Person sitting down with a calculator and bills for tax day

Tax, Personal and Business Documents That Should Be Shredded

Tax Day Is Coming! While April 15th looms as an important day in each person’s calendar, it is also a good reminder to look at your paperwork habits with a critical eye. April 15th is an annual, important reminder to ensure you are keeping up-to-date with the secure destruction of your personal and business documents.

Turn In Your 2023 Taxes And Don’t Forget To Properly Discard Old Tax Records

You have successfully submitted your taxes to the IRS. Congratulations on completing that important task! A good next step is to coordinate certified shredding of any old tax records and confidential documents that have exceeded the recommended retention period by the IRS.

The IRS recommends businesses and individuals maintain tax records for between three and seven years after filing, depending on the business’ specific situation. (Many lawyers, accountants and bookkeeping services recommend keeping business and personal tax records documents for seven years, so please consult your specialist for specifics regarding your business.) In general terms, seven years is considered sufficient time for defending tax audits, lawsuits, and other similar potential claims, but again, your company’s experts should advise.

When your Columbus, Ohio business is ready to destroy old tax records, it is important to properly shred your confidential files with a NAID certified shredding company such as Royal Document Destruction. Hiring a professional shredding company helps prevent unauthorized access to your company’s sensitive files. This practice is also considered a best business solution in keeping your business, employee, and customer information safe.

Hire A Professional Shredding Company To Certify Shred Critical Documents

Hiring a NAID certified shredding expert is an easy way to prove you maintain the highest security standards for your confidential files, and it is critical when you are ready to have outdated tax records destroyed.

With full-service shredding facilities in Columbus and Cincinnati, Ohio, Royal Document Destruction helps hospitals, law firms, small businesses, medical practices, and fortune 500 companies protect their sensitive information by offering regularly scheduled paper shredding, box drop off shredding, annual tax time file clean outs, hard drive shredding and product destruction.

Royal Document Destruction is NAID certified, so our customers have full confidence in knowing that the most stringent shredding standards -including HIPAA, GLBA, and FACTA – are met and surpassed. Whether the guaranteed paper shredding happens on one of Royal Document Destruction’s mobile shredding trucks, or if it is transported to one of our secure shredding facilities in Columbus or Cincinnati, your business information is guaranteed destroyed. Columbus, Ohio based Royal Document Destruction also provides Certificates of Destruction verifying that your documents were certified shred.

What Documents Should Businesses Shred?

Businesses would get overwhelmed if they had to keep all documents. It is important to know what to keep, and what should be placed in a secure container immediately for regularly scheduled shredding.

Keep the following business records permanently:

  • Annual meeting documents
  • Business formation paperwork
  • Company by-laws
  • Property deeds
  • Stock ledgers

These corporate documents should be kept for seven years:

  • Budgets
  • Check registers
  • General ledgers
  • Financial statements, including credit card and bank statements
  • Profit & loss statements
  • Cash books
  • Audit reports

How Long Can You Retain Employee Records?

Employee documents, such as payroll documents, W-2 forms, 1099 forms and more, should be kept for four years, even if the employee has left the company. If an employee gets injured at work or files a lawsuit against the business, any paperwork related to these situations should be kept for ten years — even if the claim is resolved quickly. Employee paperwork that includes social security numbers, salary or insurance information, emergency contact information and even home addresses, should be properly shred as soon as the minimum retention time has passed, or when old information is updated.

The certified paper shredding of outdated employee files best protects privacy, prevents identity theft, and makes sure your business complies with document disposal laws and regulations.

Financial Statements

Financial records like credit card and bank statements contain sensitive business information that could damage your company’s reputation if it falls into the wrong hands.

Your Columbus, Ohio business should keep bank and credit card statements for seven years in case you are subjected to a financial inquiry like an audit. Afterward, it’s a good idea to shred these documents for information protection. Keeping paperwork longer than is required actually makes it easier for a security breach to occur.

Receipts and Expense Reports

In addition to financial statements, business receipts and expense reports need to be properly shredded. While you should retain many of these documents for at least three years for tax reasons, they need to be destroyed once they’re no longer useful. Many business receipts can be shred monthly, or once they have been accounted for in your financial statements.

Client and Vendor Information

Has your business maintained records of clients and vendors, such as pricing agreements, contact information, or a business contract? If so, their proper and timely certified destruction needs to be addressed. Once these records have served their purpose, your business should have them shred to best protect your clients’ and vendors’ privacy.

Other Documents That Should Be Shred In a Timely, Consistent Manner

Documents that should be part of an ongoing shredding service include project estimates, strategic plans, customer lists, target customer lists, customer bids, printed e-mails and correspondence, many types of insurance forms, market research, sales pitches, internal financial documents, marketing and advertising plans, and more.

Basically, any confidential files that contain proprietary or strategic information should be certified shred by a Columbus, Ohio document destruction expert. Destroying sensitive papers as soon as they are no longer useful will serve to safeguard the intellectual property of your business, protect your business information, and reduce the risk of business identity theft. Additionally, shred paid bills with your ongoing shredding, as well as any documents that include any names or addresses.

Federal privacy laws require organizations to also take reasonable measures to prevent unauthorized access to PII (Personally Identifiable Information) and PHI (Protected Health Information). As a result, data that falls under PII and PHI should never be shredded with store-bought office shredders and discarded in dumpsters or placed in containers for regular recycling. A professional shredding company such as Royal Document Destruction will provide the security required for every law and regulation that oversees data protection, making sure your business is secure. The paper waste is guaranteed shred, and a Certificate of Destruction is provided to businesses for their records.

Other Best Practices To Protect A Business From Identity Theft

If your business becomes a victim of identity theft, you may have to face the arduous financial and legal burdens of defending your credit, company name, and more, both in court and with your customers. Of all the security issues businesses face, identity theft is one of the most stressful. It only takes one piece of paper for your business to be at risk. If a sensitive document or company credit card ends up in the wrong hands, your business could end up in a lot of trouble. By safeguarding your information with ongoing shredding service, as well as coordinating a box cleanout shredding purge every April to coincide with tax season, you will help keep your sensitive paperwork secure.

Royal Document Destruction maintains standards of excellence for each of our shredding customers, no matter how big or small the business. Your Columbus, Ohio business never needs to worry about your company’s most sensitive information falling into the wrong hands. With almost 30 years of paper shredding industry experience and success, it is easy to trust our experienced, full service and professional shredding services. Call our Columbus office at 614-751-9731 to plan your Tax Day file purge.

Inc 5000 Logo
Fast 50 Logo



Shred America Network Partner Logo