Most of the population receives a paycheck stub from their employer and is required, by law, to use it to file annual tax returns. However, not everyone knows how to securely store their pay stubs, and once the return has been filed and the pay stub is no longer needed, how to destroy the pay stub.
Our pay stubs include sensitive personal information that can be used for identity theft if it falls into the wrong hands. Therefore, secure storage and destruction of the pay stubs are essential for all employees. We have some information about how to store and destroy your pay stubs to minimize the risk of lost information.
Storing Pay Stubs
When storing your pay stubs, you need to be sure that you can find them to get the information needed to file your taxes. To do this, we recommend you store them all in one place in the date order of receipt. It is best to store your pay stubs with any other financial information relevant to your tax return.
It is best to securely store your pay stubs and any other personal, sensitive, and financial information in your home. This can be a filing cabinet or a lock box if you own one. Using a lockable file folder is one of the easiest ways, as you can include dividers that will enable you to easily find your documents when you need them.
You should keep your pay stubs for one year from receipt or until you have filed the tax return covering that period. It is then your choice whether you continue to keep them or begin to destroy the pay stubs. However, it is worth considering if there are any other reasons you will need to show proof of income.
If there is another reason to provide proof of income, you should check if your filed tax return will be sufficient to prove your income rather than keeping a duplicate source of income evidence.
Discarding Your Pay Stubs
When you are ready to discard your pay stubs, it is not as simple as putting them in the garbage. Due to the personal, sensitive information included on your pay stub, you will need to ensure that each pay stub is securely destroyed. If your workplace has secure document destruction, you may want to take the pay stubs back into the office and include them with those documents.
An easier option is to use a cross-cut shredder to shred the pay stubs before disposing of them in your household garbage. A cross-cut shredder is also a valuable household item as there will be other documents you will need to securely destroy after you finish them.
Shredders are a very affordable option for home document destruction and are now readily available and compact. As nothing is added to the paperwork during the shredding process, you can recycle the paper after you have finished, making it environmentally friendly.