H&R Block offers free shredding services Thursday

Published 5:01 pm Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Bank statements from five years ago, credit card offers coming by mail, old documents gathering dust in the closet; while these papers may once have been useful, as the years go by, they become a burden. When not properly disposed of, they can also become a liability.

From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. today, Beaufort County residents (not businesses) will have the opportunity to rid themselves of these sensitive documents as H&R Block hosts a free shred day at the its office on 15th street. Working in partnership with Super Shred, the tax preparation service is offering the event as a service to the community.

“Anything that has your social security number or date of birth, credit card statements, bank statements, anything that’s a legal document you no longer have need for, you’re going to want to shred those,” H&R Block Tax Advisor Keith Kidwell said. “The beautiful thing about Super Shred is they are a certified document destruction service. They literally turn these documents into a powder.”

One important, yet often overlooked, item that should always be shredded are the credit card offers that come frequently in the mail. While it is easy to lump these offers with junk mail and toss them in the trash, doing so can put your finances and credit at risk.

“You absolutely don’t want to throw those straight into the trash can,” Kidwell said. “That’s something where they can easily go out and establish a credit card in your name.”

Kidwell says that while H&R Block does not recommend shredding tax returns or W-2s, associated documents and attached files such as receipts can usually be disposed of after three years.

“With tax returns, I’ve seen events where people needed them for tax purposes as much as eight to 10 years after the time the return was filed,” Kidwell said. “Even though it’s a closed year, there are events that can cause you to need them.”

In addition to Super Shred, H&R Block will also host a number of area businesses during the event. Kona Ice, Highway 55 and Zaxby’s will be on site offering food samples, and Washington Chrysler Dodge and O’Neal’s U.S. Cellular will offer special deals for those who attend the event.

“We’ve turned it into a mini-street fair,” Kidwell said.

H&R Block is located at 2013 W. 15th St. in Washington.