What to Do With Old Receipts

Receipts are an inevitable part of our daily lives. From grocery shopping to dining out, we accumulate a pile of them over time. But what should you do with these old receipts once they start cluttering your wallet or filling up your drawers? Here are some suggestions on how to deal with those pesky pieces of paper.

1. Check for warranty: If you have recently made a big purchase, keep the receipt handy as it may contain warranty information. In case the item malfunctions or needs repairs, the receipt will be essential for claiming warranty services.

2. Tax deductions: For those who itemize their deductions, receipts serve as proof for claiming expenses. If you have made any business-related purchases or charitable donations, hold on to the receipts for tax filing purposes.

3. Expense tracking: Keeping track of your monthly expenses can be made easier by organizing your receipts. It allows you to analyze your spending habits, budget effectively, and identify areas where you can cut back.

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4. Return or exchange: Holding on to receipts ensures a hassle-free return or exchange experience. If a product doesn’t meet your expectations or you want to swap it for something else, having the receipt will make the process smoother.

5. Digitalize receipts: In this digital age, consider scanning or taking photos of your receipts and storing them electronically. Several mobile apps are available for this purpose, making it easier to organize and locate receipts when needed.

6. Shred and recycle: If the receipts have no significant value, it is best to shred them to protect your personal information and then recycle them. Many local recycling programs accept paper receipts.

7. Share for reimbursement: If you share expenses with others, such as splitting a bill or reimbursing for a group purchase, providing the receipt ensures transparency and accuracy in the reimbursement process.


1. How long should I keep receipts for tax purposes?
Typically, it is recommended to keep tax-related receipts for at least seven years.

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2. Can I claim expenses without a receipt?
The IRS prefers documented proof, but in certain cases, alternative evidence like bank statements or credit card statements may be acceptable.

3. Are thermal paper receipts recyclable?
Most thermal paper used for receipts cannot be recycled due to the presence of chemicals. It’s best to dispose of them in regular waste.

4. Can I scan and store receipts digitally for tax purposes?
Yes, the IRS accepts digital copies of receipts as long as they are accurately stored and accessible when needed.

5. Do I need to keep receipts for small purchases?
For small cash purchases, it is not necessary to keep the receipts, unless they are related to tax deductions or warranties.

6. Are there any apps for organizing digital receipts?
Yes, several apps like Expensify, Shoeboxed, and Evernote Scannable allow you to organize and store digital receipts.

7. Should I shred receipts containing personal information?
Yes, it is highly recommended to shred receipts that contain personal information to protect yourself from identity theft.

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