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How Long Should a Small Business Keep Credit Card Receipts?

retailer-naughty-or-nice-shredCustomers have up to 18 months to dispute charges on their credit card bill. And that could have a major impact on your business.

If businesses don’t keep credit card receipts from sales transactions for 18 months, your business could be liable to return the money on disputed charges to the purchaser’s credit card company.

If the credit card company decides to side with the customer and you have no receipt to validate the purchase, they can debit your merchant account for a chargeback.

If you’ve thrown away the receipt, you can’t prove that the customer signed to verify the purchase.

Credit card receipts contain information that can help thieves to create fraudulent account and false identities.

So a safe method of receipt storage is essential to protecting your customer’s security and privacy.

The FTC recommends keeping anything that contains any customer’s secure information in a locked container or room with limited employee access. Make sure to encrypt the files if you are storing them electronically.

While not required for most businesses, the FTC’s Disposal Rule ensures that customer information on receipts is destroyed. At a minimum, your business should shred the receipts.

The Internal Revenue Service advises that you keep any documentation of decoctions and income for at least 3 years. But keeping credit card receipts is not mandatory – as long as you have other documentation such as your deposit records.

However, if you want to deduct a chargeback from your taxes, it helps to have the original receipt can help to verify the loss to the IRS if you get audited.

Contact us at EcoShredding if you have any questions on what documents and company records should be shredded and when they need to be destroyed.

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