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Cintas Corporation : Cintas Issues Five Tips to Protect Personal Information on Tax Day

04/17/2012 | 11:00am US/Eastern
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Tax-related identity theft incidents up more than 400 percent from 2010, according to IRS reports

In alignment with Tax Day on Tuesday April 17, Cintas Corporation (NASDAQ: CTAS), a leader in secure document management services, today issued five smart tips to help consumers protect personal information and ensure compliance with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Because tax documents contain the most sensitive personal information including name, address and social security number, they are an easy target for identity thieves when not managed properly. In 2011, IRS department officials identified as many as 260,000 identity theft fraud attempts, revealing a significant increase from 49,000 in 2010.

"Tax season can be a stressful time for consumers, especially with the increasing threat of identity theft," said Scott Clark, Tax Director, Cintas. "These tax tips are designed to help consumers protect their personal information during tax season and throughout the year."

The top five Tax Day tips:

  1. Create a retention schedule. Maintain compliance with IRS regulations by adhering to its recommended retention schedule. Items including bank statements and insurance policies should be kept for three years, while payroll records, sales records, accident reports and canceled checks should be retained for seven years. The IRS suggests permanently retaining audit reports, tax returns and year-end financial statements. For additional suggestions, visit www.protectyouridnow.org/RecordsRentention.cfm.
  2. Organize and store documents in a secure place. To avoid the risk of identity theft, keep sensitive documents in a safe location; this includes both paper and electronic documents. Create a file for organizing paper items relevant to taxes, including receipts and bank statements, and store the folder in a secure location, ideally a fire-proof, locked safe. Similarly, dedicate a folder on your personal computer for storing tax information and password protect sensitive information. Regularly back up data with an external hard drive to minimize loss if your computer hard drive crashes. Certain devices automatically back up data to provide continuous security and compliance.
  3. File safely. Create copies of tax documents and keep proof of delivery. The IRS has no statute of limitations on returns not filed, so a receipt will serve as proof. If mailing tax returns, use a secure mailbox and tracking method, such as certified mail, which provides confirmation of mailing and delivery. When filing electronically, establish the security of an online filing website by checking for a padlock icon, which is typically located to the right of the address bar. Remember to print out the confirmation that your return was accepted.
  4. Be cautious of scams. Be wary of emails requesting personal information through email. The IRS will not initiate contact with taxpayers to request personal information via email or social media. Emails claiming to be the IRS or requesting sensitive information should be forwarded immediately to phishing@irs.gov.
  5. Securely shred documents no longer needed. After the established retention period, securely shred sensitive documents. Home shredders do not sufficiently protect individuals from identity theft as skilled identity thieves can reconstruct your documents using software.

    Instead, have your documents destroyed by a professional organization that offers secure shredding services. Certain establishments hold shred events for community members to securely shred sensitive documents. Visit http://www.cintas.com/shreddays to locate shred events near your community and take advantage of free shredding services. Similarly, Office Max locations offer secure shredding services for its customers. Select a provider that is AAA-NAID certified, which ensures the company complies with the most stringent operational security procedures in the industry.

"We encourage consumers to practice safety and security while completing taxes," said Karen Carnahan, President and COO of Cintas Document Management. "By consulting tax professionals and following our tax tips, consumers help ensure compliance with the IRS while taking precautions to avoid identity theft."

Cintas offers customized document management consultations, as well as secure document shredding, storage and imaging programs. Its services are designed to provide businesses with data privacy and security, compliance with regulatory requirements and more efficient control and access to information. Cintas is the first North American AAA NAID-certified and PCI-DSS compliant document management provider.

For more information on Cintas' document management programs, please visit www.cintas.com/documentmanagement.

About Cintas Corporation:

Headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, Cintas Corporation provides highly specialized services to businesses of all types. Cintas designs, manufactures and implements corporate identity uniform programs, and provides entrance mats, restroom supplies, promotional products, first aid and safety products, fire protection services and document management services to approximately 900,000 businesses. Cintas is a publicly held company traded over the Nasdaq National Market under the symbol CTAS, and is a component of the Standard & Poor's 500 Index.

Mulberry Marketing Communications
Andi Vance, 312-664-1532
avance@mulberrymc.com


© Business Wire 2012
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