Best Practices for Scanning Tax Documents With A Mobile Device
Mar 02, 2023
Every year, tax season requires clients to share large amounts of data – mostly in the form of paper documents. As technology has evolved, so have the ways in which we share and collect personal files. The use of electronic document exchange software has become the standard for most accounting firms as it is quick and easy.
While most people don’t have a personal document scanner, almost everyone has a mobile device. This year we wanted to share best practices for scanning your tax documents so they are legible and compatible with our tax preparation software.
Image Files (.jpg, .png, .tiff, etc.) are not the best option
Many times, we receive documents as pictures or images which have been taken utilizing the camera app on your mobile device or tablet. Typically, photo/image file types utilize compression to reduce the size of the file for ease of upload. However, this compression results in a loss of quality, which ultimately makes the file harder to read. Instead, you can use your same mobile device or tablet to scan and submit documents in a PDF format! See below for tips!
Why are PDF files optimum?
When you create a PDF file containing data such as paragraphs, images, numbers, graphs, tables, etc., it will always display that data in the exact same way no matter where you are viewing it. PDF files also have universal compatibility meaning most modern browsers are fully capable of opening and displaying PDF files, and most modern operating systems come with basic pre-installed apps to open PDFs with ease.
Tips for creating PDF files
We have provided some resources below for your convenience. You can also do an internet search for your exact phone model for additional scanning options as well as where to find support for scanning from a mobile device.
- Article: Scan Documents with your phone: iPhone and Android
- iPhone specific – Video: Scanning using the Files App
- Android specific – Video: Scanning using Google Drive App
- Adobe Scan
Finally, as you’re working to prepare your tax records for the current filing season, take the time to connect with your tax professional to avoid any surprises and to ensure you have all the necessary documents to meet your filing deadlines. We do not require our clients to send documents electronically, you can still provide your files to us directly in paper form. We will provide you with your original documents when we complete your tax return but we always encourage you to make a copy of your files for safekeeping.
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