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See also Voucher

A receipt is a written acknowledgment that a specified article or sum of money has been received. A receipt records the purchase of goods or service. It is not the same as an invoice.[1]


A receipt, obtained in a Swiss mountain restaurant on the top of the Grosse Scheidegg. Includes a list of food and drink items with prices, Tisch (table) number (7/01), total price information in two currencies (Swiss Francs and Euros), a note about the 7.6% tax, contact information and name of the cashier (Ursula).

In English speaking countries, the term most frequently applies to the printed record given to a consumer at the point of sale which lists the purchases made and the prices including tax, discounts and other adjustments, the amount paid, and the method of payment. The receipt may also include messages from the retailer, warranty or return details, special offers, advertisements or coupons. Receipts may also be provided for non-retail operations such as banking transactions. A receipt is a legal document.[1] In many countries, notably the United States of America, it is mandatory by law for retailers, and individuals, have to show receipts and store information about every receipt, so that the tax authority, or IRS can check that sales are not hidden.[2]

Thermal paper[edit]

A receipt may be printed using thermal printing on narrow rolls of thermal paper. Multi-colored thermal printing technology can print double-sided receipts.

Gift receipts[edit]

Receipts may be presented as proof of a transaction for the purpose of exchanging or returning merchandise. Some retailers provide special "gift receipts" specifically for this purpose. Unlike a standard purchase receipt, the gift receipt omits certain information, most notably the price that was paid for an item. The receipt usually has a barcode along the bottom so that the retailer can call up the transaction information from a database of previous purchases, authenticating a return.


Increasingly, receipts include barcodes that allow the transaction to be authenticated by the vendor's computer system if a customer seeks to return or exchange goods. Some retailers' point-of-sale systems allow the salesperson to see a complete record of the customer's buying history, including information about other store locations the customer has visited, what they purchased or returned, and total accumulated spending.


Hand-written or hand-completed receipts are more often used for infrequent or irregular transactions, or for transactions conducted in the absence of a terminal, cash register or point of sale: for example, as provided by a landlord to a tenant to record the receipt of rent.

Related industries[edit]

Organizing receipts and similar financial documents is a multi-million dollar industry in the United States. Consumers can use desktop and online software to organize electronic receipts; sometimes, receipts are sent digitally from point of sale devices to consumers. The growing trend of digital receipts has led to the launch of new businesses focused on digital receipt management.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Legal Dictionary |". 2010-12-09. Retrieved 2013-09-03. 
  2. ^ "Recordkeeping for Individuals". Retrieved 2013-09-03.