No more stacks of paper! Get everything organized and neatly stored on your computer.
If you're the type of person who throws all of your receipts into a shoebox and then deeply regrets it when tax season comes around (like me!), you may want to get a searchable scanner.
Searchable scanners are, well, scanners, but they have some special talents. They can scan a whole stack of receipts and other papers automatically. After they scan a document, these home office tools turn the information into a searchable PDF file and puts it in a computer folder so that it's easy to find later when you're doing your taxes.
There are many different brands of searchable scanners on the market, but there are a few features that you should look for:
If you already have a regular scanner and don't want to buy yet another gadget, here's some good news. You can make your regular PDF documents searchable by changing the settings on your scanner so that it saves documents in PDF form.
Then, download the subscription version of Adobe Acrobat Reader DC ($15, £15 or AU$22 a month) and use the Enhance Option in the Tools menu. If you have an older version of Acrobat, you can use these instructions for creating searchable PDFs.
Update, March 5: This article was originally published on Jan. 19, 2016 and has been updated.