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Staples To Make Free Copies Of Tax Returns Starting April 1st; Company Stresses Importance of Keeping Hard Copies of Important Documents

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 31, 2005--Wait...don't shred those documents so fast! In an age when more and more people are filing taxes electronically and being reminded to shred documents containing personal information, Staples, Inc. (NASDAQ: SPLS) is urging its small business and home office customers to keep a hard copy of their tax returns. To make it easy, from April 1st though 15th at Staples Copy & Print Centers in stores nationwide, Staples will provide free copies of 2004 tax returns.

"We have all become so comfortable storing and sending data electronically, that many people are not keeping hard copies of important documents. Nothing is easier to access and more reliable than a paper copy of your taxes," said John Burke, senior vice president of business services at Staples. "We're hoping we can save our customers future time and money by offering free copies of tax returns."

According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), as of March 4th 39.2 million 2004 returns had been filed electronically, up 2.1 million from the same time last year. Tax payers who require an exact copy of a previously filed tax return must file a Form 4506 and pay the IRS a $39.00 fee. Experts recommend keeping a file of tax returns and any records reported in the return including worksheets, payroll records, receipts, year-end interest statements and canceled checks.

"The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants supports electronic filing of tax returns and also recommends keeping a backup hard copy of the return and related records, such as invoices or receipts, for at least three years," said Tom Ochsenschlager, vice president-taxation for the AICPA.

Documents that are not vital to record keeping should be shredded to protect against identity theft. The number of small businesses and households that own a shredder is on the rise due to the increased awareness of this growing issue. In 2004, Staples saw an increase of 18% over 2003 in shredder sales. The company sold over 1.6 million shredders that cross-cut paper into small pieces and destroy credit cards, floppy and compact discs.

To make it easy for last-minute tax filers to get a free copy of their tax return, mobile Staples Copy & Print Centers will be set up at select post offices across the country on April 15th.

Staples Copy & Print Centers are full-service centers that make copying and printing easy for small businesses and guarantee its quality and service. Some of the services offered include digital color copying and printing, self-copiers, laminating, cutting, folding and various types of binding and many more. For a complete list of store locations, log on to

About Staples

Staples, Inc. invented the office superstore concept in 1986 and today is the world's largest office products company. With 65,000 talented associates, the company is committed to making it easy to buy a wide range of office products, including supplies, technology, furniture, and business services. With 2004 sales of $14.4 billion, Staples serves consumers and businesses ranging from home-based businesses to Fortune 500 companies in 21 countries throughout North and South America, Europe and Asia. Headquartered outside of Boston, Staples operates approximately 1,680 office superstores and also serves its customers through mail order catalog, e-commerce and contract businesses. More information is available at


The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants ( is the national, professional organization of CPAs, with approximately 350,000 members, including CPAs in business and industry, public practice, government, and education; student affiliates, and international associates. It sets ethical standards for the profession and U.S. private auditing standards. It also develops and grades the uniform CPA Examination.

CONTACT: Staples
Sharyn Frankel, 508-253-7895
for Staples
Mary Hightower, 561-998-1995

SOURCE: Staples