Does The IRS Accept Receipt Scan for Tax Deductions?

As the 2021 tax season comes to an end, the stress is starting to creep up on business owners. Preparations can be taxing on business owners, often involving numerous steps. This includes double-checking accounting records, going over their tax claims to make sure the final numbers are correct, and sorting through piles of receipts that they’ve hung onto to submit to the IRS. If you’re looking to streamline this process by digitizing your receipts, you may be wondering—does the IRS accept your receipt scans? can receipt scans legally support your tax write-offs the same as original paper receipts? 

We are here to put your mind at ease. 

The short answer to your worries is yes. Receipt scans are 100% legitimate and approved by the IRS. In fact, the IRS has accepted scanned and digitized receipts as valid tax records for tax purposes since 1997! As such, scanned receipts must meet certain requirements in order to be eligible. 

Read on to find out if your receipt scans have met all of the IRS’s requirements. 

What are the requirements for a receipt scan to be accepted by the IRS?  

According to the IRS, digital or scanned receipts must meet the following requirements:

  • Receipt scans are completely identical to their original versions.
  • Each receipt scan must exhibit a high degree of legibility and readability. 
  • You must be able to provide hard copies of the scanned receipts in the event of an IRS audit.
  • Scanned documents must be stored in a secure place.

If you can ensure your scanned receipts are properly stored and backed up, and you can reproduce hard copies from them in a legible, readable format, you may dispose of the original receipts. 

You might also be interested in: Understanding the IRS’s Tax Underpayment Penalty and How to Avoid It.

What is the most effective way to scan your receipts? 

If you’re looking for an easy and convenient way to scan your receipts, Shoeboxed is what you need. Since 2007, Shoeboxed has helped many accountants, freelancers, and businesses scan, digitize and store their receipts safely in the cloud. Simply scan your receipts with your phone with just a click, and perfect digital versions of your paper receipts will appear in your Shoeboxed app!

On top of that, Shoeboxed automatically extracts, categorizes, and human-verifies important data from your receipts so that you can go over and check your records anytime with ease. 

In case you have too many receipts and too little time to deal with them, send your piles of documents using the Shoeboxed Magic Envelope, and the Shoeboxed team will take care of the rest. Just send and watch them transform into organized digital data.  

Quick, reliable, and trustworthy, Shoeboxed guarantees that the digital versions of your receipts are in precise format, audit-ready, and accepted by the IRS in the event of an audit.
Try Shoeboxed right now and get 25% off all plans

How To Send An Invoice Through Email

Every business wants to receive payments on time — who doesn’t? 

While the exact timing of payments depends on your customers, there are some things that you can do to accelerate this process. One of them is to send your invoice via email. 

Read on to find out the great benefits of email invoicing and get practical information on how to send an invoice through email. 

Why should you send invoices via email? 

There is a multitude of reasons why sending invoices via email is beneficial for your business: 

It saves you money

Many businesses opt to send their invoices the traditional way – by post. This comes with a number of incidental costs including delivery fees, stamp fees, stationary fees like paper, envelopes, and more. These expenses may seem relatively small at first, but they add up over the life of a business. 

With email invoicing, you can forget about all of the expenses. Simply attach your invoice to your email, and you’re good to go!

It also saves you time 

Posting your invoices is extremely time-consuming – you have to print the invoices, fill in the required delivery information, package them accordingly and make a trip to the mailbox. You then have to wait and from there it’s in the hands of the delivery company or postal service. Unless you pay for express delivery, delivery dates and times are rarely certain. That means there is no guarantee when your customer will receive their invoice, not to mention the risks of missing or damaged invoices during the process. Emailing invoices can prevent all of those problems. It offers peace of mind and lets you have more time to focus on activities that add core value to the business. 

It is easier to keep track

Sending invoices via email provides an easily accessible proof of delivery securely stored on your computer. Whenever you want to check, you can just go into your “Sent” folder to see the date and time that you sent your invoices. On top of that, you can also request a “delivery” receipt or “read” receipt before sending the email. That means you will get notified when your email has arrived in a client’s inbox and when your client opens it.

It helps you get paid faster

When you send invoice emails, you can technically receive your payments sooner. If your clients receive invoices earlier, they can start the payment process sooner, too. 

how to send an invoice through email

How to send an invoice through email?  

To send an invoice through email professionally, you should follow these three simple steps: 

  • Create a digital copy of your invoice
  • Attach your invoice to the email 
  • Write a formal invoicing email to your customers 

Let’s break them down and look at each step in detail as below:

Step 1: Create an invoice 

You can customize an invoice by yourself using free templates on the Internet. Here are some useful links that offer free invoicing templates:

You can also generate an invoice directly from your accounting or invoicing software if you use one.  

