Scan Your Receipts, But Don’t Throw Them Away

Scan Your Receipts, But Don’t Throw Them Away

We’ve previously suggested using document management systems such as Evernote or OfficeDrop to scan your reciepts and keep them safe, backed up and online. But the Five Cent Nickel blog brings up an important point to remember: some stores will refuse to accept photocopies of original receipts.

Photo by ben_osteen.

Luckily for Nickel, the author of Five Cent Nickel, he had a photo of the receipt on his phone and the cashier relented and accepted the return. But it does bring an important point to light that if you’re going to use a service to digitise and store all of your receipts, you may want to hold on to the original for a while just in case. How long is up to you and depends on the magnitude of your purchase, but at the very least you may want to match up the retailer’s return policy.

You can avoid some of this hassle by checking with the retailer to make sure that they’ll accept photocopies or scanned copies on your phone when you make your purchase. Even so, before you toss out that freshly digitised receipt, make sure you really won’t need the original copy before throwing it away.

Returning Items Using a Digital Copy of Your Paper Receipt [Five Cent Nickel]


  • The beauty of the tax laws around invoicing are that, upon request a retailer must provide a copy of a tax invoice within 28 days of being asked. If they won’t accept copies, the easiest thing to do is say “here is my invoice number, please provide me with a copy”. It’s generally less hassle for them just to honour the copy.

    My parents had a similar issue with some broken gas lift stools from a furniture retailer who didn’t want to refund. Upon explaining to them the legal requirements they just caved and gave a refund based on the copy.

  • I wonder if the ATO would accept photocopied receipts as evidence. It would be a huge hassle if they didn’t, and you need to ask every retailer to provide a new copy of receipt to substantiate your claim.

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