KIM KOMANDO

Tax-time tips: Easy ways to scan documents without a scanner

Feb 20, 2022, 5:00 AM
(Pexels Photo)...
(Pexels Photo)
(Pexels Photo)

Tax season isn’t only when the IRS kicks into high gear. Scammers do, too.

Rumors swirl every time a new rule or regulation rolls out, and you can bet cybercriminals use that confusion to swindle people. Tap or click for a fact check: Do you need to submit a selfie with your taxes this year?

While you’re contemplating tax time, you might also be thinking, “I need to make some extra cash.” Lucky for you, we rounded up some interesting ways to make money from home.

First, though, get a head start on this year’s taxes by scanning in everything you need to.

Built-in option for iPhone

The Notes app isn’t just a place to jot down your grocery list. It includes a powerful scanner. Here’s how to use it:

● Open the Notes app. Click the icon that looks like a square with a pen in the bottom right corner of the screen to start a new note.
● Tap the camera icon at the bottom and select Scan Documents.
● Hold your phone over the document you want to scan. In Auto mode, the app will detect a document and scan it. In Manual mode, you need to snap the photo. Swap between modes at the top right of your screen.
● Tap the photo shutter button at the bottom of the screen to finish.
● Edit the image after you take it by dragging it around the page corners. When you’re finished, tap Save on the bottom right of your screen.

Your file is saved as a PDF that you can email or message right from Notes.

Tax documents are private. After you scan them, lock those notes with a password. Tap or click here for directions; scroll to No. 5.

How to scan on an Android phone

On an Android smartphone, use Google Drive to scan in invoices, receipts, and whatever else you need to.

● Open the Google Drive app. Tap the plus button in the bottom right corner.
● Tap Scan and allow access to your camera if you have not already.
● You can choose to scan in regular scale (1x), zoom out to .7x scale or zoom in to 2x scale.
● Take a photo of the document you’d like to scan. Hit the arrow to try again or the checkmark to confirm.
● From there, you can crop, rotate, or convert to black and white. Hit Save when you’re done.
● Add a file name and choose a folder to store to. Select Save again.

Use your computer instead

You’ll likely need to get any tax-related docs on your computer. If you have a decent webcam, you can skip the phone scans and do it from there instead.

On a Mac:

● Open Photo Booth. Your webcam will automatically open.
● Place your document in front of the webcam and line it up on the screen.
● Hit the red photo icon to take a picture. It will then appear in the bottom right corner. Drag it onto your desktop or into a folder.

On a Windows PC:

● Open the Camera app.
● Line up your document before the webcam, then hit the white camera icon to snap a photo.
● Your photo will appear in the bottom right corner. Click it to open, then click the three dots in the upper right.
● Choose Open folder to see where it is stored on your computer, then move it anywhere you like.

What digital lifestyle questions do you have? Call Kim’s national radio show and tap or click here to find it on your local radio station. You can listen to or watch The Kim Komando Show on your phone, tablet, television or computer. Or tap or click here for Kim’s free podcasts.

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Tax-time tips: Easy ways to scan documents without a scanner