A family child care provider goes to a discount store, purchases an item for her business and gets a receipt. She carefully saves the receipt in a large envelope only to discover at the end of the year that the ink on the receipt has faded away until all that is left is a blank piece of paper.
What should the provider do?
Child care providers should be saving receipts for their business purchases for at least three years after filing their tax return. If the IRS audits this provider will they by sympathetic when they see an envelope full of blank pieces of paper? Probably not.
Here’s what can be done.
Child care providers should report this problem to the store and ask that the store change the ink or paper on their receipts. Explain that you spend thousands of dollars per year at the store and that you may have to shop elsewhere unless they make a change. Or, ask the store to allow you to copy their receipts in their store (without charge).
If the store refuses to cooperate you can make a copy of the receipt on your own. (Save the photocopy receipt – it’s tax deductible!)
Some child care providers write over the receipt with a ball point pen but this is time consuming.
You could purchase a scanner such as NeatReceipts and scan receipts directly into your computer.
There is no simple solution to this problem. As you review your receipts for 2010 check to make sure they are legible. If not, photocopying or scanning them are the only sure way to protect yourself.
Have you had a problem with fading receipts and, if so, what did you do?
Tom Copeland – www.tomcopelandblog.com
Image credit: y2jake02.wordpress.com
For more information, see my Family Child Care Record Keeping Guide.