Initial And Photocopy Receipts Before They Fade

Initial And Photocopy Receipts Before They Fade

A good number of receipts are printed on thermal paper these days. Look at them after a few weeks in your wallet or other warm spots, and they’re unreadable. A Consumerist comment thread picks up a few ideas on keeping them useful.

Photo by receipt on Flickr – Photo Sharing!.

You can’t do all that much to prevent the wearing away of loose ink on cheap paper, but you can ensure that you get the tax credit, expense reimbursement or item return you want by locking in their verification. One way of doing that is initialling the receipt with a permanent marker before it fades and photocopying it, so the photocopy carries a bit of authenticity. Other ideas brought up at The Consumerist blog:

Scan a month’s worth, zip the file, and email it to yourself. Also, burn a copy each month and store it with your receipts.

… “Photocopy, and staple both the original and copy to the inside cover of the manual. If the original still fades, you have the copy right there.

Meticulous, as-they-come-in scanning is always a smart move. If you know of another receipt-saving means or magic, tell us in the comments.

How To Protect Your Receipts [The Consumerist]


  • I have struggled with receipts, letting them build up while on the road. Recently found that my Nokia E71 has a focus button (T of all buttons), quick snap with that, image sync on bluetooth, and the secret is to do a quick image process with a curve (I use GIMP but it’s only because I use it for other things). Make everything light become white and almost everything else become dark and it does a pretty solid job as an instant scanner. Surprised how good the results are. Soon and often is the secret to receipt management, I think.

  • I recently was on the phone to the Australian Tax Office and asked about scanning receipts instead of keeping the physical copy. I was told that it wasnt an acceptable for tax purposes which seemed stupid to me since the ATO has been getting more paperless for a while now.
    Does anyone have contrary information to what I got?

    • Scan them, then if they ask to see them print them out. It’s not the storage format that’s the issue, it’s the ease of use of a paper copy when it comes to auditing and other use.

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