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

4 Easy Ways To Upload Your Receipt Images To Shoeboxed

Are you tired of dealing with stacks and stacks of receipts every day? Shoeboxed can help take that stress away and get rid of those piles easily. This article will walk you through 3 different ways to add your receipt images straight from your phone and/or Gmail to the Shoeboxed app. It’s easy. We promise!

Shoeboxed is a popular receipt scanner application that helps you quickly turn your documents into digital, clearly categorized, and secure data. Leveraging AI technology, the Shoeboxed app automatically reads your receipt and selects important data to classify, which then gets checked and verified by a team of human data experts. Basically, Shoeboxed simplifies your accounting and gives you back your time and energy so you can focus on your business.  

4 easy ways to upload your receipt images to the Shoeboxed app

You can always capture your receipts directly with the Shoeboxed mobile app – all you need to do is allow the app to have access to the camera function on your phone. However, there may be times when you only have the pictures of receipts (e.g., e-receipts, images of receipts sent from other departments, etc.). What do you do then? 

Here are four simple solutions to add your receipt images to the Shoeboxed app: 

Post images from your photo library 

Once you allow Shoeboxed access to your photo library, you’re good to go! Click Add New on the homepage, choose Photo Library, then you can submit any receipt images from your phone to the app. It’s as simple as that. 

Step 1: Click Add New on the home page.

receipt images Shoeboxed

Step 2: Choose Photo Library and select the receipt image you want to upload 

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Drag and drop the scan from your desktop 

Apart from the Shoeboxed mobile app, you can also log in to Shoeboxed to manage your receipts right from a web browser. 

Using this method, you can either upload receipt pictures directly from your files or drag any documents to the website and let Shoeboxed take care of the rest. Your receipts will be perfectly scanned, categorized, and human-verified in an instant.

Also, you can submit multiple receipts at one time via a web browser, whereas you can only upload one receipt at a time on the mobile app.

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Email us your receipt pictures 

If you have a lot of receipt images and you’d rather just have them all dealt with in one go, send them in via email! 

Every Shoeboxed account has a unique email address with this format: username.PIN@shoeboxed.com. Any receipts sent or forwarded to this email address will be automatically added to your Shoeboxed account.

To find your Shoeboxed email address, go Settings and click ‘Receipts drop box’ on the mobile app. On a PC, go to Settings and click General under Account info

While Shoeboxed automatically creates your Shoeboxed email address from your username and an auto-generated PIN, you can always customize the two factors to make it easier to remember.

Use our custom Gmail plugin 

This feature is a must-have for any e-receipts fans! After only a few steps to integrate Shoeboxed with your Gmail account, our software will assess your new emails, automatically select receipts, and send them to your Shoeboxed account. In your Gmail account, you’ll see those receipts are automatically labeled Sent to Shoeboxed.

Here’s how to set up the Gmail receipts plugin:

Step 1: Go Settings and select My integrations. Then, click Manage in Gmail Receipt Sync.

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Step 2: Add your Gmail email address and Shoeboxed account. Keep in mind, you can add more than one. 

That’s it! Now, every e-receipt in your Gmail account will automatically be added and the data will be extracted to your Shoeboxed account. 

Shoeboxed is more than a receipt scanner! 

While Shoeboxed is most famous for its receipts tracker feature, helping many businesses manage and keep track of their expenses, the software has more to offer than that. 

With Shoeboxed, you can:

Store business cards 

Take or upload a photo of a business card to have all basic data automatically extracted and categorized. You can view your business cards online, create PDF files; and export your contacts, with all the information on the card, to any digital contact list, such as Outlook or Gmail.

Track mileage 

Shoeboxed tracks mileage using your phone’s built-in GPS when traveling to and from business meetings. The app will record the precise start and end location, the date of your trip, and any receipts that occurred during the trip for detailed documentation.

Expense reports

You can generate expense reports from any scanned receipts and send them via email for approvals. 

Go paperless! 

With many great features, Shoeboxed will help you organize your receipts and stay on top of your expenses. 

Ready to become a pro at managing your receipts? 
Download and try the Shoeboxed app for FREE on iOS and Android

What’s in the Business Travel Backpack in 2022?

At some point in your career, you may need to travel for business purposes. Whether it’s a domestic or overseas trip, attending a conference or company meeting, you may be wondering what exactly needs to be included in your business travel backpack. In this article, we’ve listed a thorough, complete list of business travel essentials and we’ll explain why you need these items. 

Business trips often require you to bring both personal and professional items, so using a packing checklist for a business trip helps you organize and carry these items when you travel for work. Without a checklist, you’ll be more likely to forget an essential item that you’ll need for your work while away from the office. A checklist can also help you pack faster, so you can maximize your time before you leave for a business destination. 

What should be included in your business travel backpack?

