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Q: Saving purchase receipts for tax purposes ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   3 Comments )
Subject: Saving purchase receipts for tax purposes
Category: Business and Money
Asked by: eestudent-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 03 Aug 2006 21:24 PDT
Expires: 02 Sep 2006 21:24 PDT
Question ID: 752410
Do I have to save the receipts on store purchases for tax purposes? I
do not make an excessive amount of money and saving vs. not saving the
receipts is just a question of a chore.

A note about my questions. If you were to search for my previous
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want you to do a Google search. This question (and the low price) is
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and will be rewarded by a tip.
Subject: Re: Saving purchase receipts for tax purposes
Answered By: kriswrite-ga on 04 Aug 2006 13:57 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello eestudent~

If you want to write off items you've purchased, you *should* save
those receipts. You could write items off without them in hand, but if
you are ever audited by the IRS, they will require the receipts. If
you don't have them, you'll end up paying more taxes, plus penalties.

If you haven't been able to write off much beyond your standard
deduction on your personal taxes, then it may not be worth your time
and effort to save the receipts. (If you have a business, however, I
highly recommend you save the receipts, since those write offs can
save you a bundle.) In some states with sales tax, saving all your
receipts in order to get credit for paying sales tax isn't absolutely
necessary, as the state will estimate how much you've already paid, if
you prefer.

To make receipt saving easier, each year, I buy one of those
slightly-bigger-than-a-shoe-box boxes sold for storing photographs in.
I label the box with the year, and try to choose an attractive design
that I don't mind having sitting around in an obvious place in my
house. Each evening, I empty my purse and pockets of receipts and
throw them into the box. I don't worry about sorting them until it's
tax time. (If I had to sort or file them more than once a year, I know
I'd never get it done!) To aid in this process, immediately throw away
any receipts that aren't suitable for tax purposes. (Most checkouts
have a trash bin nearby; use it!)

Here is a link to a forum where the topic of receipt saving is
discussed; it may interest you:

Kind regards,

personal knowledge
Google search: taxes saving receipts

Request for Answer Clarification by eestudent-ga on 04 Aug 2006 15:51 PDT
I live in Taxachusetts and I make "normal" every week purchases. How
much can I ever gain on my tax returns if I write off the purchases?
Can all purchases be used or just certain categories?

For the benefit of those who would use this answer as a reference, the
link discusses saving receipts for large and expensive items. My dad
does that, along with the manuals, and more than several times both
the manuals and the receipts were needed.

Clarification of Answer by kriswrite-ga on 04 Aug 2006 16:10 PDT
Ah, so you wanted to know about STATE taxes, not Federal. Well, a
search at your state's Department of Revenue website ( ) doesn't seem to
reveal anything other than how much the state sales tax is. It doesn't
appear that Massachusetts offers estimates for paid sales tax, judging
from this website.

However, according to the Department's "Guide to Sales and Use Tax,"
certain items are exempt; therefore, you wouldn't want to keep
receipts for them. The list is long, so rather than quoting
extensively here, I refer you to the .PDF guide. Please consult pages
14 through 23:

I hope this answers your newer questions.

Kind regards,

Department of Revenue Massachusetts
Massachusetts state tax
Massachusetts sales tax
Massachusetts sales tax receipts
Massachusetts sales tax receipts -gross

Clarification of Answer by kriswrite-ga on 04 Aug 2006 20:32 PDT
For Federal taxes, it's unlikely that you can write off more than your
standard deduction. (You can choose EITHER a standard deduction or to
itemize your deductions.) However, it's a good idea fto check out the
IRS' page with tips on whether or not you should itemize your federal

For State, refer to the . PDF file for items that you will pay sales tax on or not.

There is no way for me to say whether you will pay less if you itemize
your receipts, since I have no idea what your income is, nor what type
of items you could possibly deduct.

Clarification of Answer by kriswrite-ga on 06 Aug 2006 12:07 PDT
You ask: <<<How much can I ever gain on my tax returns if I write off
the purchases?>>>

It is impossible for anyone to accurately answer this question without
having an intimate knowledge of your money situation and your spending

<<<Can all purchases be used or just certain categories?>>>

This has already been answered. This IRS link will tell you what can
be deducted on Federal Taxes:
and this link from the Mass Department of Revenue explains what items
you might save receipts for, since they qualify for sales tax:

eestudent-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $5.00
If you can still comment after the rating, please try to answer the
last two sentences of the first paragraph in the clarification
request. Although my question was pretty much answered. I will only
save receipts for large and uncommon purchases, but not for tax
purchases. As for your comment, I do not know which one: Federal or
State the write off goes to. I understand that the tax law is probably
too convoluted and best left to local service professionals. The
original question was answered.

Please take a look at:

Subject: Re: Saving purchase receipts for tax purposes
From: kriswrite-ga on 04 Aug 2006 20:32 PDT
Thanks for the great rating--and the tip :)

Subject: Re: Saving purchase receipts for tax purposes
From: eestudent-ga on 05 Aug 2006 08:45 PDT
Can anyone answer this?:

How much can I ever gain on my tax returns if I write off the purchases?
Can all purchases be used or just certain categories?
Subject: Re: Saving purchase receipts for tax purposes
From: neilzero-ga on 12 Aug 2006 16:45 PDT
Hi eesudent: Typically receipts will reduce your tax by about 1% if
your other itimised deductions exceed the standard deduction. If you
claim much more than a !% tax reduction from miscelanious receipts,
the IRS computer is likely to recomend you for an audit. Trust me you
don't want an audit. I take the standard deduction, then claim a few
receipts on Schedual C and schedual E. Keep in mind it is best not use
receipts that might be questioned as that could invite an audit,
especially if you have a large gross income. I have no idea on state
taxes.   Neil

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