Use Your Phone’s Camera to Scan Your Important Tax Documents



This story is a part of Taxes 2023, CNET’s protection of the most effective tax software program, tax ideas and every little thing else it is advisable file your return and observe your refund.

It is almost the tip of the 2023 tax season (although not for everybody), which implies you’ve got most likely already acquired vital paperwork out of your employer that can assist you file your 2022 tax return. Most of them must be digital copies of your W-2 or 1099 varieties, which you need to use to file your taxes on-line by way of TurboTax, H&R Block or one other service. Nonetheless, in case your paperwork got here within the mail, you will have to digitize them first.

By digitizing your tax varieties, you may simply add data, comparable to your tax identification quantity and sources of revenue, to the service you are utilizing with out having to enter every little thing manually, which may usually be a ache in the event you’ve obtained sophisticated taxes.

You’ll be able to convert any bodily tax papers you might have right into a digital format utilizing solely your cellphone or pill. Whether or not you might have an iOS or Android machine, there are built-in instruments on both iPhone or Android that can help you use your digicam to rapidly scan a bodily doc and convert it right into a PDF with ease. Here is how.

When you’re right here, ensure that to take a look at our cheat sheet for taxes in 2023 and how one can file your taxes totally free.

The Smead all-in-one revenue tax organizer options 12 pockets to your receipts, checks and different vital papers and paperwork you could want for while you file taxes. Comes with a guidelines and preprinted labels.

The right way to scan your tax paperwork along with your iPhone or iPad

Should you’ve obtained an iPhone or iPad, you might have a few methods to scan your paperwork along with your digicam, however we’ll be specializing in utilizing the Information app. This technique is most popular as a result of the doc is saved in Information, which makes it straightforward to then edit and share to your laptop or different gadgets.

1. To begin, open the Information app.

2. Subsequent, faucet the three-dot menu icon within the top-right.

3. Hit Scan Paperwork.


You should use the Information app to scan bodily paperwork on iOS.

Nelson Aguilar/CNET

Your digicam will then open, and you will be requested to place the doc in view. One of the best ways to scan your tax doc is to position it on a flat floor, like a desk or desk, in a well-lit space. Avoid any surfaces which are white or mirror an excessive amount of mild, or else the digicam will not be capable of scan the doc correctly.

Now, place the cellphone or pill in order that it is straight over the doc and you will see a blue overlay seem on the doc, indicating it is being scanned. If the doc is scanned accurately, it’s going to routinely be positioned into your accomplished scans, permitting you to scan extra paperwork if you want.

You’ll be able to then faucet the doc preview within the bottom-left to rescan or edit your paperwork. You’ll be able to crop them — in case the automated scanning wasn’t nice — and add a filter (comparable to grayscale) to enhance their readability. Should you’re proud of the scans, faucet Save to retailer the doc as a PDF within the Information app. You’ll be able to then rename the doc or share it by way of e-mail. Should you plan on submitting taxes in your cell machine, you can even add the PDF to any tax apps by way of the Information app.

The right way to scan your tax papers along with your Android

On Android, there are a couple of methods to scan paperwork, however it often varies barely relying on the mannequin of the cellphone. Whereas the Pixel 7 and the S22, for instance, each have a built-in doc scanner within the Digicam app, the OnePlus 10 Professional and the Moto G Energy don’t. So as an alternative, we’ll be scanning paperwork via the Google Drive app, which technically is not built-in, however most Android gadgets have the Google Drive app preinstalled, so it is simply nearly as good.

1. First, open the Google Drive app.

2. Subsequent, faucet the blue + button on the underside proper.

3. Then, faucet Scan.


On Android, you may scan tax docs with Google Drive.

Nelson Aguilar/CNET

Together with your bodily tax doc laid flat on a nonreflective floor, place the digicam straight over the paper and place it within the body. Ensure the tax doc is in focus, after which hit the shutter button to take a photograph. If the picture seems good, faucet OK. It’s best to then see an routinely cropped picture of your tax doc. You’ll be able to then add a filter to the doc (comparable to black and white), rotate it and edit the borders. If you wish to add extra paperwork, faucet on the + icon on the bottom-left.

Should you’re blissful along with your scans, hit Save on the underside proper. Then, you may give the doc a reputation, select an account (in case you might have a number of) and choose a folder to save lots of the doc (as a PDF) in. When you try this, hit Save once more on the bottom-right. Together with your tax doc saved to Google Drive, you may add feedback, search via it by way of key phrases and naturally share it by way of e-mail or on to any tax apps you may need in your Android.

Now that it is tax season, you may need questions. If you wish to study extra, try these 13 greatest tax deductions to sit up for in 2023 and how your photo voltaic panels could make you cash.

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