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
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:
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.
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
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
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
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
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