Tax time's financial documents attract ID thieves

February 27, 2005|By CBS MARKETWATCH

NEW YORK - Come tax time, it can be a pain to gather your important financial documents together. Worse, identity thieves could be out to steal such vital information.

Smart storage and disposal are especially important now, says the National Crime Prevention Council (www.ncpc.org).

Here's how to organize your sensitive financial information:

Retirement, savings plan statements: Keep quarterly statements until you receive the annual summary. Once you're sure the summary is accurate, shred the quarterly statements.

Bank records: Keep canceled checks (or banks' digital copies) related to taxes, business expenses (deductible or for which you will be reimbursed), major purchases and housing or mortgage payments.

Bills: Keep bills until you have received canceled checks from the payments. Keep bills for major purchases (in case of loss or damage), and any bill that might need to be disputed.

Payroll stubs: Keep all payroll stubs until you get your W-2, which summarizes your wages received and taxes taken out. Then you can shred the stubs.

Credit-card statements: Each month, keep your receipts for all transactions until you get your monthly statement. Hang on to receipts for major purchases or products that have rebates or warranties.

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