Make sure your invoices are clear, easy to read, and have all the important information like invoice number, vendor and client details, purchase order number, description of products or services, payment options, etc. 

Step 2: Attach your invoice  

Instead of pasting your invoice into the body of the email, attach it as a downloadable PDF file. This enables your clients to save, print, or upload your invoice to their accounting software. Plus, you will leave a professional and caring impression on your customers, which enhances your customer relationships. 

Step 3: Write an email 

Writing emails can be time-consuming, especially if you have a lot of customers to invoice. Using a template can cut down on the amount of time spent on every invoice. Below is an example of a basic template that you can use when sending invoices to your customers: 

Subject: Invoice [invoice number] for [product/service name] due [invoice due date]

Hi [Recipient’s name],

I hope you’re well. Please find the attached invoice [invoice number] for [product/service name], due on [invoice due date] below. Feel free to ask me if you have any questions.

Kind regards,

[Sender’s name]

How can Shoeboxed help you with email invoicing? 

Shoeboxed is a receipt scanner application that turns your document into digital in seconds. It is a well-trusted tool to help businesses, freelancers, and DIY accountants store and organize their receipts. Understanding the rising popularity of email invoicing, Shoeboxed offers some features associated with this process for users: 

Forward or send scanned receipts 

You can forward or send a digital receipt to any email address directly from the Shoeboxed app. This is helpful when you only have the paper copy of your receipts available. Plus, employees in your company can leverage this feature to send a quick expense report (with receipts attached) to you for reimbursement. It can help you avoid fraud and lost or damaged receipts.  

Automatically archive receipts from Gmail

Whenever you receive an invoice in your Gmail inbox, Shoeboxed automatically picks it out and submits it to your Shoeboxed software. Those receipts are then labeled “Sent to Shoeboxed” in your Gmail account. 

Next, Shoeboxed will process your receipts, extract, human-verify, and categorize important data from your receipts. With this feature, you no longer have to worry whether you miss any invoices swimming around in your Gmail inbox. 

Start going paperless today with Shoeboxed!

Want to read more about business? 

If you’re interested in entrepreneurship stories, business tips, or productivity tools, find more posts like this on the Shoeboxed Blog.

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Effective Ways to Manage Business Expenses for Small Business Owners

Managing business expenses can help small business owners maximize their tax deductions and have a better cash flow. It also makes tax time a lot simpler as many expenses can be claimed as write-offs. If you manage your business expenses on a regular basis, you’re less likely to miss potential deductions, meaning you’ll pay less at tax time (or even get more back).

This article will explain which expenses you need to pay close attention to, the importance of managing your business expenses properly, and suggest effective ways to stay on top of your business expenses. 

What are business expenses?

As a business owner, understanding all types of business expenses will help you manage the business most optimally. Business expenses refer to all expenses involved in the normal course of operating a business. 

Various types of expenses arise within both small and large organizations. The income statement includes business expenses. To calculate a corporation’s chargeable operating earnings, business expenses are reduced from revenue on the income statement.

There are some common categories of business expenses, such as: 

  • Fixed expenses  are those that don’t vary from month to month. Loan payments, maintenance, healthcare insurance, wages, and rent are examples of these. While many of these costs may fluctuate over time, they are typically persistent for the entire length of a lease, negotiation, or signed agreement.
  • Variable expenses are the opposite of fixed expenses, essentially non-fixed costs. Although the overall costsvary with each billing cycle, they are required spending. This category typically includes utilities. Other variable expenses include inventory, commissions, and credit card fees.
  • Fixed and fluctuating period expenses might be constant or variable, and they are incurred on a regular basis rather than per transaction. Mortgages (or rent) are examples of fixed period costs, whereas utilities and insurance are examples of fluctuating period expenses.
  • Interest expenses can be either fixed or variable. Many interest fees comes with period expenses, however, credit card expenditures for traveling personnel can be charged per transaction. Interest deserves its own category because it tells you how much money you’re spending on your borrowing component of the budget.
  • Depreciation is often a fixed expense, but it is also worth investigating. Depreciation is essential to determine the ROI of replacing large items. It’s also usually tax-deductible, thus it should always be considered.

Each month, you estimate variable expenses, but the total figure will change. Monitoring your business expenses allows you to more effectively evaluate which financial decisions you’ll make. 

The importance of managing business expenses

Controlling your business expenses can simplify tax season because many expenses can be claimed as write-offs. If you keep track of your spending regularly, you’re less likely to overlook potential deductions. This implies you’ll have to pay less in taxes (or get more back).

Along with claiming tax deductions, there are other advantages to tracking business expenses. When business owners correctly analyze their spending, they can better understand cash flow, one of the most important variables in a business’s operations.

