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Trituración de documentos

Trituración de documentos

¿Tu casa es un paraíso para los fanáticos de guardar todo? No estás solo. Ahora que estás empezando la limpieza de primavera, ¿te estás preguntando qué deberías guardar y qué deberías triturar? Hemos consultado los consejos de los expertos para preparar este resumen con el detalle de la cantidad de tiempo recomendado para guardar ciertos documentos. Coloca como guía nuestro conveniente gráfico cerca de tu trituradora.

Guardar para siempre.

Guarda los documentos relacionados con los principales eventos de la vida – nacimiento, matrimonio, divorcio y muerte. Guarda con llave en un lugar seguro:

  • Los certificados de nacimiento y los documentos de adopción.
  • Las tarjetas del Seguro Social.
  • Los documentos de ciudadanía o pasaportes.
  • Los certificados de matrimonio o las sentencias de divorcio.
  • Los certificados de fallecimiento o defunción de los miembros de tu familia.

También guarda en un lugar seguro los títulos de propiedad de vehículos y las escrituras de viviendas durante todo el tiempo que sigas siendo dueño de esos bienes.

Registros de impuestos

En esta época del año, la gran pregunta es: ¿cuáles son los documentos que puedes triturar y cuándo puedes hacerlo?

  • Declaraciones de impuestos – ¿Nuestro consejo conservador? Lo mejor es guardarlos para siempre.
  • Recibos de pago de salarios – Tritúralos después de cotejarlos con tu formulario W-2.
  • Recibos de trabajos de mejoras en tu casa – Guárdalos hasta que vendas tu casa porque hay ciertos gastos que pueden reducir tu impuesto sobre las ganancias de capital, también llamado impuesto a la plusvalía.
  • Otros registros de impuestos, como por ejemplo, los recibos y los cheques pagados en relación con tus impuestos – Espera siete años antes de triturarlos. ¿Por qué? Si bien el IRS suele tener tres años de plazo para hacerte una auditoría, bajo determinadas circunstancias puede tener un plazo de hasta siete años. (Si presentas una declaración de impuestos fraudulenta, el IRS puede hacerte una auditoría en cualquier momento – pero para el promedio de los contribuyentes honestos, es suficiente guardarlos por siete años.)

Si tienes dudas sobre qué registros guardar, consulta a un contador o comunícate con un Centro de Asistencia para Contribuyentes del IRS llamando al 800-829-1040.

Otros registros

La mayoría de los expertos sugiere que hay varios otros documentos que puedes triturar antes de siete años. Tritura inmediatamente las facturas de tarjeta de crédito o de servicios públicos después de pagarlas. También tritura los recibos de compra, a menos que te sirvan como garantía o estén relacionados con impuestos o un seguro. Tritura los resúmenes de cuenta del banco, recibos de pago, y facturas médicas después de un año (a menos que tengas alguna disputa de seguro sin resolver).  

Para aquellos que estén pensando que tal vez deberían guardar todo por si acaso...recuerda que no se puede perder lo que no se tiene. El hecho de destruir los documentos que contienen tu información personal reduce las probabilidades de convertirte en víctima del robo de identidad.

Triturarlos es solo una de las maneras de reducir el riesgo de robo de identidad. Para más recomendaciones sobre cómo prevenir el robo de identidad, visita ftc.gov/robodeidentidad.

34 Comments

Hernando MNo u…
May 01, 2015
Como siempre....ilustrativo
macmaneddie
May 01, 2015
Thank you for this post. I was just woundering how long to keep things. I have a stock pile to get shred.
JuanD
May 03, 2015
Gracias, recomendación muy oportuna.
joycepgh2
May 01, 2015
Thank you for sharing this very important information with us. How many of the public really remember the specifics and this is the answer to most simple questions.
Cynthia Gonzalez
May 06, 2015
Gracias por la información, me parece muy valiosa.
Isabel
May 08, 2015
excelente me gusta necesito mas concejos
shirl1669
May 01, 2015
I have years of un shredded bank statements. I can't possibly shred them all. I can't burn them. I'm too old to be carrying them somewhere to be shredded. They're too heavy. What now?
epearl
May 04, 2015

En respuesta a por shirl1669

If you have younger kids nearby (grandchildren) you can hire them to shred them, or there are some mobile sites that may come to you to shred them. If you google 'shred it', a list of services will appear.
sjlee
July 14, 2016

