Are electronic (digitally scanned) documents considered legal according to the IRS?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009
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According to the IRS, acceptable documentation can include electronic records such as direct receipts, acknowledgment letters, credit-card receipts, and credit-card statements, that show the payment date, amount, recipient, and any other information required for the particular type of deduction (such as business purpose for a business deduction). Reliable and legible electronic copies of documents are acceptable forms of receipts and records.

IRS Revenue Procedure 97-22 (www.irs.gov) provides guidance to taxpayers who maintain books and records by using an electronic-storage system that either images their hard copy (paper) books and records, or transfers their computerized books and records to an electronic storage media, such as an optical disk. Records maintained in an electronic-storage system that complies with the requirements of this procedure will constitute records “within the meaning of the Internal Revenue Code. For additional information please refer to IRS Publication 552, Record Keeping for Individuals.

Tim Shortsleeve, CPA.CITP

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