Receipts and proof of purchases
A consumer who wants to make a claim about faulty goods or services against a supplier or manufacturer will usually need to show they obtained the goods or services from the supplier or manufacturer. The same applies to gift recipients.
Businesses are understandably concerned to ensure claims made to them about goods and services are genuine.
The best 'proof of purchase' is a tax invoice or receipt. Businesses have an obligation to provide proof of purchase to consumers for goods or services valued at $75 or more (excluding GST). Where a transaction is valued at less than $75, consumers have the option of requiring a proof of purchase to be provided within seven days of the transaction.
If a consumer cannot show they bought the goods or services, you may still choose to accept the consumer's claim.
If a dispute arises about whether you should accept a claim without proof of purchase, the consumer may seek the opinion of an Australian court or tribunal.
For information about supplier responsibilities when issuing proof of purchase, see our sales practices pages.
A consumer buys a well known brand of toaster using cash at a medium-sized store. The toaster malfunctions within the first week. The consumer takes the toaster back to the supplier but has lost the receipt. The supplier has no record of the transaction and declines to provide a replacement or repair. The consumer contacts the manufacturer, who identifies the serial number of the toaster as one of a recent batch and agrees to accept the claim. Had the toaster been part of an older product line (three or four years old), it may have been difficult for the manufacturer to know whether the problem was a malfunction or due to wear and tear by the consumer.
Proof of purchase details
A 'proof of purchase' is a document which states the:
- supplier of the goods or services;
- supplier’s ABN, if they have one;
- supplier’s ACN, if they have one but do not have an ABN;
- date of the supply;
- goods or services supplied to the consumer; and
- price of the goods or services.
A GST tax invoice will be sufficient as a proof of purchase.
Examples of proof of purchase
Examples of a proof of purchase include a:
- GST tax invoice;
- cash register receipt;
- credit card or debit card statement;
- handwritten receipt;
- lay-by agreement; or
- confirmation or receipt number provided for a telephone or internet transaction.
Sometimes the following may be acceptable:
- a warranty card showing the supplier's or manufacturer's details and the date or amount of the purchase; and/or
- a serial or production number linked with the purchase on the supplier's or manufacturer's database.
A consumer may need to provide more than one of these to support their claim – for example, when a receipt does not clearly itemise the faulty goods or service.