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 can I get my documents to Shoeboxed? A 2015 Refresher

At Shoeboxed, we work the way you do. Whether you live for inbox zero or are always on the go, we have a method of getting your documents to us quickly and easily.

As we head into a new year, we know that your workflows may have changed. Whether you live for inbox zero or are always on the go, we have a method of getting your documents to us quickly and easily. We constantly strive to offer new solutions to make your life easier and more productive!

Here’s a quick recap of all the ways you can send your documents to Shoeboxed for processing.

  • Gmail Receipt Sync: The first set-it-and-forget-it, automatic receipt processor! Simply link your Gmail account to Shoeboxed, and we’ll spot incoming receipts and automatically process them into your online account.
  • Shoeboxed Receipt and Mileage Tracker: Our mobile app is a free download for iPhone and Android. The app lets you snap a photo of a receipt, enter a note, tag it as Reimburseable or Deductible, and submit it to Shoeboxed for processing.
  • Web Clipper: The Shoeboxed Web Clipper is the easiest way to send things to Shoeboxed directly from any web browser. The Web Clipper is a free download for Safari, Firefox or Internet Explorer (click here) and Chrome (click here). Simply navigate to the page you want to submit for processing, click the Shoeboxed icon and it will capture and submit everything on your current web page. You can also ‘clip’ email signatures so the contact information will be imported into the business card section of your Shoeboxed account.
  • Desktop Uploaders: Our Desktop Uploaders are an easy way to submit documents on your computer straight to Shoeboxed without having to access your online account. The Desktop Uploader is a free download for Mac and Windows.
  • receipts@shoeboxed.com: A single dropbox for you to forward eReceipts to! We’ll detect which account to put the receipt in based on the sender.
  • Magic Envelopes: Simply toss all of your receipts, bank statements, and any other paperwork that needs to be scanned into one of our famous Magic Envelopes for processing. Drop it in the mail, then watch as your account is magically populated with digital receipt data– and images of your scanned receipts!

So, what are you waiting for? Try out a new way to get your documents to us today.

The Top 5 Document Scanners for Small Businesses

If your small business is ready to go paperless, a document scanner can help you digitize all your receipts and documents. Here are our top 5 favorites!

If your small business is ready to go paperless, you’re going to need a powerful document scanner to take you from hard copy-zero to digitized hero.

Some of the best digital scanners available today are single-function scanners that are designed specifically to turn documents, receipts, and business cards into editable, exportable, searchable data.

If you’re serious about going paperless, one of those dinky, multi-function scanner/printer/fax hybrids just won’t cut it. Top scanners are able to:

  • Detect document size

  • Scan large stacks of documents at once

  • Scan multiple pages per minute

  • Digitize data into exportable formats

  • Scan to third party programs like Shoeboxed, QuickBooks, and Google Drive

Here are our top 5 document scanners for small businesses that are in need of some serious scanning power.

1. Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300i

The Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300i (pictured above) is Fujitsu’s smallest, lightest, most powerful multi-page mobile scanner. Weighing in at just under 5 pounds, this model is perfect for business travel and off-site projects that require the power and efficiency of a desktop scanner without the bulk.

Mac and PC users can scan color and grayscaled documents at lightning-fast speeds – up to a dozen double-sided pages per minute. The ScanSnap intuitively detects the size of your paper document, making it easy to scan everything from business cards to bank statements.

In addition to allowing you to create one-click, searchable PDF scans, the ScanSnap makes it easy to scan to a variety of different cloud-based programs, including Evernote, SugarSync, Dropbox, Google Docs, and Salesforce CRM.

2. Visioneer Strobe 500

The Visioneer Strobe 500 Mobile Duplex Color Scanner with Docking Station is a multi-function scanner that serves as a powerful desktop unit and a lightweight travel scanner.

When used within its docking station, the Visioneer Strobe rivals the most powerful desktop scanners in terms of scanning speed and document feeding. But when business travels calls, this 7-pound powerhouse can be easily ejected from its docking station and used on-the-go thanks to its USB functionality.

The Visioneer is slightly heavier than the ScanSnap, but with an extra 3 pounds of weight comes additional scanning power: the feeder holds up to 20 documents at once and can scan up to 30 images per minute.

Another great function of the Visioneer is its ingenious function settings. By adjusting the settings of each button on the scanner, you can instantly scan documents to pre-set locations such as email, a specific folder on your computer, or your favorite web publishing program.

3. Xerox DocuMate 3115

The Xerox DocuMate 3115 is one of the most flexible scanners on the market. Whether you’re digitizing business cards or oddly-shaped photos, or working in the office or on the road, the DocuMate has you covered.

Like the Visioneer, the DocuMate comes with a docking station that lets you easily convert the desktop scanner to a mobile scanner. Its extra USB cable makes it possible to power the scanner without an AC adapter, making it easy to scan from absolutely anywhere.

The DocuMate also comes with Visioneer OneTouch software, which makes exporting scanned documents a breeze. There are 6 settings preconfigured for popular applications, but each one can be easily customized.

The best part? The DocuMate is able to deliver digital scans to just about any application in existence, as well as any device – scan documents to your hard drive, a cloud-based app, your smartphone, or your tablet.

4. Kodak ScanMate i940

The Kodak ScanMate i940 scanner is lightweight, functional, and USB-powered. Although it’s meant to be primarily a desktop scanner, its weight (5 pounds) and USB capability make it another surefire bet for scanning off-site if need be.

The ScanMate specializes in scanning every shape and size document – even plastic ID cards, embossed cards, and over-sized paper.

SmartTouch and NewSoft Presto! Bizcard software make it easy to manage contacts and sync business card scans with existing contact records.

You can also edit scanned images with power that rivals top image editing software – rotate and crop photos, adjust contrast and brightness, and take advantage of Kodak’s Perfect Page software to perfect each and every scan.

5. Xerox Mobile Wi-Fi Scanner

The Xerox Mobile Wi-Fi Scanner is a wireless, cordless, battery-powered scanner and the quintessential device for business travel and mobile scanning.

At just 2.8 pounds, it’s the lightest scanner on our list, with a design that’s managed to retain a fair amount of power even when compared with the larger desktop scanners.

In addition to being completely wireless, the Xerox Mobile scanner is able to scan up to 6 full pages per minute. That’s not quite as powerful as the Visioneer in terms of speed, but what this model lacks in power it makes up for in portability.

You scan up to 300 documents on a single battery charge,  and use the included Eye-Fi memory card to instantly beam scanned documents to any device or cloud-based application.

The wireless technology allows you to sync up to 32 different networks with your device. Any time you’re within range of one of those networks, all of your scanned documents are instantly sent to the destination of your choice.

All 5 of these document scanners are fantastic choices for small businesses looking to go paperless and turn hard copies into digital data.

When deciding which scanner is right for your company, prioritize in terms of power and portability. Do you need to scan large stacks of documents quickly? Then the Visioneer Strobe 500, Xerox DocuMate 3115, or Kodak ScanMate i940 might be best for you.

Are you constantly on the go and need to scan documents remotely? Then the Xerox Mobile Wi-Fi Scanner or Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300i might be best for your small business.

Which document scanner are you currently using in your office?

Image via Amazon

Affiliate Disclosure: Some links in the article above are referral links and we may receive compensation for sending you the way of these scanning companies.