Author Topic: Scanning tax receipts  (Read 1784 times)

ACyclist

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Scanning tax receipts
« on: December 03, 2017, 03:06:21 PM »
We've ignored this chore forever. My task this winter is to scan about a decade worth of tax receipts.  This is for two properties and extensive remodeling.  I want to keep them for when we sell the places. I'm scanning them and them will store in the safe, and another place or so. 

This takes forever.  All these weirdly shaped receipts, and docs. 

Why did I wait so long?

Adulting gets complicated. 

EarthSurfer

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Re: Scanning tax receipts
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2017, 06:24:39 AM »
Yeah, it sucks! Especially with today’s thermal paper receipts that fade to gray!

Just remember, you just need to be able to read the resulting files, you don’t need “pretty pictures.” Consider just using an “old school” point and shoot camera with good lighting, and renaming the files accordingly.

Suggestions for making it less of a chore:

* Scan on a dreary day when you don’t feel guilty about it while watching TV. It took 5 episodes of “Stranger Things” to scan 20 years of ancient tax returns.
* Write the date, general category and amount on the top of the receipt in black ink. This is especially important for fading receipts
* Scan in gray scale rather than black and white
* Don’t spend a lot of energy making things look pretty, rectangular, etc. Just be certain you can read the amounts.

I used a small sheet feed scanner for years (Dixie Go) and recently switched to using a phone camera scanner app with OCR. I did have to experiment with lighting a little to get quality results. I also take a quick peek at the output files to check for focus. Overall, much faster because I avoid the sheet feeder problems.

I use an external Bluetooth keyboard to quickly name the file rather than us using the screen keyboard. I have the scanner app upload scans automatically to cloud storage.


NoStacheOhio

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Re: Scanning tax receipts
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2017, 06:30:00 AM »
Do you have any kids? Sounds like a good way for them to earn $10. ;)

ACyclist

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Re: Scanning tax receipts
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2017, 10:02:53 AM »
Do you have any kids? Sounds like a good way for them to earn $10. ;)

Well, this is one time where it doesn't pay to be a DINK.  There are no small people that I can bribe.  :)

TheGrimSqueaker

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Re: Scanning tax receipts
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2017, 11:24:46 AM »
Do you have any kids? Sounds like a good way for them to earn $10. ;)

Well, this is one time where it doesn't pay to be a DINK.  There are no small people that I can bribe.  :)

I can sometimes find a few to rent. It's one of the things that pays about having friends with kids.

oldtoyota

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Re: Scanning tax receipts
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2017, 11:29:52 AM »
Why not take photos instead of scanning?

You could take photos with your phone and then upload the photos somewhere.

ACyclist

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Re: Scanning tax receipts
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2017, 11:41:07 AM »
Why not take photos instead of scanning?

You could take photos with your phone and then upload the photos somewhere.

The scanning seems quick enough.  It goes decently swift with the scanner.  Phone would require more steps, and my phone sucks.  :)

Goldielocks

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Re: Scanning tax receipts
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2017, 02:43:34 PM »
Why not take photos instead of scanning?

You could take photos with your phone and then upload the photos somewhere.

The scanning seems quick enough.  It goes decently swift with the scanner.  Phone would require more steps, and my phone sucks.  :)
I can't help with the sucky phone, but download CAMScanner.  It puts multiple photo scans into one PDF document as you go, and in text reading quality.  MUCH MUCH faster.   Email yourself the file every 6 pages or so (based on size).  Hint -- scan receipts laid out on a 8.5 x 11 size white paper, on the table in front of you.

I noticed a lot of business travellers using phone scanning on the airplane on their way home.  The key is to do it every week.