Meaning of Receipt

In the course of the steadily growing online trade, the classic receipt has been somewhat forgotten. Nevertheless, proof of payment is essential, especially in the context of cash transactions . Find out here how you can easily meet your obligation to provide evidence with a receipt:

What is a receipt?

When a receipt is a receipt for goods and services rendered. These documents are often used to document cash benefits . Every customer has the right to have a proper receipt issued to you as the seller. The exact provisions are regulated in ยง368 BGB .


Already knew? Colloquially, the receipt is often referred to as a receipt. However, since the characteristic signature is missing here, receipts are strictly speaking not receipts. Smallest amount invoices in the form of receipts are usually accepted by the tax office without any problems.

What special forms of receipt are there?

Not all receipts are the same. Depending on the occasion, the following types can be distinguished:

Cancellation approval Settlement receipt Bank receipt
erasable receipt takes place upon termination of an employment relationship Supplier confirms receipt of the invoice amount by a customer
the debt is settled in installments on the basis of a mortgage The employee confirms that there are no claims against the former employer The issuer of the receipt is the bank; the receipt is gaining importance in the context of judicial dunning proceedings
Receipt with evidence function, as banks are considered neutral

What does a receipt do for you?

So that you do not miss your input tax deduction when buying cash, you need a document that clearly proves this business transaction. The receipt fully fulfills this obligation to provide evidence . Compared to creditors and the tax office receipts take a high priority. In addition, buyers have the right to request a receipt even for private sales.

Receipts are primarily issued in connection with cash. Since bank statements are not a substitute for receipts , the debtor can also request them.

What information must a receipt contain?

For receipts to be valid at all, it is essential that they are complete. Compared to an invoice, receipts are tighter, but you should by no means ignore the following information:

  • The name of the document with the designation “receipt”
  • Name of the recipient of the receipt
  • Date and place of issue
  • Type of product (s)
  • Quantity of the product (s)
  • Tax amount (7% or 19%)
  • Gross price in numbers and words
  • Signature of the payee

These details are minimum details . If you decide to provide further information, this is also possible. If there are several documents, it is also advisable to mark them consecutively with a document number so that they can later be clearly assigned to the business transactions.

How do you issue a receipt?

When creating receipts, you have the choice whether you want to create them by hand or electronically. If you decide on the tried and tested handwritten variant, a complete receipt block is available in stationery stores, which makes it much easier for you to write receipts. Such a block already contains a receipt form with all mandatory information required in Germany. This means that you can write receipts according to the sample within a very short time. The receipt is self-copying, so you get a copy straight away for your own bookkeeping.


Since technical progress does not stop before the receipt is issued, the Internet offers you the possibility of e receipt . With this variant, too, you will receive a receipt template that you can use to create your receipt online. You will then receive the online receipt as a document in PDF format so that you can then print out your receipt.

If, on the other hand, you prefer to work with a receipt template in Excel or a receipt template in Word, this is also possible with the corresponding receipt form. In any case, you should check every presentation of your receipt for completeness, as not all receipt samples offered on the Internet contain the mandatory information specified in Germany .

What is the difference between a receipt and an invoice?

While a receipt briefly confirms receipt of payment, the invoice shows claims against debtors. Compared to a receipt, an invoice contains more information such as invoice and customer number, payment information and your tax number .


Info: For small amount invoices up to 150 euros , simplified provisions apply, so that a receipt is sufficient.

Can you use the receipt as a replacement bill?

Since a receipt does not contain all the details of an invoice, it is not officially recognized as an invoice replacement. If the receipt contains all the components of a proper invoice, both documents are treated equally. Only in this case can your receipt replace an invoice.

What mistakes can you make when issuing a receipt?

If you prefer a pre-printed form of your receipt, you must make sure that it contains enough fields for all required information. If only one of the minimum details is missing, the receipt loses its validity immediately.

An equally widespread source of error can be found in the disclosure of the tax amount . Find out in advance whether a tax rate of 7% or 19% applies to your goods or services. If all of the information is not correct, your receipt will also no longer be legally valid.

What do you do if the receipt is lost?

If the receipt is lost, there is still the chance to claim this amount for tax purposes. If there is no possibility of issuing a replacement receipt , you are entitled to issue your own receipt for small invoice sums . This can be handwritten and informally, only the usual information on a receipt must be included. You should only use this option in emergencies, otherwise there is a risk of reducing your business expenses deduction .

What is a Small Business Receipt?

Small businesses are exempt from sales tax under tax law. Thus, their receipts do not show any VAT amount. Therefore, it is sufficient to state the net amount. The receipt must be supplemented with a reference to tax exemption. The tax rate must always be crossed out on receipt blocks.

How is the receipt treated in your accounting?

All receipts that affect your company’s tax should be recorded in your accounting. For the clear assignment of the individual business transactions , it is helpful if you mark each receipt template with its own number. Then the allocation takes place according to individual subject areas and tax rates.

Then nothing stands in the way of posting the individual receipts. Since receipts affect the assets of your company and are randomly checked by the tax office , they must be kept for a period of at least ten years .


Receipts help you to prove both income and expenses in writing with little effort. Thanks to the ready-made receipt blocks, filling out the form is quick and easy. In addition, receipts give you and your customers more transparency and clarity within your own accounting.

Frequently asked questions about receipts

Why is a receipt important?

According to GRADPHYSICS, receipts serve as legally binding evidence that a claim has been settled . Receipts predominantly document shops where payment is made in cash. If there is a judicial dunning procedure, this document serves as an indispensable piece of evidence.

Who has to sign the receipt?

Receipts must always be signed by the payee. If there is also a company stamp, this can be added to the receipt.

Which documents count as receipts?

The term ” receipt ” summarizes all documents that contain all the data of a business transaction and affect the assets of your company. This includes invoices, receipts, inventory lists and all processes that document your operational income and expenses.

What is the difference between invoice and receipt?

Receipts document the receipt of a service, while invoices represent a claim against debtors.

Meaning of Receipt