I was listening to the radio while driving to a client last week when there was a discussion about receipts that fade due to the low quality paper and ink used – which is fair enough for retailers to use to cut costs. The discussion centred around the need, by law to keep receipts, and businesses’ difficulty when they fade and in some instances are very small. The law only requires that businesses registered for GST provide a tax invoice, it does not state that the receipt must be of sufficient quality to last five years – the length of time businesses are required to retain receipts in general for tax purposes. But there are other good reasons to keep the receipts, not just for the Taxman:
- Insurance Claims: The length of time required to be held is for the life of the item covered unless you can provide proof of ownership by other means e.g . motor vehicle registration.
- Claim on warranties: Normally need to hold receipt for length of the warranty or extended warranty, however recent court cases suggest longer periods where the court viewed the good should have operated for a longer period of time without fault occurring arising in a claim.
We all know the types of receipts I am talking about – petrol stations, major retailers such as Coles & Woolworths, carparks and just about any business that prints a receipt through an EFTPOS machine. These receipts are particularly prone to fading when left in strong sunlight or placed in certain types of plastic sleeves. Even when they are not they have a habit of fading within a relatively short period of time.
So what are some solutions to this issue. At Balanix we scan all receipts relating to the business as it is easy to store in terms of costs and space (no more files or boxes full of receipts stored in the back room). Computer memory these days is pretty cheap compared to ten or twenty years age so it is easy to hold onto the receipts for as long as required.
But the discussion on the radio introduced an alternative way of storing those small receipts. Simply take a photo of the receipt on your mobile phone (either android or iPhones) and use an applicable App to store the information which can then be downloaded later in PDF straight to your computer. This appears to be a great device for the business owner or employee on the go all the time who does not have the time to keep and manage his/her receipts.
There are a number of these Apps which are free and simple to download. Examples are (there are heaps out online so these are just examples):
- Shoeboxed Receipt Tracker – https://www.shoeboxed.com.au/
- Smart Receipts – https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=wb.receipts&hl=en
- Digital Receipts – https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.proximiant.receipts&hl=en
We at Balanix are happy to discuss with you how you might go about this process and what you need to make sure that you comply with relevant legislative requirements.