General Question

jca's avatar

In a store, if you were paying cash for something and the store clerk were charging you sales tax, would you insist on getting a receipt, or would it not matter to you?

Asked by jca (35976points) April 29th, 2012

I went to a thrift shop before (earlier today) and bought two items. One item was $25 and one item was $10. I asked the store owner if she could do better on the two. She said she could do $30 for both, which is a $5 savings. When I paid, she said she would have to charge me sales tax, and since she didn’t have a register, she said “just make it $32 with the tax.” I paid her $32. After, I was thinking that since it’s a cash transaction, and she charged tax, I should have asked for a receipt. If she did not give me a receipt, she could just pocket the money and not pay the tax on it (in other words, my tax money may have gone right into her pocket, and my discount was not as big as it was intended to be).

Would you have asked for a receipt or would it not matter to you, in the instance where you were charged sales tax on a cash sale?

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12 Answers

wundayatta's avatar

It’s not my job to make sure businesses pay tax. What am I going to do with a receipt? Send it to the state to make sure they received the tax on my item?

Unless you itemize sales tax on your income tax return, I don’t think it’s going to help you any. Maybe you just got burned.

zenvelo's avatar

I wouldn’t make a deal out of it. I don’t ask for receipts at garage sales either.

Coloma's avatar

Nope. I don’t ask for receipts when I donate either, to claim the write off, small taters, and besides, what’s the point of “donating” if you want compensation? lol

bewailknot's avatar

I don’t think I have ever been to a thrift store that didn’t give a receipt even if it was hand written. I wouldn’t have insisted on one though.

jerv's avatar

I am so used to it that I don’t bother. If the business doesn’t pay their taxes, they are the ones in trouble with the law when their books don’t balance.

cazzie's avatar

I help run a retail store, (and also have several years of small business management) and we are going to have to start collecting sales tax this coming month. Giving the customer a hand written receipt doesn’t make it any more likely for the business to be paying their taxes properly. Businesses either label their stuff with sales tax included (which we do) or they say it is in addition to the price (like they do in most parts of the US.) When the store clerk you dealt with tallies up her sales for the day, there will be a component in the takings that will be called ‘sales tax’ and it will be determined by the percentage that is law in that State. Regardless of whether she charged you 30 (which would be have had to be inclusive of the sales tax, meaning the store really only got 28 for the goods and not actually 30, like she had bartered with you) of if you had paid full price of 35 and then she would have asked for sales tax on top of that.

Who is to say that ANY cash transaction in that store is recorded as income or even paid sales tax on. That responsibility falls to the owner and they can be audited if she starts running around in a new car that was paid for my cash and she claims that the store has been making a loss or very little for the last 10 years. The good news is, it’s not the buyers fault, so you can relax.

augustlan's avatar

Probably not. Especially if it’s going to be a handwritten receipt, anyway. They could still pocket the money if they don’t have an electronic system to account for sales.

ragingloli's avatar

Taxes are already included in the posted price anyway, so that question never poses itself.

john65pennington's avatar

Always ask for a receipt. You never know what this woman’s intentions were/are and having a receipt is your insurance, in case you need to take back an item.

jca's avatar

@ragingloli: not in the US.

SpatzieLover's avatar

I’d prefer a paperless system. Receipts are a waste of resources.

If I want an item, I want it. I don’t care what the store clerk/owner does with the dough once the transaction has taken place.

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