Can accountants help with missing receipts?

Lost receipts aren't the be all and end all - here's how an accountant can help with getting the deductions you're owed.

Tax time can be stressful for small business owners, especially where claiming deductibles is concerned. Over the course of a year however, it's understandable that some receipts go missing, which can cause a major headache when filing your return. Here, we explore where an accountant can help in the event of missing receipts.

Can accountants help with missing receipts?

Try as they might, accountants aren't genies. They can't magic receipts out of thin air. However, they can help with retracing your transactional footprint. Thankfully, the Australian Taxation Office don't expect someone to keep receipts for every item.

That being said, it does pay to gather as much evidence of purchases as possible to ensure you'll get the deduction you're owed, which is much easier with the help of an expert accountant as they'll know which of your financial documents contain the information required. However, to give your accountant a head start and keep your stress levels down, here are a few things you can do to prepare your evidence.

AccountantIf you've lost receipts from your business purchases during the financial year, don't fret – there are ways you can prove the transaction occurred.

How can you help your accountant with your transaction history?

1. Consider the circumstances

The Australian Taxation Office note on their website that deductions can be claimed for records destroyed in burglary or disaster. It pays to think about any circumstances in which your receipts may have been lost as that may enable you to claim deductions for them even if you can't find evidence of purchase.

2. Head online

In todays environmentally conscious world, many retailers are offering their receipts electronically. For this reason it's wise to have a trawl through your email inbox to see whether any electronic receipts have found their way into your junk or spam folder. This includes any booking confirmations as in some cases, work trips and flights can be claimed as deductible expenses. Airlines tend to be stringent with sending tickets out immediately, followed by reminders of departure. These emails – if they're dated accordingly – may be evidence enough.

3. Get in touch with the store

In many cases, especially with big ticket items, retailers keep a record of purchases. This is usually in places where you've signed up for some sort of loyalty or customer identification system. Either way, it's a wise idea to start at the scene of the purchase to see if you can obtain a proof of transaction this way.

ReceiptsBacktracking through transactions can be tough work – an accountant will know exactly where to start.

4. Comb through your bank statements

Arguably the most efficient way of confirming a purchase for the Australian Taxation Office is the most time-consuming – combing through your bank statements. If you can prove that an item was purchased from a particular retailer on a certain date and the transaction amount matches the product, chances are you'll be able to claim deductions using it as evidence. It's worth bringing in your accountant at this stage, as they can trawl through your statements for any additional deductibles you haven't thought about.

For more information on how the WMC Accounting can help your small business alleviate tax time stress, get in touch with our team for a friendly consultation.

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