Are digital photographs of receipts valid for CRA tax purposes?

I'd like to know if CRA would consider digital photograph or scanned image copies (JPEG format) to be suitable/acceptable reproductions of paper receipts for tax purposes. I'm thinking of starting a digital archiving system where I'd scan or store a digital photograph of my most important receipts and tax slips and use them as a backup in case the paper copies accidentally are lost or misplaced. I don't think that they'd have a problem with the validity of digital reproductions but I can't find any confirmation on the web.

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  • 1 decade ago
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    Great question Joe, I have been wondering the same thing myself.

    Considering that many bills these days are paperless to start with, i.e., they are sent via email to the taxpayer, I can't imagine why CRA wouldn't accept such documents on disc, provided that:

    1. The data is VERY CLEARLY LEGIBLE and can be printed without a problem.

    2. The data that you are storing on disc shows the date, receipt #, name of the store with whom the transaction was conducted, as well as YOUR COMPANY NAME on the invoice. The invoices should also be pre-numbered (not just something scribbled on a piece of paper).

    Just for the record, many years ago, I had a break and enter in my home, the strangest part was what the thieves took from me, was a small metal box I had stored my current year's records. (The robbers obviously thought it looked like a safe with valuables, not papers).

    Luckily, since I paid most of my business expenses by credit card, I was able to retrieve duplicate records from the bank with the transaction slips. I asked my clients to provide me with copies of the cancelled cheques as proof of my income. There was no electronic banking back in 1985, it was all paper transactions then.

    When it came time for filing my tax return, I attached EVERYTHING I HAD, including a copy of the police report, and a letter to CRA explaining that this was the best I could do.

    Although there was no legal obligation on my part to enclose any of my receipts/cancelled cheques, etc., I just wanted to be absolutely certain that CRA knew I was being totally above board with them.

    CRA cheerfully accepted my tax return, no questions asked.

    I would recommend calling CRA's business division at 1-800-959-5525 on Tues, April 10, 2007 (they are closed until then) and see what they have to say on this matter.

    Hope this information helps you.

  • 4 years ago

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  • 1 decade ago

    I direct you to IC-05-1 for more direction on this. The short answer is yes, however there are some requirements and stipulations that are stated.

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