Scanning Documents For Your Taxes

I frequently get asked about whether scanning receipts is ok with Canada Revenue Agency – aka CRA. The answer is yes, in general.   If the document you need to keep for tax purposes  is a paper document then you have the choice about saving it as a piece of paper or scanning the receipt and then throwing away the paper. If you are going to scan the document however, you must retain all of the detail that was available on the paper. Here are CRA’s requirements for a scanned document:

  • It is an accurate reproduction with the intention of it taking the place of the paper document
  • It gives the same information as the paper document
  • The significant details of the image are not obscured because of limitations in resolution, tonality, or hue.

In addition to scanning your receipts, you also have to be able to come up with the scan when you need it. You will store the document electronically and have a backup in at least two places.

The scan must be completely legible and easy to read. I have seen some scanned receipts which are not legible. If you are going to take a picture – take a legible picture.

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