Quick Answer: Should I Shred Old Utility Bills?

Do you need to shred old bank statements?

Although you should keep copies of bank and credit card statements for record-keeping purposes, you only need to do so for one year.

2 You should shred anything older than that, as well as canceled checks, voided checks, and any online purchase orders that contain your bank account or billing information..

Is it safe to put old bills in recycling?

Don’t just toss junk mail, bills or financial statements in the trash or recycling bin. Some of it should be shredded to prevent identity theft. … For this reason, buying a paper shredder to destroy documents that contain sensitive information could be a wise investment.

Is it safe to put personal papers in recycling?

Don’t Put Shredded Paper Out for Recycling If You Want to Keep Your Personal Stuff Private. … There are even shredders that will destroy CDs and credit cards. However, shredded paper may actually clog recycling facilities not designed specifically for the narrow strands of paper.

Do I have to shred junk mail?

Junk Mail Unfortunately, with so many data sources available to companies — your personal data may be included in those garbage mailers and credit card offers. Don’t just toss the junk mail in the trash bin; shred it.

Should you shred everything with your name and address?

You should shred anything that has personal information like your name, address, phone number, social security number, or bank account information. … After one year, shred bank statements, pay stubs, and medical bills (unless you have an unresolved insurance dispute).

Do I need to shred my old utility bills?

Keep Digital Copies Only and Shred the Hard Copies: Credit card bills (shred after 45 days, unless you need it for tax or business purposes, or for proof of purchase) Home purchase, sale or improvement documents (keep for at least six years after you sell)

How long should you keep bills before shredding?

Utility bills: How long should you keep bills before shredding? If you’re claiming a home office deduction, you should keep utility bills for three years. Otherwise, keep them for one year, then shred them.

Is there any reason to keep old tax returns?

You probably learned that you should keep a tax return for at least three years after filing it. The reason for the three-year answer is that the IRS has up to three years to audit you and assess additional taxes. … The IRS can go back six years when more than 25% of income was omitted from the tax return.

Is it OK to throw away bank statements?

You should probably keep hold of credit card and bank statements for a year but you can throw away other household paperwork like utility bills.

What paperwork do I need to keep and for how long?

You should always keep papers, like your birth certificate or other documents that prove your identity. Certain identification documents like passports and licences expire. You can dispose of these of once you have replaced them.

Can I burn papers in my backyard?

Burning paper in the garden is generally acceptable but only if you don’t cause disturbance to your neighbors. In that regard, there should be a minimal amount of smoke, which you can achieve by ensuring the paper is dry and that the fire is properly aerated.

How many years of old bills should I keep?

Chart: What records to keep, how long to keep themDocumentHow long to keep itCredit card statementsOne monthPay stubsOne yearBank statementsKeep monthly statements for one year. Keep annual statements related to your taxes for at least seven years.Utility and phone billsOne month5 more rows•Mar 15, 2010

Where can I take my papers to shred for free?

With shredding services available at The UPS Store locations nationwide, you can get rid of your personal and business documents using one of the leading document destruction vendors, Iron Mountain®. Shred your items to help protect yourself and your business from identity theft.

How do you destroy documents without shredding?

Pulping is a fairly labor-intensive, but highly effective way to get rid of old sensitive documents. For this method, you’ll need bleach and a tall, bleach-resistant trash can. Add a half gallon of bleach to the trash can. Bleach breaks down paper and destroys ink, so it’s great for rendering your documents unreadable.

How do I dispose of old tax returns?

The key to securely disposing of tax records is to use a quality shredding service that will properly shred statements, tax return documents, and dispose of receipts using the most thorough and complete shredding methods available. When it comes to shredding old tax returns, you can never be too careful.

Should I keep old medical bills?

Here’s what we recommend. Keep medical bills until you have paid the bill in full. Hang on to them for an additional year, especially if you plan on deducting the expenses on your income tax return. After that period, you can shred them.

What papers to save and what to throw away?

When to Keep and When to Throw Away Financial DocumentsReceipts. Receipts for anything you might itemize on your tax return should be kept for three years with your tax records.Home Improvement Records. … Medical Bills. … Paycheck Stubs. … Utility Bills. … Credit Card Statements. … Investment and Real Estate Records. … Bank Statements.More items…•

How many years of bank statements do you keep?

Key Takeaways. Most bank statements should be kept accessible in hard copy or electronic form for one year, after which they can be shredded. Anything tax-related such as proof of charitable donations should be kept for at least three years.

What should I do with my shredded paper?

How to Dispose of Shredded Paper1 – Pick Up / Drop Off Service. While a small fee will come with it, one of the most secure ways to dispose of shredded paper is through a pick up or drop off service. … 2 – Composting. An eco-friendly option for disposing of shredded paper is to compost it. … 3 – Multiple Trash Bins.

Is it safe to throw away utility bills?

Keep electric, gas, phone and other utility bills for one year before discarding. The exception is if you claim a deduction on your taxes for a home office; in that case, keep those bills for three years.

How do you dispose of confidential information?

How to dispose of confidential informationCheck all paper waste that you throw away – if it contains personal or sensitive data, it needs to be securely shredded.Use the confidential waste bin or cross-cut shredder in your workspace for document disposal.Don’t leave confidential waste in bags in public areas.More items…