2024 Tax Season: Protecting Your Assets with Document Safes
Taxes are an unavoidable aspect of life, whether you are filing personal tax returns or managing the financial obligations of a business. As you start organizing your taxes for the 2024 tax season, it is important to stay vigilant about the safety and security of your financial documents and important assets.
When Does the 2024 Tax Season Start?
The IRS will begin accepting and processing returns from the 2023 season on January 29, 2024, with the deadline for individual tax returns being April 15. The deadline for businesses like partnerships, C Corporations and S Corporations is March 15, 2024.1 Be sure to check with your tax advisor for specific deadlines and requirements based on your situation.
Why It's Important to Protect Your Assets During Tax Season
During tax season, individuals and businesses are actively gathering and organizing financial documents, such as income statements, receipts and expense reports. This heightened activity creates more opportunities for important assets to be lost, misplaced, or stolen, which could put you at risk of identity theft and fraud.
Identity theft happens when someone uses your stolen personal information like your Social Security number to file a tax return claiming a fraudulent refund. Last year alone, the IRS flagged more than one million tax returns for identity fraud.2 Identity theft and fraud can have severe financial and legal consequences, leading to a loss of assets and potentially damaging your personal or business reputation.
In addition to fraud, it’s also important to protect your tax documents against environmental threats, like fire and water. By using a document safe, you can safeguard these important assets from theft, loss and damage all year long.
How Document Safes Can Provide Financial Security
Document safes are secure storage solutions designed to provide you with financial security by protecting important personal and business documents from fire, water damage and theft. They are constructed with fire-resistant materials and often have additional features like waterproof seals or digital locks to ensure maximum security.
Types of Safes and Features
There are various types of SentrySafe document safes available, each offering different features to meet your family or business’s unique needs.
Document Safes for Your Home
To keep documents safe at home, consider purchasing a compact safe that also provides ample storage space for important documents. Our safes accommodate hanging files, so you won’t have to bend or stack your tax documents and paperwork. Additionally, it’s important to choose a safe that has a secure locking mechanism, such as a digital keypad or privacy key lock, to prevent unauthorized access.
Document Safes for Businesses
Running a business comes with a multitude of concerns, but SentrySafe business safes offer a reliable solution that eliminates worries about the security of your cash, receipts, deposit slips and tax documents. Specifically crafted to thwart theft and burglaries at the point of purchase, SentrySafe safes go beyond mere protection. Some also offer fire and water protection, ensuring that your crucial paperwork, cash and valuables remain unscathed.
How Long are You Required to Keep Tax Documents?
According to the IRS, you should keep your important tax documents for three years from the date you filed your original return or two years from the date you paid the tax, and even up to seven years in other cases.3 If you need to access transcripts of past returns, wage and income statements or business tax transcripts, you can request them online from the IRS. To keep documents safe at home or at your place of work for years to come, purchase a safe that’s fireproof and waterproof. When shopping for a safe with a high fire rating, it’s imperative to chose one certified by trusted independent labs such as UL or EL, especially if they claim a high fire rating.
How to Store Documents in a Fire-Proof Safe
To store your documents correctly in a fire-proof safe, consider putting your documents inside a fire-proof bag inside the safe. This bag will keep all your valuables in one place if you decide to use it as a grab-and-go bag in an emergency, and it also acts as another layer of protection against fire and water damage.
How to Keep Documents Dry in a Safe
In addition to using the fire bag, desiccant packs are a good way to keep your important documents dry within your safe. Many SentrySafe safes include water protection which makes them airtight, but this also means moisture from the air can be trapped inside the safe when you close it. To help keep your documents dry, you should open your safe at least once per month and use desiccant packs to protect them when the safe is locked. Desiccant packs last up to six months before they need to be replaced, depending on the humidity levels in your area. SentrySafe offers a subscription for desiccant packs where you can save 15% on your purchase and receive automatic deliveries every six months, ensuring that you always have fresh packs on hand for your safe. Desiccant packs are easy to use—simply place them in the safe next to your documents, and they will help absorb any moisture to keep your tax documents in good condition.
Investing in a document safe can provide peace of mind while also helping you stay organized during the 2024 tax season. It's important to choose a safe that meets your specific needs and offers the right level of protection for your documents. Find a safe with the right level of protection by using our Safe Selector tool.