We’ve broken our list down into 5 main categories: Business essentials, Documents, Accessories, Clothing, and Personal Items. Be sure to consider packing each of the items we mention below for your next business trip:

Business essentials

  • Laptop or tablet

Even if the hotel offers computer-rental services, it’s also a good idea to bring your own laptop or tablet. Think about the security of your business files, applications, and presentation software. Bringing your laptop also allows you to work efficiently while traveling anywhere, at any time, on any transportation. 

  • Cell phone and chargers

It might seem too obvious, however, you might leave your home thinking you’ve got everything you need, only to discover while you’re in the taxi that you forgot your chargers. So, remember to charge your batteries fully the night before and pack all your chargers into your business travel backpack right when you wake up. Or if you really want to be prepared, consider buying a spare charger to keep permanently in your travel bag.

  • WiFi hotspot

Carrying your own internet hub may be helpful while traveling for long hours to different places. You can then work efficiently without worrying about a weak internet connection. It’s also a great idea if you’re at the airport, hotel lobby, or convention center where large numbers of users log in at the same time, which can lead to slow connection speeds.

  • Headphones or earbuds

These sound devices help you work continuously during transit or conduct online meetings in various environments. You can also use them for entertainment during break time. 

  • Business cards

Going to business meetings or conferences is a great chance to expand your network. You can exchange business cards with other business owners or partners. It would be a pity if you forgot your business cards. If you’re concerned about the space and clutter they might take up, see our guides on five effective ways to store your business cards.

Tip: As QR codes are becoming extremely popular, you can consider including one on your business cards. By doing this, your business connections can scan this code with their device to see a professional website, social media platform, or digital portfolio of your business. 

Shoeboxed is a painless receipt tracking and expense management solution for freelancers and small business owners. If you’re a frequent business traveler, consider using Shoeboxed for better tracking expenses and reducing clutter. With the Shoeboxed app (available on iOS and Android), you can easily scan receipts, track mileage or and other business expenses, and even generate clear, well-structured expense reports from your mobile device

  • Presentation remotes

If you’re giving a presentation, bringing a remote device to move through your slides can be helpful as it allows you to interact with other professionals throughout the room. You can choose a traditional presentation remote, a laser pointer, a clicker, or present with a mobile app. 

  • Adapters

If you’re traveling to a foreign country, you may need power adapters that fit your charging cords. You can check the international standards before you travel to see whether you’ll need to purchase a device or not. 

  • Notebook and pen

Even though you can take notes with any digital note app on any device, it’s still a good idea to have pen and paper ready to take handwritten notes. By preparing these, you’ll still be able to capture information should your devices have any technical problems. . What’s more, creative thoughts that lead to big business ideas are sometimes scratched on a piece of scrap paper during a session or even over a coffee break.

Documents

Documents are the most important things you need to take while packing for business trips. Along with essentials such as your passport and other ID, don’t forget to check the local travel requirements necessary during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

  • Passport (and a valid visa)

If your business trip takes you across borders, don’t leave home without your passport. If you’re traveling abroad for business, you often need to provide border security with a guarantee of when you’ll leave the country. Without this,  some countries won’t let you in without a copy of your complete itinerary.

  • An ID card

Though you don’t necessarily need to show an ID card (such as a driver’s license or other identifying documents) together with your passport, carrying such documents can still be a good idea as they protect you from unexpected situations. 

  • Boarding pass

Your boarding pass is the second most important document after your passport. Nowadays, most boarding passes are available on your mobile, but make sure that you’ll have internet access via your phone if you plan to use one. Or you can simply take a screenshot of the boarding pass and use it offline through your photo gallery on your phone.

You can also print out the details of your transportation and accommodations for your convenience. This information can be helpful in case you need to fill in any forms or to tell your taxi driver where to drive. 

  • Vaccination certificate and negative Covid-19 test result

Some countries won’t let you in if you’re not fully vaccinated or unable to show proof of vaccination or don’t have a negative Covid-19 RT-PCR test result document. Remember that the test result is only valid for 72 hours before arrival, so if your destination requires this test document, you’ll need to take the test and be able to get the result documents right before you leave on your trip. 

Important note: If you’re traveling to another country, the local government might require you to quarantine for a while, usually from three to fourteen days. So, it’s extremely important to check the current law to see if you need to do a quarantine or not so that you can adjust your luggage accordingly. 

  • Business documentation

Last but not least, make sure you have all necessary business documents on your digital devices (or print a hard copy of them). You wouldn’t want to end up forgetting your presentation slides or any important portfolio at the last minute, would you?

Accessories 

You may think it’s unnecessary to bring accessories on a business trip. Still, these items can actually help you leave a good impression on your business partner, contributing to the trip’s success. They can even protect you from unexpected situations, such as weather changes, and so on. For example, here are the most simple and subtle accessories you can consider packing: 

  • Glasses or contacts lens

These are the most important accessories if you have eyesight problems. Don’t forget to bring a case and cleaning products for your eyewear as well. 

