In honor of National Financial Literacy Month, the Better Business Bureau will hold a nationwide Secure Your ID Day on April 21. In Macon, we will be at Raffield Tire Master at 7020 Peake Road (just off Zebulon Road) and in Warner Robins at Raffield Tire Master at 4001 Watson Blvd. Individuals and small businesses are encouraged to stop by from 10 a.m.-noon for free, on-the-spot document shredding. BBB staff will also be on site to provide expert advice and tips on identity theft, investment fraud and other financial topics.
Whether youre a pack-rat or a skimpy saver, its easy to confuse what should be saved versus what should be shredded when parsing through personal documents. With April 17 and last-minute tax filing just around the corner, now is the perfect time to get your personal documents in order. Each persons tax situation is different and can vary in complexity of records.
Saving the appropriate documents should be based on the IRS Code, meaning that all documents should be saved based on the period of limitation of the return. For example, documents for settled accident reports/claims and expired contracts for mortgages, notes should be kept for seven years, while property appraisals by outside appraisers should be kept permanently. Bank statements and expired insurance policies should be kept for three years, while retirement and pension records should be kept permanently.
Taking the time to shred the documents you dont need and saving the documents you do can make a big difference when it comes to securing your identity. It only takes one unshredded personal document to give a thief everything needed to steal your identity.
Identity theft touched the lives of more than 8.1 million adult victims in 2010. According to a report from Javelin Strategy and Research, the thefts resulted in the loss of $37 billion dollars. The BBB is advising consumers and small businesses alike to know which personal documents should be shredded and which documents should be kept.
Kelvin Collins is president/CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Central Georgia and the CSRA Inc., serving 41 counties in Middle Georgia and the central Savannah River area. This tips column is provided through the local BBB and the Council of Better Business Bureaus. Questions or complaints about a specific company or charity should be referred directly to the BBB at (478) 742-7999, www.bbb.org or by e-mailing email@example.com.