Returning goods without a receipt - can the seller accept?


Sales to natural persons who do not conduct business activity and flat-rate farmers should be recorded on the cash register, unless the entrepreneur benefits from the exemption from the cash register. When selling at the cash register, it happens that customers return the purchased goods, because they have the right to complain and return the goods. However, can the seller correct the sale if the customer does not return the original receipt? Check if it is possible to return the goods without a receipt.

Obligation to issue a receipt

Entrepreneurs selling to natural persons who do not conduct business activity or flat-rate farmers are required to register it on the cash register and to issue a receipt to the buyer. Only in exceptional cases is it possible for the entrepreneur to be exempt from the cash register - then he is not obliged to issue receipts, and thus, he does not have to issue them to the buyer or require them when returning the goods.

Returning the goods to the receipt

Sellers often encounter a situation in which the customer requests the return of the goods. What should be done in such a situation? If the return or complaint is approved, the customer will receive a refund and the seller will take the goods back. But that's not all. The regulations require the seller to perform a number of other steps.

Records of returns of goods

Since the cash register does not directly record returns of goods and accepted complaints about goods and services, it is necessary to set up additional records, the so-called "the return book'.

Returning goods is not a punishment for the cash register! An appropriate entry is made in the return notebook and a report on the return of the goods is drawn up. In the record part of the JPK_V7 file it should be remembered that the register of goods returns should be marked with the designation "RO".

The returns note includes returns of goods and accepted complaints about goods and services that caused the seller to return all or part of the receivables (payment). The book of returns, kept in accordance with the provisions of the Regulation of the Minister of Finance on cash registers, should contain the following information:

  1. date of sale;
  2. the name of the good or service allowing for their unambiguous identification and possibly a description of the good or service constituting the extension of this name;
  3. the date of returning the goods or making a complaint about the goods or services;
  4. the gross value of the returned goods or the gross value of the goods or services being the subject of the complaint and the value of the tax due - in the event of a refund of the entire amount due for sale;
  5. the amount returned (gross) and the corresponding value of the tax due - in the case of a refund of part of the sales receivables;
  6. a document confirming the sale;
  7. a protocol for accepting the return of goods or a complaint about goods or services, signed by the seller and the buyer.

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Goods return report

The last item from the mandatory entries in the register of returns is the return / complaint acceptance protocol. The obligation imposed by the regulations is to sign the protocol with the signatures of both parties, i.e. the seller and the buyer. It is true that its content has not been explicitly specified in regulations, but in accordance with accepted practices, it should include:

  • protocol number;
  • designation of the parties to the transaction;
  • product name;
  • the number of the receipt to which the return is made (or if the return is made without a receipt, it is worth providing the basis for accepting the return, e.g. confirmation of the transfer);
  • reason for return;
  • information whether the seller has accepted the goods.

In addition to the return report, a document confirming the sale should be included in the mandatory elements of the return of goods notebook.

Can the seller accept a return without a receipt?

The seller may accept the return of the goods without a receipt, but only if he is able to prove that the return actually took place. It should be noted that in the regulation issued on cash registers, the Minister of Finance emphasizes the need to have a document confirming the sale, but does not explicitly indicate that it should be only the original fiscal receipt, as it has been assumed.

The document confirming the sale, apart from the obvious fiscal receipt, may also be:

  • invoice;
  • terminal statement (for non-cash payments);
  • confirmation of transactions from a bank account;
  • declaration on the loss of the fiscal receipt along with a declaration of purchase;
  • witness statements;
  • warranty document stamped by the seller.

The following annotations have been entered into the Register of Prohibited Clauses kept by UOKiK:
'Complaints are considered only with the original proof of purchase (fiscal receipt or VAT invoice). In the event of its absence, the complaint will not be accepted and the goods will be returned at the expense of the customer'.
'The refund is possible only upon presentation of the proof of purchase in the form of a fiscal receipt or a pass'.

The seller is therefore obliged to accept the return of the goods from the buyer if he proves that he made the purchase in a given store, even if he does not have a receipt.

Is the lack of a receipt the inability to correct the income?

Not. The seller has the right to correct the income, provided that he proves that the return of the goods actually took place, and therefore that two basic conditions have been met:

  • the seller has received the returned goods;
  • the customer has received a refund.

In summary, when returning goods without a receipt, the seller may accept the return if proof is provided that the purchase was made in his store. Why only then? In the event of an inspection, he will have to prove that the transaction to return the goods actually took place. Therefore, in practice, the return of the goods poses fewer problems when the customer presents the seller with the original fiscal receipt.