Does My Business Have to Provide a Receipt for All Purchases?
Ever wondered whether you're legally obliged to give customers a receipt? Find out whether you have to provide a receipt for all purchases here.
Invoicing and obtaining payments from your customers is vital for starting and running your business. But does your business have to give every customer a receipt for every payment made? In some respects, you do have to provide a receipt for all purchases. However, you can choose to provide proof of purchase instead. It is important to provide customers with a receipt or proof of purchase so are able to show evidence of the purchase when seeking a refund, repair or replacement.
Before you can collect a payment, you may need to provide the customer with an invoice showing all your relevant goods and services they will be purchasing. When the payment is received, you’ll also need to offer the customer a receipt confirming their payment.
Your business is required to provide customers with a receipt for anything over $75 (excluding GST). Although, a customer still has the right to ask for a receipt for any purchases under $75, which your business must give them within 7 days of the request. A receipt can be either a:
- GST tax invoice; or
- cash register or handwritten receipt.
Proof of Purchase
As an alternative to a receipt, you can choose to provide the customer with a different type of proof of purchase instead. Customers can still use that proof of purchase to show that they purchased goods or services from you, as a receipt would. The Australian Consumer Law recognises that sufficient proof of purchase is:
- credit or debit card statements;
- lay-by agreements;
- receipts or reference numbers provided for phone or internet payments;
- warranty cards that show the supplier’s or manufacturer’s details, with the date or amount of the purchase;
- a serial or production number linked with the purchase on the supplier’s or manufacturer’s database; or
- copies or photographs of the receipt.
If your business provides customers with services, customers have 30 days after receiving a bill or invoice to request an itemised bill or account. Your business has an obligation to give the customer this itemised bill or account, free of charge, within 7 days of the customer’s request. The itemised account needs to show:
- how the price was worked out;
- the amount of labour hours and hourly rate, if relevant; and
- a list of materials used and the price charged for them, where it is relevant.
What to Include on a Receipt or Proof of Purchase
So what exactly does your business’ receipts or proof of purchases have to include? Any receipt or proof of purchase you give customers must include:
- your business name and ABN or ACN;
- the date of supply;
- details on the product or service; and
- the price.
You only need to provide the customer with a receipt for purchases over $75. However, you should offer every customer the choice of a receipt or proof of purchase. It is always a good idea to provide them with one anyway, in case they have an issue with the goods or services in the future. To check whether your business’ receipt or proof of purchases complies with the relevant law, we suggest consulting with a commercial lawyer.
Jenelle is a legal Intern at Lawpath as part of the Content Team. She is in her third year of a Bachelor of Law and Bachelor of Science (Physics & Astronomy) at Macquarie University.