Part of being a community bank is working to make sure the members of our community are safe and secure in managing their personal information to avoid identity theft and fraud. In 2016, Javelin Strategy & Research reported that over 15.4 million individuals fell victim to identity theft, totaling to $16 billion dollars of fraudulent losses. While cyber security has risen to the forefront of recent identity theft protection trends, it’s important to continue the old methods of keeping your personal papers out of the hands of identity thieves.
Save the Date
That’s why HomeTown Bank will be hosting another Community Shred Day on Saturday, September 16 at our Salem Branch at no cost to our community. Starting at 9 AM and ending at 12 PM, community members and HomeTown Bank customers can bring their personal papers to be shredded on site and recycled.
While you’re there, make it a family affair! You can enjoy refreshments while taking your kids to meet our mascot, Homer, and enjoy some fun outdoor games. Make sure you RSVP to our Facebook Event Page to get updates on activities.
Know What Files to Bring
While most companies encourage you to go digital with your bills, tax forms, and other personal papers, some people still like to hold on to these personal papers for safe keeping in their to avoid cyber attacks. Others simply toss their bills into the trash without considering the consequences of someone getting their hands on their account numbers and addresses. It’s important to find a safe medium that keeps your records updated and organized, without sacrificing security.
Whether you’re storing them as paper files or digital files, here are a few standard lengths of time you should hold on to important documents:
- Tax Return Documents (W2, 1099, etc): 3 Years from the date you file your returns or 2 years from the date you paid the tax.
- Claims of Loss from Worthless Securities or Bad Debt Deduction: 7 Years
- Employment Tax Records: 4 Years
- Quarterly 401K Statements: Keep until you receive an annual statement to compare summaries.
- Annual Summaries: Until retirement or the account is closed.
- Checks and Statements: Keep anything related to your taxes, business expenses, or deductibles at least until the next tax cycle or longer.
- Keep until securities are sold.
- General Bills: Can be shredded once payment has been made and approved.
- Large expenses: Keep if you plan to file insurance on the purchase
Credit Card Receipts and Statements
- Receipts: Keep receipts until your monthly statement to compare charges.
- Statements: Keep up to 7 years if tax related expenses are documented.
- Keep for 1 year to use as a comparison to your W2 form.
- Purchase Price & Home Improvement Records: Permanently
- Buy/Sell Expenses: Permanently or up to 6 years after you sell a home.
Make sure you hold onto important documents like birth certificates, social security cards, ID cards, licenses, insurance policies, wills, and titles and loan documents. If you’re unsure about whether to keep or shred a document, feel free to reach out to your banker for advice! See you September 16!