Tax prep giant H&R Block, citing how cybercrooks root through trash and recycling bins to hunt for personal information on discarded papers, plans free shredding events on Saturday, March 24.

The events will run from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at 400 offices nationwide, weather permitting. That morning, Block will also enter the final days of offering taxpayers half off what they paid for tax prep last year if they switch to Block for this season’s returns.

“Taxpayers usually need to keep only a few types of documents indefinitely,” noted Karen Orosco, senior vice president of U.S. retail for Block, in a statement, including records of business income and expenses for as long as the taxpayer owns the business, and property sales that resulted in net-operating or capital losses and records of home improvements or other expenditures that establish basis in a home.

Three years is usually enough for most other documents, she advised, including:

  • Proof of charitable contributions;
  • Bank statements;
  • Printed paystubs;
  • Utility bills;
  • Brokerage statements;
  • Medical and dental expense receipts;
  • W-2s, 1099s and other information documents;
  • Tax-reporting statements like property or real estate taxes;
  • Mortgage statements;
  • Retirement savings annual reports; and,
  • Annual brokerage statements.

Guitarists Michael Angelo Batio and Bibi McGill will also host Block’s “Tax Shred Live” on the company’s Facebook page on March 22 at 11 a.m. CDT. The two will “shred” on their guitars; Batio is an early pioneer of the “Shred” guitar genre.

An H&R Block tax prep office
Bloomberg

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Jeff Stimpson

Jeff Stimpson

Jeff Stimpson is a veteran freelance journalist who previously served as editor of The Practical Accountant.