In the United States, one can deduct part of the expenses a taxpayer paid for medical and dental care for themselves, their spouse, and their dependents. In case the IRS asks for a proof, are scans of receipts valid? Or does one have to provide the original receipt?

  • The IRS cares about receipts. – quid Mar 29 '16 at 5:18
  • @quid so are scans of receipt are not valid proofs? – Franck Dernoncourt Mar 29 '16 at 5:19
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    Oh goodness, I thought you were referring to scans like X-rays. – quid Mar 29 '16 at 5:20
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    @quid and blood samples :) – Franck Dernoncourt Mar 29 '16 at 5:33

A scan of receipt is more than acceptable. Keep in mind that all of society has gone digital. Many of my receipts never existed in hard copy form.

The computer in the doctors office is used to send the information to the insurance company, who then generates the Explanation of Benefits. The EOB is then posted to the insurance company website where I can view it or download it. Then I send the money from my Health Savings Account website to the doctor's office computer.

There never was an original bill. In the rare case where the workflow doesn't follow that pattern, I don't send original receipts to the insurance company I send them electronically.

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    The question is not about what is logical or obvious, but what the IRS accepts. That's not necessarily the same. – Aganju Mar 29 '16 at 11:54
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    @Aganju - the IRS has accepted digital copies of receipts for expense reports for most of the 21st century, at least. And they prefer digital copies of most other documents, too (every return, for example, is efile processed - even the paper ones (they're entered by seasonal employees and processed electronically afterwards)). – warren Mar 31 '16 at 17:44

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