Tips for Keeping Track of Tax Receipts

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires that you file your taxes every year. Whether you file as a married person or a single person, you have the option of taking the standard deduction or making your own deductions. When you use your own deductions, you need to file a separate form and keep track of receipts that prove you spent money on those items. The IRS lets you deduct some of the cost of your home office, the miles you put on your car, expenses relating to the purchase of a new home and even work you did on your home. You can use some easy tips to keep track of all your receipts.

Use an App

One of the best ways to keep track of all your receipts is with an app that lets you scan each one. These apps are available for both Apple and Android devices and work with the camera on your device. As soon as you get home, set down all the receipts from the day. Scan each one to create a file, and then create a backup file on an external hard drive or another device. This keeps you protected if the original device suffers a hard drive failure.

Keep Records at Home

Keep copies of all the records and receipts that you need at home. Having a digital copy prevents heat and water from damaging the originals. You can use a file cabinet or a fireproof box to keep those copies safe. The IRS recommends that you maintain copies of your tax filings and receipts for at least seven years. Depending on how many boxes of papers you have, you may want to invest in a shelf with rigid casters on the bottom that you can move around the room as needed.

Add Notes

As you scan, save and put away your receipts, make sure that you leave behind some notes. While you might think that you can remember everything about that day, you might not feel the same way a few years from now. For dining and entertainment receipts, write down notes about who you met with on that day and the reason behind your meeting. You may want to keep a separate document with that information saved in it too. Using these tips is a great way to keep track of all the receipts you use to prove your tax deductions.