there, you might go to the office cafeteria and grab a coffee, and then print off a few documents for your afternoon presentation. It is unlikely that you attend all of these meetings and common spaces empty handed. Yet, if you are like most employees, you might be more focused on when your next deliverable is due, or where your next meeting is located. Amidst this chaos, you probably leave a paper trail. For example, you might quickly toss a document in the boardroom garbage or you might forget to pick one up from a print tray.

To help you get started with decluttering your common areas and securing your documents we have identified a few popular common areas that contain surprising fraud risks – and a few helpful reminders to keep these areas clean and clutter-free.

1.) The lunchroom: Many offices contain an employee cafeteria or an eatery to warm up your lunch and socialize with your colleagues. Hopefully you can enjoy your down time without having to review any work-related documents, but most employees bring presentation material, meeting notes, and notebooks with them to these areas… and they can often be left behind for someone else to pick-up or dispose of. Instead, lock any unnecessary documents in your desk before any lunch breaks or other visits to the lunchroom so that confidential information isn’t picked up by someone it is not intended for.

2.) Boardrooms and Meeting spaces: Whether you have a client meeting or an internal meeting with other colleagues, you need to be mindful that no documents are tossed in recycling or garbage bins. Confidential information on these pages can severely impact your organization if these they get into the wrong hands. To help, staff training sessions should be held throughout the year that educate employees on proper security protocols. This training can help ensure that all employees take responsibility for any documents they handle and remind colleagues to properly discard of their own confidential documents as well.

3.) Printing rooms: Everyone can be guilty of printing documents and then forgetting to pick these up from the print tray. Just think of all the documents that are printed each day – employee information, CVs, contracts, business plans, and other documents can all pose a security threat if left for another employee to pick them up. To help, set reminders around these stations reminding employees to double check that nothing has been left behind after printing, and to dispose of unneeded documents into locked containers that should be located in the same vicinity. If possible, have IT set up password-protected printing, so employees must enter a password to release the document, minimizing paper waste and security risks.

To learn more about how Highland Shredding can help you with securely disposing of your personal and professional documents please contact us to discuss your needs and receive a free quote.