It’s Tax Time – Easy Ways to Scan Without a Scanner


Tax season isn’t just when the IRS jumps into high gear. Scammers do that too.

Rumors circulate every time a new rule or regulation is introduced, and you can bet that cybercriminals are using that confusion to scam people. Tap or click for a fact check: Should you file a selfie with your tax return this year?

As you think about tax time, you may also be thinking, “I need to make some extra money.” Lucky for you, we’ve rounded up some interesting ways to make money from home.

However, start with this year’s taxes first by scanning in everything you need.

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:

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Open the Notes app. Click the icon that looks like a square with a pen in the lower 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 automatic mode, the app detects a document and scans it. In manual mode, you need to take the photo. Switch between modes in the top right corner of your screen. Tap the photo shutter button at the bottom of the screen to finish. Edit the image after you’ve created it by dragging it around the page corners. When you’re done, tap Save at the bottom right of your screen.

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

Tax documents are private. After you scan them, lock those notes with a password. Tap or click here for directions; scroll to number 5.

Scan on an Android phone

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

Open the Google Drive app. Tap the plus button in the lower right corner. Tap Scan and grant access to your camera if you haven’t already done so. You can choose to scan at normal scale (1x), zoom out to .7x scale, or zoom in to 2x scale. a photo of the document you want to scan. Press the arrow to try again or the check mark to confirm. From there, you can crop, rotate, or convert to black and white. Press Save when you’re done. Add a file name and choose a folder to save to. Select Save again.

Security news: This new warning in Google Drive means a scammer may be after you

Use your computer instead

You will probably need to have all tax-related documents on your computer. If you have a decent webcam, you can skip the phone scans and do it from there.

On a Mac:

Open photo booth. Your webcam will open automatically. Place your document in front of the webcam and align it on the screen. Press the red photo icon to take a photo. It will then appear in the lower right corner. Drag it to your desktop or to a folder.

On a Windows PC:

Open the Camera app. Place your document in front of the webcam, then press the white camera icon to take a photo. Your photo will appear in the lower right corner. Click on it to open it and then click on the three dots in the top right corner. Choose Open Folder to see where it is stored on your computer, then move it wherever you want.

My mother was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer in December 2017. In 2020 she was cancer free. But the cancer returned with a vengeance, and doctors used the word “hospice.” Here is my own journey with her passing.

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