En respuesta a por shirl1669

"can't" or "don't want to"? Shredders are fairly inexpensive. If you shred a little bit everyday, you will eventually get through it all. Otherwise, have kids/grandkids do a little when they come over to visit. If you don't want to shred them yourself, then take some of it someplace to have it destroyed. Stop thinking that you have to destroy them all at once... just do a little at a time.
jrumbold
May 01, 2015
If you pay stubs have any garnishment shown, they should be kept forever.
kmblueman
May 01, 2015
The documents recommended to save forever are of a strange variaty.
taxgirl
May 02, 2015
irs want bank statements if you are audited so i'd put those in the other tax records category so they are kept for 7 years
aangelerb81
May 02, 2015
It would be great to have some closure involving my Idenity theft case. I keep my hopes high and prayers strong for some form of relief and resolution
gidstime
May 03, 2015
what about DVD's or Thumb Drives, Microchips and locked away in a fire proof safe? I hate to get rid of anything I have already had the IRS telling me I did not pay enough taxes in a certain year. I was able to take the documentation and go to a CPA and he filled out the proper worksheet instead of owing them they owed me. Did I see it NO but I got a 1099-int on the penalty they charged me.
mikewal
May 04, 2015
shirl1669 - use a shredding company - they come to house/business and shred them in the truck immediately. Cost is inexpensive - around $40 for 100lbs
locklear_daphne
May 04, 2015
Shredding your documents are ALWAYS the best policy
Tax Guru
May 04, 2015
A better rule is to shred your individual tax returns after 3 years. Unless there was fraud or unreported income greater than 25% of your total income reported (along with a few other exceptions), you shouldn't get audited past 3 years.
militarybrat89
May 07, 2015
Shredding your own documents is the best assurance...my dad a 26 yr military vet was just recently victimized with someone taking on his identity, my parents have no internet or cell phone so we are not sure how someone gained his personal information, he does volunteer at the va locally and we have heard news in media that a recent shredding company the va hired had an employee stealing veterans info off their papers before shredding them so do it yourself people.
doglvrs
June 04, 2015
I think this is a terrible article. The documents it says to shred immediately may be used for tax deductions and/or business expenses, etc. Shredding them immediately may just get you into trouble later. Surely you should have at least put some caveat to that in the suggestion. To me this article should have a big red flag on it...and a disclaimer. I'm shocked that an attorney would put something like this out there without a more serious disclaimer.
FTC Staff
June 04, 2015

En respuesta a por doglvrs

When you're making decisions about what to shred, please be careful to distinguish between “tax records” and “other records.”   Read about what to do with tax returns, pay stubs, and home improvement receipts

If you have and other tax records – like tax-related receipts and cancelled checks, you should wait seven years before shredding them. 

Most experts suggest that you can shred many other documents sooner than seven years.

Deanna
October 07, 2015
Thanks for the tips! I have so many papers in my home that it's taking up a lot of drawer space. Having this list will help me know what I should keep and what can be shredded. There are so many tax records in my desk that I don't know what to do with them. Waiting at least seven years before shredding tax-related receipts and cancelled checks is a great tip to know. I have so many receipts that I've kept for the past ten years in case I ever needed them. Shredding them will help empty out a lot of drawer space. While I'm at it, I'll also shred the pay stubs I've already used for my W-2. Thanks for the tips!
Lauren Woodley
December 11, 2015
I really appreciated the insight about when you should shred your tax records and what different records you should actually shred. As you say, things like pay stubs should be shredded, which is something that I didn't know. These, however, definitely provide sensitive information, so shredding them right from the get-go will help protect your information from not getting into the wrong hands. Thank you for sharing!
Eggplant
July 11, 2016
People, I'm sorry to throw a wrench on everyone's shredding party, I love to shred also, BUT...due to identity theft, I had to go get a lawyer and drag out my papers from 19, yes, nineteen, years ago. Having those papers which we were just told to shred, saved me thousands of dollars, anguish, & more frustration. Be careful, be prudent.
Reforming Packrat
October 05, 2016
While I've had a terrible propensity to keep everything that's "official" somehow (like mortgage statements) I need to keep reminding myself that most of those items (bank statement, utility bills, insurance papers, credit cards, etc.) are available online for download from your provider. The best way not to accumulate the paper in the first place is to opt for the completely paperless option if one is offered. Now that I mention it, I think I'll go take care of the few accounts that i haven't shifted to fully paperless yet...
katmckee
October 11, 2016
I would keep all receipts related to tax deductions, all receipts related to home ownership for at least 7 years, and all bank statements for 7 years. I would keep credit card statements for 7 years too in case of tax audit. My banks only keep the last 12 months of statements available online, so I download these to my pc every 3 months to keep them for 7 years there.
Marcel
May 01, 2017
NEVER toss any documents relating to the IRS or your FICA. Here's why: Just one missing w-2 cost me over 1/4 of million dollars in lost ssdi benefits. IRS CLAIMED THEY DIDN'T HAVE IT! Got stuck w/ Ssi.
Still confused
May 13, 2017
What about other legal/medical records such as Worker's Comp records? How long after the case is closed should those be kept?
DigiScan
May 15, 2018
Is a scanned image just as legal as the paper document?
FTC Staff
May 16, 2018

En respuesta a por DigiScan

The answer to your question could depend on many factors including the document you scan and the purpose for which you want to use the document. Are you thinking about scanning your child's drawing to share with a friend, or scanning a legal document to send to a court? You may want to ask a lawyer for advice.

Enjay
June 07, 2018
When I got my first Social Security statement of lifetime earnings, there were a few years missing. When I called Social Security, they said I had to have my W-2's to show earnings. Of course those records had long been shredded as they were earnings more than 20 years old. SSA does not keep the records, so I was told I was just out of luck ("and should have known better...!")
CatGirl
August 14, 2018

En respuesta a por Enjay

How awful, Enjay! No one ever thinks things like this will happen to them. May we all learn from your unfortunate circumstance.
tempegal
November 06, 2018
My ex-husband destroyed some of my personal tax returns for yrs. that don’t show up on my earnings statement. Wouldn’t the IRS have copies of every tax return and W-2 I’ve ever filed with them? A possible way to recover those lost earnings yrs. for Social Security?
ltonGex
December 23, 2018
I am ltonser. I need help. What can i do it?
JW
February 06, 2019
Check your Social Security every year. Register on the social security site and get your earnings statement.