Ask Entrepreneur

Does the IRS accept scanned receipts for tax write-offs?

If so, can I destroy the original receipts?
You sure can scan your receipts and throw away the originals. Most taxpayers don't realize it but the IRS has actually accepted scanned receipts as far back as 1997.

The rule that supports scanned receipts is called Revenue Proclamation 97-22. The rule states that scanned receipts are acceptable as long as they are identical to the originals and contain all of the accurate information that are included in the original receipts.

It is important though to have the scanned copies organized in a readily available manner in case of an IRS audit. Specifically, you must be able to index, store, preserve, retrieve and reproduce the records. This means that you should be able to produce a hard copy if requested by the IRS.

I would strongly suggest to move forward with only retaining scanned receipts as it saves space and conserves paper. However, make sure that you properly store and backup the data should you have a corrupt hard drive or some other issue preventing you from accessing the original data.

It would be wise to purchase an external hard-drive or flash memory card since they are inexpensive and protect you in case you need a backup.

Share Your Thoughts

Today's Editor's Picks

About ASK ENTREPRENEUR

Ask Entrepreneur is a question-and-answer forum for and by the Entrepreneur.com community. Send in your burning business question, or comment on someone else's now. Have a Question? Ask Now

Topics (over 1000+ answers)

Ask Entrepreneur Q&A Hangouts

Google + Hangout With Shark Tank
Google + Hangout With Jason Falls
Google + Hangout With Angela Jia Kim
Google + Hangout With Grant Cardone

ASK Quick Tips