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Card machine printouts - keep or not?

Do we have to keep the merchant's copies of the paper printouts from our card machines?

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We are a VAT registered retail business. The gov.uk site (www.gov.uk/vat-record-keeping/vat-records) says: 'You must also keep general business records such as bank statements, cash books, cheque stubs, paying-in slips and till rolls'.

Do we have to keep the merchant's paper copy of every printout from our card machines? I mean the individual slips which are produced for every transaction which is not contactless. We would like to recycle the individual transaction slips and keep only the daily summary, which I assume would be seen as the equivalent of a z reading from a till. The problem is I can't find anywhere that says we can definitely dispose of the individual slips.

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paddle steamer
By DJKL
28th Aug 2019 11:38

I would personally keep- it is not unknown for issues re card payments received to arise much later, so from a business case this does seem prudent.

As you say, not convinced from an HMRC perspective they are required as part of the records, especially if you say print out the monthly merchant summary that lists all the day/batch totals for each month (really useful tool aiding reconciliation checks for bank where figures are manually typed in- helps find typing errors/ transpositions etc), but given I am a dinosaur I like retaining physical records to be sure to be sure so to speak.

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By Dr Gonzo
28th Aug 2019 11:54
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RLI
By lionofludesch
28th Aug 2019 15:27

I'd keep them.

But I wouldn't necessarily file them in order.

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By the_drookit_dug
28th Aug 2019 16:24

My temptation has always been to bin them but I've never been able to bring myself to do so.

Should probably keep them all, but with perhaps only the most recent few months readily to hand.

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By nodhedz
29th Aug 2019 17:17

With HMRC guidelines so out of date now that we have digital and cloud solutions, terms like “...cheque stubs, paying-in slips and till rolls” are not so helpful. Our retail clients tend to bin all paper now , knowing they can reproduce data if HMRC need it.

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Replying to nodhedz:
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By dmmarler
05th Sep 2019 10:34

They can only retrieve digital information stored in the cloud if they are still paying the various service providers. They need to store the data either electronically or on bits of paper, and if electronically retain the relevant software.

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By InflatableBassPlayer
05th Sep 2019 11:01

You can scan and save them; this is acceptable to HMRC if they are stored on a "safe platform" or whatever they call it. Our company keeps nothing on paper any more.

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Replying to InflatableBassPlayer:
RLI
By lionofludesch
05th Sep 2019 18:43

Seriously ?

How long does it take to scan them ?

Chuck 'em in a box and let HMRC sort through them if they care enough.

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By C.Y.Nical
06th Sep 2019 08:59

Thanks to everyone who has taken the trouble to reply. Looks like we will be keeping the paper for now.

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By Susan Marco
07th Dec 2021 12:13

Over two years on from the original post, I have the same question and have been similarly unsuccessful in finding a definitive answer. Has anything changed in this time? We have reports from Worldpay containing all the necessary credit card information and have no need for the actual slips. Thank you.

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Replying to Susan Marco:
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By Deblaev
29th Dec 2021 11:38

Our till system and card payment terminal are integrated, and automatically reconcile when we perform end of day / z read. The default of the card payment terminal is set not to print any merchant receipts (by the terminal provider)

We have access to reporting to 'match' the till transactions to the payment system which is sufficient for reconciliation and any issues such as charge backs. I would recommend speaking to your card payment provider to ask if the record keeping on paper is a requirement from their side - if you have reports / cloud software showing the reconciliation then I would suggest that these are sufficient for HMRC.

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