6 ways to wrangle receipts come tax time

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As if tax season wasn’t stressful enough, you may very well have an enormous mound of last year’s receipt collecting dust on your desk (and let’s be honest, some of them are probably from 2012….maybe even earlier!)

Wrangling your receipts is the best way to finish your taxes quickly and painlessly. Luckily the Shoeboxed team is here to help. Here are our top 7 ways to turn your paper nightmare into a digital dream.

1. Dump ‘em

No, not in the garbage. Dump your receipts into one of our Magic Envelopes and relax as your own personal team of receipt scanners works tirelessly through the night to digitize each and every scrap of paper.

(Okay, okay, so we don’t really work tirelessly through the night. But we’ll still get your receipts scanned quickly!)

Once you mail us your stuff, we’ll have everything organized, scanned and categorized in your Shoeboxed account within a few business days.

2. Scan ‘em

If you’d rather scan receipts yourself, pick up a Fujitsu ScanSnap and go to town! The ScanSnap digitizes your receipts into searchable data for inclusion in expense reports and tax documents.

Besides, scanning receipts is a really good way to get out of doing other work.

3. Snap ‘em

Every time you receive a receipt, snap a picture of it and upload it to your Shoeboxed account using our app for iOS or Android.

The receipt will instantly be beamed to your account where you can access it anytime, anywhere. When you share data or your account log in with your tax professional, he or she can rest assured knowing your expenses are up to date.

Our app is also a great way to track spending while traveling for business. When it doesn’t make sense to bring a scanner, simply snap a photo of each travel receipt with your phone and toss the paper in the nearest recycling bin.

4. Recycle ‘em

Speaking of recycling….

Whether you’re snapping, scanning, or tossing receipts into our Magic Envelope, the next step is to recycle. Paper receipts account for billions of waste each year in the U.S. alone – it takes millions of trees and billions of gallons of water and fuel to create the receipts we use each year.

The worst part? Most people just end up throwing them away. Besides, do you really need a receipt at Starbucks, or at the grocery store? If you’re not going to write it off or include it on an expense report, tell the cashier to skip the printout.

When making a purchase, ask for a digital receipt up front. If paper is inevitable, take care to recycle your waste instead of tossing it in the garbage, and feel like the environmental pioneer you are.

5. File ‘em

Shoeboxed stores your receipts in a secure cloud account so you can easily access them whenever you need them. Instead of maintaining filing cabinets filled with hard copies, follow steps 1-3 above to fill your digital file with all your financial must-haves.

Keep in mind that in most cases, you don’t need a hard copy of anything. The IRS accepts digital receipts as originals. If they ever need a print out, your can go into your Shoeboxed account, select the digital receipt in question, and print from there.

6. Prevent ‘em

Once you’ve got the office cluttered cleared, the challenge becomes keeping it cleared. A paperless office will help prevent clutter from accumulating, as will an on-the-go receipt system for outside the office.

You may be in the habit of tossing receipts in your wallet, purse, laptop case or the glove compartment of your car. Establish a “no receipt zone” for each of those places.

Prevent paper clutter by scanning or snapping a photo of each receipt before you begin the journey back to the office. This way, your paperless office will stay that way.

How do you wrangle your receipts during tax season?

At Shoeboxed, Emily focuses on keeping our users happy and engaged. She is a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill with a degree in Public Relations and an avid Tar Heels fan. She enjoys traveling, staying active and spending time with her six-year-old Maltese, Madam.