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Paperwork! There oughta be a law...

Original post made by fed up, Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Apr 9, 2011

You know how the banks finally got fed up and made us all sign the check on one side in one direction so they could automatically process them? No biggie, I'm happy to do it...

Well, I'm doing the taxes now, and I am just fed up -- we should get the same favor when it comes to receipts.

Businesses should be able to do whatever creative things they want with their receipts, but there should be a standard block at top (or top left) within a certain area, certain size type and clarity with one after the other: THE DATE, THE BUSINESS, THE TYPE OF PAYMENT (check, cash, credit w/last 3 or 4 digits), THE SUBTOTAL, THE TAX, AND THE TOTAL.

For health providers, there should also be a DATE OF SERVICE.

Paperless commerce is a promise too far off. Paper has enough advantages that I'm not sure the paper receipt will ever be gone anyway. But man, we should not have to hunt for the information on the receipts we need for everything from taxes to insurance to warranty fulfillment. I don't even like to think about the time we collectively spend!

Something like that could have a long lead time so no one could gripe about it, but it should be mandated like the check signing was.

I've got a simple high speed scanner that takes small receipts and database software that interfaces with Quicken. Whether working with receipts the old-fashioned way or scanning, having a format would be SUCH SUCH a huge help.

Comments (3)

Like this comment
Posted by Outside Observer
a resident of another community
on Apr 9, 2011 at 8:07 pm

Tax preparation should not require anything like you say.

Nor should it require you to buy "tax" software every year.

Nor should the profession of "tax professional" even exist.

Taxes, yes, they are necessary to fund the legitimate things our government should do. The process, however, has become completely corrupted, and needs to be dumped and re-done from scratch.

Like this comment
Posted by fed up
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 9, 2011 at 10:29 pm

Doing the medical bills is even worse. That shouldn't be the case either. But it is. The basic information in receipts should be standardized just like with signatures on checks.

Like this comment
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 10, 2011 at 2:06 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.


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