All Locals Invited to Secure Your ID Day- A Free Community Shredding Event

March 20, 2013

Secure Your ID ShredBetter Business Bureau of Central New England invites the local Worcester community to participate in its annual free shred day event Saturday, April 20, 2013 at Bay State Savings Bank, 799 Grafton Street, Worcester, MA.

Secure Your ID Day is an opportunity for local businesses and consumers to prevent identity theft and help the environment through free document shredding. Shredding will take place on site at no cost. Bring up to five bags or boxes of sensitive personal and financial documents including, old bills, old credit card statements and other personal documents.

BBB of Central New England is part of an expansive network of local BBBs across North America that collaborates to produce events focused on identity theft protection. The program is a BBB-branded identity theft, fraud prevention and educational initiative.

BBB recommends this document retention schedule:

» Insurance documentation: Keep everything as long as you have the policy. Also save any paperwork regarding unresolved claims/coverage.

» Keep utility, cell phone and similar bills until you receive confirmation that your payment has been processed. The only exception to this is if you are self-employed. Self-employed people should keep these records longer so they can prove any deductions on their tax forms.

» Loan documentation: Keep all paperwork until you pay off the loan. Then, you can shred everything except the document that proves you paid in full.

» Monthly bank statements: Find out how much time your bank and/or credit cards give you to challenge incorrect statements. Keep them until you are no longer able to challenge them. This is typically between 60 days to one year after the mistake is made.


One Year

» Paycheck stubs: Don't throw away your paycheck stubs until you receive your annual W-2 form from your employer. If everything matches, feel free to shred your pay stubs. If there are any discrepancies, request a W-2c (a corrected form). Then, keep your W-2 or W-2c forms for at least a few years. You may want to keep them until you start receiving Social Security benefits, just in case there is an issue regarding your income in a particular year.


Four Years

» Bill of lading: A document between the shipper and the carrier of a particular item that details the type, quantity and destination of the item. This document governs all legal aspects of the transfer.


Seven Years

» Tax returns, canceled checks/receipts, records for tax deductions taken. The IRS has six years to challenge your return if it thinks that you underreported your gross income by 25 percent or more.



» All paperwork related to bankruptcy, inheritance and wills.

» Auditor's reports.

» House/Condominium records: It is a good idea to keep documents of expenditures related to house/condominium improvements. Capital purchases that improve or enhance the value of your home when you sell your property may lower your capital gains tax.

» IRA contribution records: If you made a nondeductible contribution to an IRA plan, such as a Roth IRA, keep your records to show that you were already taxed for this money.