Hi Abe!

I have a TON of receipts on the truck I am keeping as an independent contractor. What are the IRS rules regarding keeping receipts?

Abe says: There are a few things to keep in mind when keeping a record of your expenses for your business.

First, you must keep receipts for anything ordinary and necessary for your business. You should have a record for all purchases on your business’s profit-and-loss statement (Schedule C).

Second, the IRS does accept digital copies of these receipts as records. However, per the IRS rules, they ask that you maintain your records for at least seven years! Digitizing these records can help you stay organized and ensure that you have a lasting copy.

Some folks may use a scanner, an app, or some other form of technology to ensure that they have digital records. There are several programs to choose from, so find what works best for you. If you pay for a data storage device (printer/scanner) or program (examples: Google Drive, Dropbox, Smart Receipts), you can also include this expense on your profit-and-loss.

Finally, there are some exceptions to the IRS receipt rules. For any items you include with your per diem expense for food, beverage, and personal hygiene items, you are not required to keep receipts for these items. In addition, you can disregard your receipts for personal meals while you are on the road.

For any additional questions regarding your business expenses or record keeping, please contact our office at 417-380-5000.

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