Reg wrote:Kilkis, do the tax authorities ever actually ask for receipts?
Yes, if they decide to do a tax audit on you. I had to present them in 2011 for the 2010 tax year. They were talking about doing an audit again this year for the 2012 return but in the end decided not to. Both cases were because I submitted significant private medical expenses. They also talked about doing an audit in 2012 for the 2011 tax year, because I had asked for double taxation forms for the first time, but again they decided not to.
For the 2010 audit I submitted over 400 receipts totalling around €11,000. To carry out a meaningful audit they would have to cross check every single one of those receipts against the company copy of the till receipt for the same purchase to ensure that the company had included it on its tax return. A pretty non trivial task. I think they are just using the following theory:
1 I will always ask for receipts because I will be afraid that I will lose my tax free allowance.
2 If everybody always asks for receipts, companies will issue receipts for every item they sell.
3 Having issued receipts, companies will always declare honestly what they have sold because it is technically possible to cross check any particular receipt in this way.
Reality is somewhat different:
1 I know in advance pretty much exactly what my income will be for the year so I know what value of receipts I need to collect.
2 I collect receipts from companies that normally issue them and always have done.
3 I keep track of progress on receipts collected through the year and their total value so I know if I am likely to meet the 25 % target or not.
4 I might consider asking for receipts if I thought I wouldn't meet the 25 % requirement. So far this has never happened.
This year I am looking like I might be a bit tighter than usual, which is why I was interested in the possibility of using foreign receipts. I always buy some goods through the Internet from the UK and always get receipts. I also typically visit the UK twice per year and can easily collect receipts for everything I spend while I am there plus a few extras from my son.