Welcome to the Future!

Something amazing happened yesterday in my tax practice. For the first time ever, I did a tax return with my client Brett Kelly entirely via EverNote. For some of you, this might not seem like a big deal. CPAs talk a lot about having “paperless” offices. Despite their best intentions though, very few actually do it. Sure, they might have LESS paper. But I’ve never seen a CPA firm do a return without any paper at all.


Until now. Of course, the night Brett and I agreed to write our posts about this, Evernote came out with their own post that stole our thunder. But, their post is mostly about the theory of how it can be done. Brett and I actually did it!


As tax documents came in throughout the year, Brett clipped them all to EverNote. He shared the notebook with me, then came to my office for his appointment. I opened the notebook on one monitor and my tax software on the other. I went through all the documents one by one and prepared the return.


Then I printed all the vouchers, signature sheets and a copy of his returns to pdf and dropped them back into the notebook. When Brett got home, he had everything he needed to file the return, already stored. We even had to make a few adjustments the next day, all of which was done by Brett uploading some additional notes and me just swapping out pdfs.


And that’s it. No paper. None. Not a single piece. And everything is stored and searchable for easy future reference.


Welcome to the freaking future folks!


  1. This is awesome — I’m going to do this for 2012. I use Evernote for many things, Inspiration, Design, Recipes, Thoughts, Ideas for blog posts, even code snippets (as I’m a web developer). Don’t know why I never thought of that for taxes before. I guess because I assumed that a digital copy of a receipt, form, etc isn’t good enough to file taxes with. I assumed that always had to have the originals, right?

    • Hi Jason!

      Common misconception. As long as the copy is readable (and doesn’t look totally fake!) the IRS will accept it. Truthfully, I have found the IRS, especially auditors, to be very reasonable, professional, and easy to work with.

      • Oh that’s great to hear…I hate paper :) — keep all those receipts and items throughout the year takes up space that I’d rather use for other thing

  2. So it’s okay to throw Away the receipts after scanning n uploading to Evernote??


  1. […] Brett Kelly and I wrote blog posts about how we did his tax return entirely via Evernote. It was a great post and was a really fantastic proof of concept. Brett’s post was better […]

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