Spring Cleaning and Tax Season – What To Shred & Keep

During the months of February through April, we deal with an abundance of documents from spring cleaning our homes and completing our taxes. With identity theft on the rise and regulations on what documents need to be held onto, both can create confusion as to what needs to be shredded, what can be discarded and what should be stored.

Spring cleaning your home and your information security are two equally important things. For households, we recommend shredding any documents containing personal information that could be used to steal your identity. However, certain tax documents are required by the government of Canada to be retained for a period of six years from the end of the last tax year they relate to. Due care must be taken that you sort these documents accurately. Even with our recommendations, it is always best to confirm with your accountant which documents you should retain for tax purposes.

BEST recommends professionally destroying the following documents:

  • Payroll information, such as monthly paystubs.
  • Bank records, including credit card statements, ATM slips, cancelled checks and other documents from your bank.
  • Receipts (though, keep any receipts you may need to return a purchase!)
  • Tax returns and supporting documents exceeding six years old.
  • Bills, such as cable, internet, cellular or other utility bills.
  • Electronics, such as an old computer, printer, or cell phone. The best way to ensure complete digital data security is to destroy them.

However, make sure you keep and store these documents:

  • Vital personal documents, such as birth certificates, marriage and divorce papers, Social Security Identification, and both valid and expired passports.
  • Tax returns, including any supporting documentation within six years – be sure to keep documentation of anything the CRA may ask for. This could include investment statements, T4’s, and receipts from any tax claims,
  • Receipts for major purchases, such as electronics, jewelry and furniture. It is best to keep receipt in case something breaks or goes wrong.

Let BEST Shredding be your go-to information destruction service provider! This February and March, we want to help make your spring cleaning and tax season become easier. Book your appointment today for 10% off all one-time paper shredding services. For more details and exclusions, please visit

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