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Protect your identity with a post-tax day shred fest

Letter to the Editor

 


In America we have several national holidays or occasions which we recognize annually. Of these, only a relative few are always identified with the same calendar date each year, such as: New Year’s Day – January 1st, Independence Day – July 4th, Veteran’s Day – November 11th, and of course Christmas – December 25th. Our national citizenry’s participation in each of these above noted occurrences, however, pales in comparison to this nation’s most all-inclusive event, one which is not even a paid-day-off national holiday. I am speaking of an event even bigger in Seattle than this year’s Super Bowl (though not nearly as exciting). Celebrated this year at the Coulee Medical Center Clinic with fresh-made cotton candy and heavier than normal traffic to the Post Office, National Tax Day — April 15th — is once again behind us.

New tax forms, W-2s, pay stubs, receipts, medical records, etc. to be stored away with those of years and decades gone by. Added to the file cabinets, cardboard boxes and shopping bags which clutter our home offices, closets, attics, garages and even rental storage units, files we are apprehensive to get rid of, for we may need them some day. Records containing our most sensitive personal and financial information, facts which could be used by others to steal our identity, devastate our finances and ruin our good name.

How long do we need to keep these records? The Washington State Attorney General’s website http://www.atg.wa.gov offers these general guidelines: IRS Records - 7 years (unless you failed to file for any year – then keep those records indefinitely), pay stubs – 1 year (match with your W-2 then shred), as well as information on bank statements, medical, insurance and other records.

“How do I safely dispose of my sensitive personal and business files?”

At a Free Community Shred Day in the parking lot of Strate Funeral Home in Grand Coulee from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 26. The Grand Coulee Dam Rotary Club, along with NCB and CDFCU, will bring to town Db Document Disposal’s state-of-the-art truck, which will pulverize your sensitive documents on site.

Non-perishable foods and monetary donations will be accepted to benefit the Care and Share Food Bank.

James Heuvel

 

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