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  Five Tips To Make Tax Season Less Taxing

(NAPSA)-With more people filing taxes electronically, and media reports urging Americans to shred personal documents to combat identity theft, consumers today are learning to keep a hard copy of important documents, including tax returns.
According to the Internal Rev­enue Service (IRS), the general rule of thumb is to hold 1040 forms and accompanying tax schedules, along with important documents such as W-2s, 1099 miscellaneous income statements, receipts and cancelled checks, for an average of six to 10 years.
Consider these five financially fit tips to help clear the clutter and bring simple security mea­sures designed to make tax time less taxing:
Copy it. Whether you choose to file traditionally or electroni­cally, a hard copy of returns, safe­guarded with all accompanying documents, is the first and most important step toward being financially organized. "To help, on April 15, Staples Copy & Print Centers nationwide are making it easy for consumers to keep a hard copy of their tax returns with free copies, up to 20 pages, of 2007 tax returns," said John Burke, senior vice president.
Protect it. With more than 10,000 known computer viruses, when filing taxes electronically, be sure that security software, such as Norton Internet, is installed on your computer.
Store it. U.S. businesses lose more than $12 billion annually to data loss. Consider an external storage device to protect vital digi­tal tax information. External hard drives, portable drives or USB flash drives to store tax data (depending on the size of the files) include the Maxtor 500GB One Touch 4 Plus, the Maxtor 120GB OneTouch4 Mini Hard Drive and the SanDisk 2GB Cruzer Professional USB Flash Drive.
Organize it. Keeping or­ganized is especially important during the tax season, when con­fidential papers are essential for tax filing. M by Staples file fold­ers and expandable files come in rich, classic, timeless designs and patterns.             .
Shred it. Turn confidential papers and those documents that are not necessary to archive into unreadable scraps. The Mail Mate M3 Shredder, 10-Sheet Micro-Cut Shredder and the 15-Sheet Micro Cut Shredder can handle small or large amounts of confidential information.
"By evaluating these five steps -copy, protect, store, organize and shred-consumers can choose the best route for personal tax organization and take control of a time that, for millions, is quite stressful," concluded Burke. [Home]