What Is a Receipt?

Receipts are written acknowledgment that something of value is transferred from one person to another. Alongside receipts that consumers usually receive from suppliers and service providers, receipts can also be given in business-to-business transactions and trading on the stock market.

For instance, the owner of an option contract for futures is usually provided with the delivery document, which functions as a receipt because it is exchangeable against the underlying asset after the contract expire.


  • Receipts are a formal record that proves an investment or financial transaction.
  • Receipts are issued for business-to-business transactions and transactions in the stock market.
  • Receipts are also required to prove tax-related purposes, as they serve as evidence of specific expenses.

Receipts Explained

Apart from proving that the product owner, the receipt is also important for different reasons. For example, many stores require that customers present a receipt when they exchange or return products; however, some insist that receipts, usually issued within a specific timeframe, are issued for warranty purposes. Receipts are also important in taxation because the IRS demands documentation of specific expenses. In addition, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recommends to keep the following kinds of receipts should be kept by small companies:

  • receipts, such as tapes for cash registers, deposit details (cash and sales to credit), book of receipts invoices, forms 1099-MISC, and invoices
  • Receipts from purchase and raw material receipts (These must show the HTML0 code of the amount that was paid and prove that they were essential business purchases. Documents could contain canceled checks or other documentation identifying the payer, quantity, and evidence of electronic funds transfers/payments.)
  • Receipts for cash register tape
  • Statements and receipts from credit cards
  • Invoices
  • Small cash transactions

Requirements for Digital Receipts

receipts are now commonplace. Since 1997 the IRS has recognized digital and scanned receipts as valid documents to be used for taxes. Revenue Procedure, 97-22, stipulates that digital receipts should be reliable and easy to store, preserve, retrieve, and reproduce. The owner of the business must be able to provide an original copy for the IRS.

Digital records aren’t subject to wear and tear as physical receipts are; however, they are susceptible to being lost when a hard drive fails. Therefore, it is advisable to keep them on the cloud or someplace where they can be accessible.

The paper receipts are recorded digitally with desktop scanners and mobile phone applications. This technology can manage, prepare expense reports and incorporate information with bookkeeping software.

To be used for tax audits For tax audit purposes, not all documents are acceptable for tax audit purposes. The IRS accepts all kinds of documentation, provided that it describes the amount, location data, and the nature of the expense.

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Related Terms

Understanding Invoices

Invoices record transactions that are itemized and used to assist with managing expenses and bookkeeping.


What’s Form 1099-MISC Used For?

Form 1099-MISC: Miscellaneous Revenue or Miscellaneous Information can be described as an IRS form to report certain types of non-employee-related compensation.


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