June 22, 2020

Introducing Shred-it’s 2020 Tax Season and Fraud Prevention Report

2020 has undoubtedly been a year of unprecedented events that have resulted in an extended tax season. With this at the forefront of our minds, there has never been a more relevant time to dive into the findings of Shred-it’s annual Tax Season and Fraud Prevention Report.
Every year, Shred-it conducts several surveys polling consumers and certified tax preparers to identify their concerns, habits and understanding of information security and fraud risks associated with tax season. From exposing consumers’ poor habits when filing taxes, to highlighting sentiment toward fraud and data security, this annual report is designed to provide a comprehensive overview of consumer and tax preparer insights for 2020.
With the financial landscape shifting drastically due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. has pushed back their annual tax-filing deadline, with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) extending its deadline to July 15. In light of this, Shred-it has released its annual report to ensure taxpayers remain up-to-date on key trends and issues facing consumers and tax preparers today.

Initial Report Findings

While the majority of taxpayers believe their documents are susceptible to fraud, they still do not properly store and dispose of confidential information.

The survey confirmed that most tax payers (41%) believe tax documents, like W-2 and 1099 forms, are most susceptible to information fraud and identity theft. Despite this, nearly half (45%) store this paperwork in a box, desk drawer or unlocked cabinet at home or work. Furthermore, many taxpayers are holding onto documents for an extended period of time before disposing of them. While the majority (77%) say they shred tax paperwork or sensitive documents before throwing them away, more than one in five (21%) do not, putting them at added risk.

Taxpayers are unsure of their certified tax preparer’s methods of document storage and disposal.

For those who file their taxes with a certified tax preparer, 43% say they are unsure of how their personal information is being destroyed. Moreover, when asked how they dispose of their clients’ sensitive tax information, a staggering 38% of tax preparers reported not shredding documents at all.

Taxpayers are filing taxes at work and spending a significant amount of time doing so.

More than one in 10 (13%) of taxpayers admit they have done their taxes at work. When comparing generations, nearly one in five Millennials (18%) have done their taxes at work, compared with 15% of Gen Zs and 5% of Baby Boomers who say the same. What’s more, 8% of Gen Zs admit to spending more than one day doing their taxes at work, compared to 6% of Baby Boomers and 2% of Millennials who say the same.

Start Protecting Your Business

Interested in learning more? Click here to view the full results of Shred-it’s 2020 Tax Season and Fraud Prevention Report.  
You can also use Shred-it’s new Risk Assessment Tool to help you and your organization identify and address any risks. Please contact us for a free quote and to learn how Shred-it can protect your documents as well.