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Jim M

Evernote for IRS documentation

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I purchased a scanner last year but my bookkeeper said she did not think it would be useful to document purchases, travel, gas, meals etc for my very small business.  Scanner sat in box until May 1 when I got my first IRS audit notice.  Long and short is that I am still under audit and trying to make sense of the accumulation the receipts that I've been pouring through.  Now I have 2 years of receipts which have gotten intermingled.  I have tried to scan some but don't know if its too late to use the scanner and evernote organize the mess.  Big question is will IRS accept scanned images for audit? 

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I would think so, but I don't know for sure.  You could try the following:

  • Call the IRS taxpayer support line.  It is designed to answer questions just like this one.
  • Google it and look for official IRS postings
  • Talk to a Tax accountant/CPA
  • Talk to a tax lawyer
  • Save original paper copy for all transactions over a significant amount ($1,000 ?)

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My understanding is that scanned receipts are OK as well. One nice solution would be to scan everything and dump the paper into a box just in case. If you OCR it (Evernote will do this for you), everything will be much easier to search through and organize. You use the receipts for the audit, and if they ask for paper, you can always go pull all of that paper out of the box.

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My CPA seems to think "copies" are acceptable. She is a little behind the eight ball on technology but a scanned version is of course just a digital copy. Wish I had a recording of that conversation!

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When I first started going paperless about seven years ago, I checked.  Insurance companies & IRS both accept scanned receipts.  (Those are typically the thorns in one's side.) 

 

I think you need a different bookkeeper.

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I purchased a scanner last year but my bookkeeper said she did not think it would be useful to document purchases, travel, gas, meals etc for my very small business.  Scanner sat in box until May 1 when I got my first IRS audit notice.  Long and short is that I am still under audit and trying to make sense of the accumulation the receipts that I've been pouring through.  Now I have 2 years of receipts which have gotten intermingled.  I have tried to scan some but don't know if its too late to use the scanner and evernote organize the mess.  Big question is will IRS accept scanned images for audit? 

 

My suggestion would be to scan receipts & title them in YYYYMMDD format followed by the vendor.  IE, if it's a Home Depot receipt from 7/12/12, make the title of the note 20120712 - Home Depot.  If you're using Windows desktop client, you can use an import folder (please search the board on the topic.)  I scan & save the file name what I want the note title to be.  (IE 20120712 - Home Depot)  Then I put it into an import folder (Windows client - please search the board for more info).  So it goes into my EN that way.  I can easily find any Home Depot receipts for May 2013 by searching:

 

intitle:"Home Depot" 201305*

 

And I repeat...I think you need a different bookkeeper.

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A few years ago, I lived in England for two years.

Both the British Inland Revenue and the American IRS accepted my scanned documents.

And my international tax accounting firm said the scanned documents made their work a lot easier.

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