Furthermore, accurately managing business expenses enables business owners to measure how well their company is doing by highlighting the profit margin. It can also provide a transparent financial record to investors, increasing the probability that a business will be able to acquire the money it requires to grow. These insights into your business are invaluable, so making the effort to manage expenses well will pay off.

Effective ways to manage business expenses for small business owners

1. Open a business bank account

Setting up an independent bank account for company expenses makes it easier to keep track of them and collect them as tax deductions later. Business bank accounts also provide financial liability insurance by keeping business and personal funds distinct. And last but not least, using a business bank account to receive credit and debit card payments from customers can build customers’ trust in your business. 

2. Use a dedicated business credit card

With a specific business credit card, the company can build a credit history to acquire financing (and the best financing terms) when needed. 

Possessing credit also allows the company to make large purchases when it’s just getting started. Not unexpectedly, available credit is a measure of successful financial health. 

manage business expenses tips

Credit cards assist businesses in negotiating advantageous contracts with suppliers and help safeguard firms from identity theft. Credit cards often provide benefits for businesses, such as business incentives, cashback on purchase, or travel rewards. 

3. Record all business expenses promptly

  • Choose cloud accounting software to automate record-keeping and track expenses in one spot.

Using good accounting software allows business owners to designate particular line items by expense category, such as personal expense, entertainment expense, meal expense, travel expense, capital expenses, and other tags. By doing this, you can easily differentiate expenditures from deductible charges. This not only helps with reporting at the end of the tax year but enables you to review business spending on a granular level and discover where you might be able to save money.

Cloud accounting software is even more efficient ? it allows you to track, manage, and update your business expenses on the go. This is a huge plus for busy entrepreneurs and business owners as they can access a network of information within a touch.

  • Connect your bank account to your accounting software to import transactions

When you link your financial institution to your accounting software, your transactions are immediately imported as they occur. Using accounting software with this feature will make tracking and managing your costs much easier.

You’ll be less concerned about missing a transaction with automatic importation, especially if you use a separate bank account and cards for business expenses. Every time you log in, all of your new spending will appear under your transactions, and it will be up to you to appropriately categorize them and link them to their related receipts. This reduces the amount of time you’ll need to spend on bookkeeping and ensures that nothing is overlooked.

  • Keep track of your receipts

Receipts are required for tax purposes. Receipts are proof of major purchases that you want to claim as work-related costs, so it’s critical to have a system in place to record these. Keeping your receipts organized is essential for running a successful business and tax preparation.

We have already published an article on the best ways to store your receipts. In case you haven’t already seen it before, take a moment to discover Shoeboxed‘s suggestions on the most effective ways to keep your receipts organized! 

4. Digitize receipts with a receipt scanner

As you may be aware, sitting down at tax time with piles of paper receipts on your desk can be stressful. It can be difficult to determine which receipt corresponds to which expense (especially if you have personal and company purchases on the same receipt) because ink fades and receipts become more difficult to read with time.

By digitally collecting and filing your receipts as you go, you’ll save yourself energy and problems. When you make company expenses, make a habit of quickly photographing them with a receipt scanner to turn them into digital data. Your receipts will then be saved in a cloud system for years, completely safe from damage, destruction, or loss. 

scan receipts manage business expenses

Shoeboxed is the painless receipt tracking and expenses managing solution for freelance accountants, small- and medium-sized business owners, especially for those who are willing to spend a little more to be “audit-ready.” This app doubles as a receipt scanner and organizer, making it the most versatile choice to keep track and manage business expenses on the go. You can either scan paper receipts with your smartphone or mail your receipts to a Shoeboxed facility to have them scanned and organized. 

Shoeboxed‘s OCR engine and human data verification features ensure that the digital versions of your receipts are scanned in precise format, well categorized, and legibly approved by both the Internal Revenue Service and the Canada Revenue Service in the event of an audit. Additionally, Shoeboxed offers mileage tracking and business card storing features, making it a one-touch app to access all your business’s important information. 

5. Review and categorize expenses regularly

Managing business expenses properly is a critical first step toward having the necessary data for better short-term management. It also improves long-term decision-making that will benefit employees, customers, and the company as a whole. The more often you review your numbers, the better you understand them, and the more likely it is to grow your business. 

It’s a good idea to develop the habit of evaluating your expenses on a regular basis (maybe as part of your weekly review). This ensures that your transactions are appropriately classified, and your reporting remains accurate. 

If you’d like to explore more helpful tools, tips, and tricks for tracking business expenses, take a look at this article: How To Track Business Expenses: 15 Best Tips & Tools.

The bottom line

If you’re just starting a business or planning to expand in the near future, you must keep detailed and accurate records of your business spending. It will not only help you maintain a healthy cash flow and lower your taxable income, but it will also support you in growing your business.

Try Shoeboxed today to see how we can assist you in managing your business expenses and maximizing your business efficiency! 

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