Tuesday, May 2, 2017 2:38 pm, Posted by Absolute Destruction
With the tax filing deadline approaching quickly, we return to our 3rd annual blog post about income taxes. As we do every year, we here at Absolute Destruction would like to remind our readers to be careful with their personal information as they prepare for their taxes. The documents you use to support your return contain private details about your life that should only be shared with the CRA and your trusted employer.
When your Social Insurance Number or bank account winds up in the wrong hands, these numbers can be used to steal your identity, opening up fraudulent accounts and filing false taxes in your name. Though they’re the one to commit these crimes these criminals act under your name. Their actions will be forever linked with your financial profile. When their overspending and tax fraud finally catches up with them, you’ll be the one to pay the price in the form of subprime credit, debt, and even legal issues with the CRA.
Tax fraud is a serious crime and one that the CRA and the RCMP struggle with every year. Last year, the CRA created a new program that hired 100 new auditors to catch those Canadians trying to evade paying their taxes. As a result, they brought in $1.6 billion on audits that revealed predatory tax planning.
With more stringent rules and frequent auditing, the CRA is better equipped to find discrepancies in your file, but they won’t always catch them right away. As a result, your identity can be used for months or even years before you realize what’s happened. Usually, you’ll stay unaware until a collections agency comes calling about the money you owe on an account you didn’t open.
All that a criminal needs in order to file a false income return is similar to the information needed to open a false bank account or credit card. Your name, address, and account numbers like your chequing, savings, or even SIN are exactly the personal information these individuals target. That’s why it’s incredibly important to keep and dispose any document or electronic file recording these details carefully.
The CRA requires most folks to keep their returns and any supporting documents for 6 years, but this may differ depending on your circumstances. Checking in with the CRA is a great way to make sure what you need to keep on file and for how long according to your employment situation. Any tax advisor, accountant, or organization like Intuit and Equifax can answer similar questions.
After 6 years pass, you may dispose of these documents in order to clear up space in your files, but you must discard these papers wisely. Throwing them out whole into your garbage or recycling bin invites consequences. Career criminals look through these containers in order to find the financial information left on these returns. All it takes is for these individuals to happen upon your bins and take the paper when no one’s looking.
Don’t give these criminals an opportunity this season. Take advantage of our document destruction services. We’ve helped businesses and individuals destroy their obsolete tax returns successfully for years using our mobile trucks. We drive to your home or place of business whenever you’re ready to clear out your old files, and our bonded employees shred them on site under your watchful eye. Only once we can guarantee every piece of paper is suitably destroyed (to the point where no information can be retrieved) will we drive the remains to a secure recycling facility. Our guarantee extends to any digital media you may use to help file your taxes online, including full devices, memory sticks, and external hard drives.
This year, be safe with your old taxes. Call us up and request a quote, and we’ll make sure no obsolete return of yours can ever be used against you.