Yes, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has been accepting digitized or scanned versions of paper documents since 1997 in lieu of paper documents.
It established the steps that one needs to take when digitizing paper documents in Rev..97-22 documented at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-irbs/irb97-13.pdf and note that:
- Taxpayers need to ensure "an accurate and complete transfer of original computerized books and records to an electronic storage media. The electronic storage system must also index, store, preserve, retrieve, and reproduce the electronically stored books and records."
- The digitized or scanned versions of a paper document must resemble the paper version. No alterations should be made to the digital document. Any handwritten content may not be OCR'd and hence not searchable.
- It is a good idea to archive all original tax documents. You never know what the government may ask for.
Get detailed instruction at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-irbs/irb97-13.pdf
See another helpful article provided by Fujitsu ScanSnap.