Thursday, April 12, 2012

THINKING THURSDAY - Now That THAT'S Over - what to do with that paperwork!

Tax day is here and hopefully your return is halfway on its way to the IRS's door. Now, what do you do with all that paperwork? What do you keep? What do you Toss? Around here, my regular readers know I like to TOSS as much as possible - well, at least what can't be recycled or repurposed. It’s important to not have extra papers hanging around your home.

Here is this week's Thinking Thursday's research on this very topic so YOU don't have to think about it anymore....
If you don’t already have a fireproof box in your home, now is the time to get one while you have everything at hand. Inside you should keep all difficult-to-replace documents such as:
Birth Certificates
Marriage/Divorce Certificates
Social Security Cards
A List of bank accounts, including investments
A list of emergency contacts
An Inventory of household items (in case, Lord forbid, your house burns down)
Tax returns and Schedule A receipts for 6 years. This is how long the IRS can audit you once a return is filed. I suggest a plastic bin – never know when the roof is going to leak or the basement is going to flood. Be prepared!
A list of family medical history. If something happens to you or a family member, it’s a good idea to have this on-hand and easy to find.
What you don’t need to keep after one year–
Credit Card and Bank Statements - now is a great time to sign up for online statements and stop that paper trail
Utility Bills – Once your check clears, you are in the good
Pay Stubs – Your W-2 works just fine after taxes are filed

QUICK TIP: The best thing you can do to prevent Identity Theft is to shred your papers. Buy a crosscut shredder. Shred your papers and use the shreds instead of packing peanuts when you mail gifts. Identity safe and Gifts shipped safely – I like it!

Prepare for next year. Go ahead and prepare your files for this year. A locking filing cabinet is a good place to start. 40% of Identity theft victims know the person who steals their ID. It’s harder to pry open a locking file cabinet than to glance around someone’s desk.

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