What Documents Should I Keep After Filing Taxes

Posted by Ryan Richard

Now that your taxes are done – hopefully – you may 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 shredding company such as Carolina Shred.

Documents to Shred

Many of the documents that you are able to get rid of need to be cross shredded. Visit Carolina Shred's website to learn where to shred documents and hard drives that contain sensitive information. Many businesses host Carolina Shred's truck and these businesses are often in your neighborhood so you don't have to travel far. 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 2010 for the 2009 tax year may be shredded in 2017.

Contact Carolina Shred

Contact Carolina Shred to learn where our shredding trucks will be 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.