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When your Trash and your Taxes COLLIDE!

Last May my parents’ garbage was stolen…!? The rubbish robbers didn’t just take the bags holding the waste; the trash thieves stole the entire containers as well. They must have been looking to make a quick getaway in the dead of the night! It begged the question, why would filth filchers steal their garbage? Brad talks about an easy protective measure you can take so the thieves don’t win should they be dumb enough to steal your trash

 

Last May my parents’ garbage was stolen…!? The rubbish robbers didn’t just take the bags holding the waste; the trash thieves stole the entire containers as well. They must have been looking to make a quick getaway in the dead of the night! It begged the question, why would filth filchers steal their garbage?

It turns out that in the United States personal tax returns are due on April 15. If you are a small business owner like myself and my dad Scott Ferguson, it helps to have an accountant prepare your taxes. When the tax preparers are done with your tax return, they send back to you not only your tax forms but also all the supporting papers and statements that they used to fill out the tax forms. Additionally, springtime is also a time when many people get organized and clean out old stuff including old papers.

The scrap scroungers were hoping that my parents left sensitive account or personal information in their trash after filing their taxes. Luckily my dad, Scott Ferguson, is a serious shredder who works alongside me at Halter Ferguson Financial and diligently destroys his papers instead of leaving them in the waste bin. The story of the swill swindlers serves as a reminder for people to shred their documents that have things like Social Security Numbers, account numbers, and birthdays.

One caveat is that you should generally keep your last three years of tax returns and the associated papers because the Internal Revenue Service can choose to audit you up to three years back. If there is any doubt, at most you need to keep the records for 7 years. Your tax preparer is required to keep a copy of the records for 7 years. Additionally, there are cases such as records related to real estate renovations that need to be retained until a year after the property is disposed of (See this guidance by the IRS on record retention for details).

Shredded Paper

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