How Long Should A Business Keep Signed Credit Card Receipts?
There are two primary reasons to keep signed credit card receipts:
- Dispute chargebacks
- Tax purposes
Customers have anywhere between 60 days and 18 months to file chargebacks on purchases, depending on the bank that issues the card.
Signed receipts are supporting documentation to the bank that the customer agreed to the purchase. Banks will compare the signature on your receipt to the one they have on file. If the signatures match, it is further evidence that the customer knowingly purchased the product or service in question. The receipt also helps prove you had the card, or information from the card, to enter into the merchant terminal.
It is advised to keep signed credit card receipts for at least 18 months for chargeback rebuttal.
As for tax purposes, it is recommended that merchants keep signed receipts for at least 3 years. Requirements vary based on location and tax laws. Your accountant can give you more direction on how long your business should retain receipts for tax filing.
Since credit card receipts contain sensitive information, safe storage is essential to avoid fraud or identity theft.
For companies that keep hard copies of receipts, they should be kept in a locked room or file cabinet, with limited employee access.
Digital copies of receipts should be encrypted. The encryption key should be given to two or more employees so it can’t be accessed by only one employee.
After the receipts have been stored for an acceptable amount of time, the Federal Trade Commission Disposal Rule (https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2005/06/facta-disposal-rule-goes-effect-june-1) suggests shredding and/or burning all receipts. As for digital copies of receipts, a security program that deletes and rewrites the file until it is unrecognized is recommended.
Following these few suggestions can keep your company win chargeback disputes, while keeping your customer’s information secure.