  • Sunglasses, hat, and umbrella

Though you can always check the weather forecast before your trip, these items are extremely necessary when traveling to tropical regions. Keep your sunglasses and umbrellas ready to protect you from the intense sunlight or rain. 

  • Watch and jewelry

Simple and elegant watches and jewelry complete your business attire for both casual and formal events. However, it’s a good idea to avoid bringing expensive and highly valued items because they’re easily lost or stolen. Instead, you can pack a functional and modest watch and jewelry for business trips. 

Clothing

It’s very important to dress up properly during business meetings. Here are the main items you’ll need to have a successful business trip: 

  • Business attire

You’ll need professional clothing, which in most cases includes suits, slacks or skirts, and dress shirts. Unless you’re taking a long trip, generally, one or two complete suits with a variety of shirts will be enough. Men may need to pack some ties that are interchangeable with their shirts and suits. For ladies, adding a scarf or pin can change the look of the same outfit so you can wear it on several occasions.

  • Formal wear

If you’re attending a formal event during your trip, you’ll need to pack an appropriate suit or dress. Black tie events require the highest formal wear, while cocktail events call for less sophisticated styles. Normally, you’ll see the dress code attached to the event invitation, but if you’re unsure of how to dress, you can ask a colleague or supervisor for a suggestion.

  • Dress shoes or heels 

Packing one pair of well-fitting dress shoes or heels is probably enough for your trip. Make sure they’re cleaned and in good condition before you pack them. 

  • Jacket or sweater

Even if you’re traveling to a warm climate, the temperatures inside airports, hotels, and conference centers can get chilly, so it’s still a good idea to pack a light sweater or jacket that you can easily tuck inside your bag. 

  • Casual outfits and shoes

After work hours, you may have personal time to explore local attractions or relax. You’ll want to wear comfortable clothing in non-business time. If you plan to sightsee, you’ll also need a good pair of walking shoes. You may even want to bring a bathing suit if you have a chance to visit the hotel pool or hot tub. 

  • Workout gear

It’s important to focus on your well-being and maintain a daily workout routine, even on a business trip. Packing some workout clothes allows you to continue your exercise routine in the hotel gym. If you prefer outdoor activities, you can even go for a run close by where you are staying during your business trip.

  • Pajamas, underwear, and socks

It goes without saying that bringing your nighttime clothes and underwear helps you stay comfortable throughout the day and night. You can even bring pillow spray in case you need a familiar smell that helps you drift into sleep easier. 

Personal items

It’s easy to overlook things when you need to keep your luggage as light as possible, but leaving behind the essentials could throw off your whole trip. Bringing personal items can help keep you comfortable during the long flights and the whole trip. 

  • Water bottle

Having a full reusable, refillable water bottle in your business travel backpack helps you stay hydrated without wasting money or generating the extra trash of plastic bottles.

  • Snacks

Even if your company or hotel provides food, you never know when you may have to wait a long time between meals. Bringing healthy snacks like energy bars or granola can get you through a long day of meetings. These snacks are also easy to pack into your backpack as they don’t require special preservation conditions and are super easy to eat during a quick break. 

  • Entertainment (books or Kindle)

A good book helps you pass long hours waiting or traveling and reading books is a good chance to take a break from screen time. Otherwise, you can always carry your Kindle or any digital reading device or app on your phone to keep yourself entertained. 

  • Basic toiletries

A personal toothbrush and toothpaste, deodorant, soap, shampoo, and a razor are all travel essentials. Buying a travel kit can be convenient as all these necessities are included, plus they are designed to meet the airline’s liquid safety requirements. On the other hand, you can always pack your own items at home, but don’t forget to check if they’re in good condition and meet those requirements. Don’t forget to pack the necessary medications, too! 

  • Sunscreen

Using sunscreen is extremely important to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen every morning and retouch it after 2-3 hours when participating in outdoor activities.

  • Face masks

Many countries require people to wear face masks in public places to protect themselves from getting Covid-19. What’s more, you can even get fined for not wearing face masks while doing community activities. That’s why it’s a good idea to always wear and keep some masks in your bag for your own good. You can choose either fabric masks or medical masks, depending on your preference. 

  • Medical gloves

Public surfaces may contain lots of bacteria. Together with face masks, medical gloves help protect yourself while traveling in public spaces. You may consider packing gloves for your business travel backpack, especially if you’re going to spend some time at the airport or train station. 

  • Hand sanitizer

Needless to say, hand sanitizers are handy as they’re small and easy to keep in your business travel backpack. Using them also means that you don’t need to re-wash your hands with water. If you’re allergic to perfumes, consider choosing hand sanitizer with a scent-free label. 

The bottom line

Packing for business trips will no longer be a struggle as long as you keep a handy checklist. You can keep the checklist as a note on your phone, laptop, or any other device so that it won’t get lost, faded, or damaged. 

We hope that this article helped you identify the most important items you’ll need in your business travel backpack so you can be well prepared for your travels.
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