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Play fair: don't forget the receipt

As a rule, customers must always be offered a receipt for cash payment. This article gives guidance on the obligation to offer a receipt.

Sellers must offer customers a receipt when they pay in cash or by card. Receipts may be printed out on paper, written by hand, or provided electronically.
Sample receipt (pdf, in Finnish) 

The receipt must include the contents prescribed by law:

  • business name, contact details and Business ID,
  • receipt date of issue and identification number,
  • quantity and type of goods and services,
  • amount received, including VAT and VAT rate.

Buyers always have the right to request a receipt for a cash payment they make. All entrepreneurs and companies with a turnover exceeding €10,000 must provide receipts. Excluded from this obligation are non-profit associations and providers of leisure activities, operators of agriculture and forestry, vending machine operators, activities under the Lotteries Act, and those who sell goods at outdoor marketplaces.

The obligation to offer a receipt aims at reducing grey economy. The Tax Administration and the Police are responsible for supervising the fulfilment of the obligation. The Regional State Administrative Agencies furthermore supervise compliance among companies licensed to serve alcohol. 

Further information:

Frequently asked questions about giving receipts:

Yes, the obligation to give a receipt is an important factor in combatting the shadow economy. A receipt is not necessarily proof that tax has been paid, but it does indicate that the sale has gone through the cash register and it has been entered in the accounts.

Certain industries in the service sector may present dishonest operators with opportunities to leave income unreported. This happens when their customers are private individuals paying in cash. In such cases, payments may be left off the books.

If you always ask a receipt for your purchase, the income received from it cannot be concealed. The Tax Administration recommends paying by card, because this ensures that the transaction is recorded. When you get the receipt, pay close attention to the information included in it. For instance, the receipt should specify what products you have purchased. It is common for customers to be given a receipt printed out from the payment terminal, which only shows the amount paid.

  • Company name
  • Address including Business ID
  • Date of issue
  • Receipt number
  • Quantity and type of goods or services
  • Amount paid
  • Amount of VAT charged, itemized by rate.

For a sample receipt, see

The receipt number is required to identify the receipt. This is important because it allows all transactions to be recorded with no receipts unaccounted for.

The provisions of the new Act do not apply to:

  • Vending machines
  • Activities covered by the Act governing lotteries, games and draws
  • Outdoor market and grocery selling (except for the selling and serving of alcoholic beverages outdoors)
  • E-Commerce, where buyers can pay invoices without anybody representing the seller being present.

No; other technical solutions exist that allow you to print out receipts, and there are no restrictions against handwritten receipts.

A receipt must include the Business ID and other details of the company selling the products or services to the customer. If there are multiple sellers, the receipt must indicate the seller who actually sold the products or services in question. This means that the business that sold the products or services can be identified from the receipt. If the receipt includes multiple companies’ details (company name and Business ID) but there is no indication of which company sold the products or services, the receipt can be considered misleading.

If you work for a company or are self-employed, you must automatically offer a receipt to all customers who pay you in cash. You can also offer it in an electronic format. Customers who don't want a receipt may decline your offer. You don't have to print it out if the customer does not take it. To receive payment from a customer is an essential business transaction in any company – for this reason, these transactions must be recorded in accounting.

Weather conditions and technical issues may make it difficult to use cash registers outdoors. However, the law requires all businesses serving alcoholic beverages outdoors to give customers receipts. Customers must be offered receipts for all indoor sales. Kiosks, booths or stalls are not treated as being outdoor or in a marketplace, if they are permanent structures and do business on an ongoing basis, even if they are moveable from one place to another.

Sales at festivals and other outdoor events are treated equally to sales at outdoor markets and fairs, and therefore it is not necessary to give receipts to customers.

Your bookkeeping must contain records of your transactions in such a way that all the information necessary for determining your liability to pay taxes can clearly be found in your books. If you receive cash from your customers, you are required to enter the amounts without delay in your bookkeeping, in a chronological order, reflecting the operation of your sales day-by-day.

If you use a cash register, you must post sales reports to your bookkeeping. If you use some other method, you are expected to post copies of receipts. No difficulty can be associated with the audit trail, which must be clearly visible between the sales transaction, the receipt, and the entries in your books.

If the doorman is an employee of the restaurant, they must offer customers receipts. If the doorman is self-employed, they must offer customers receipts if their annual income from  their own business exceeds €10,000; even when customers tip them on a purely voluntary basis, they must offer them a receipt, because all income is taxable under the Business Tax Act.

Yes, if you have customers that buy something from you paying cash when your organisation conducts its operation of a business, you must offer your customers a receipt even if the Tax Administration had given you an exemption from income taxes (i.e. your organisation has been issued an official decision on exemptions granted to nonprofit entities, and the decision is still in force). Entities that promote the public good must give their customers receipts when they conduct their operation of a business when the turnover is higher than €10,000 a year.

Yes, the party in charge of the taxi service must always give the passenger a receipt.

According to law, the receipt can be provided on paper or electronically. The seller can decide which format they use. It is enough to just offer an electronic receipt.

The obligation to give a receipt does not apply to sales at temporary market stands. The only exception is if alcohol is sold at the stand, in which case a receipt must always be given. The requirements for receipts that entitle a business to deduct VAT are laid down in the Value Added Tax Act. This means that if an entrepreneur purchases products or services from a market stand where no receipt is given, they cannot deduct the VAT included in the purchase price. Whenever an entrepreneur makes purchases for their business without getting a receipt, they do so at the risk of not being able to confirm the purchase for purposes of deducting VAT.

The minimum penalty charge is €300, and the maximum €1,000. What is being penalised is negligence: the size of penalty charge depends on the nature of the negligence and whether it was repeated, and on the value of the goods or services sold.

Contact the authority that imposed the penalty charge. If this is unsuccessful, the next step would be to lodge an appeal at the Administrative Court. Rulings of the Administrative Court may be appealed only by leave of the Supreme Administrative Court.

Page last updated 2/6/2024