When submitting claims for business expenses, employees must typically include proof of purchase such as a receipt or invoice for their purchases.
During business trips, these have a tendency to get lost or destroyed, become illegible or otherwise unusable.
Who hasn’t forgotten an invoice in their laptop case or put their hand in a jacket pocket only to retrieve a crumpled receipt from weeks (or months) ago? We sure have.
So what is the solution for travelling employees to avoid being out of pocket on business expenses? Our missing or lost receipt affidavit solution!
What is a valid proof of purchase?
When claiming expenses, employees can provide either an invoice or a receipt as a proof of purchase. Both are valid supporting documents for most tax authorities, but it is important to know what sets them apart.
An invoice is a commercial document issued by a supplier to the purchaser (the travelling employee, in this case) for the sale of goods or services. It usually lists the products/services purchased, quantities thereof and agreed prices for each as provided to the buyer with the date of purchase. Payment terms are usually also mentioned. An invoice may state whether payment has been made in full, partially, or not yet.
A receipt is a document issued to the purchaser stating that the supplier has received payment for goods or services. Receipts are intended as fiscal proof and must state the date of purchase.
Proof of purchase validity
To be accepted as proof of an expense, invoices and receipts must include the following information:
Date of purchase
Description of purchase
VAT amount (if the purchase is subject to VAT).
Can I claim expenses without proof of purchase?
In short: yes (depending on your employer's expense policy). To claim expenses without a receipt or invoice, you will often need to explain the reason for the missing evidence and provide a signed statement justifying the expense and asserting that the amount is correct. This signed statement is known as an affidavit.
Why do I need a missing or lost receipt affidavit?
Organisations require supporting documents to reimburse their employees' business expenses for various reasons:
Ensuring compliance of the expense with tax requirements.
If the supporting document is not available, you may still claim the business expense at your employer’s discretion using an affidavit.
Unfortunately, most tax authorities require fiscal proof of purchase (an invoice or receipt) for tax claims meaning these affidavits cannot be used for VAT recovery.
How can I get reimbursed if the receipt is missing?
The lost receipt and affidavit feature is part of Mobilexpense's standard product offering. Once activated, it allows users to certify an expense and the amount despite missing proof of purchase.
Activating this option introduces a checkbox at expense line level, allowing users to identify missing proof of purchase and provide a signed affidavit instead.
Checking the “Missing proof of purchase” box presents users with a field in which to identify the reason for the missing receipt and a button to create the affidavit.
For easy controller access to these affidavits, the PDF opens in a pop-up window during expense report control. Controllers can either print or delete the lost receipt affidavit as needed.
Proof of purchase is important for travellers and controllers. It ensures both accurate, timely reimbursements and legal compliance.
Tax requirements are slowly changing around the world. Where physical documentation used to be mandatory, more and more countries are turning to digitised documents and fully paperless tax processes.
We know that employees enjoy a smoother experience claiming expenses with a mobile app. It allows them to scan their proof of purchase immediately, thus decreasing the probability of receipt loss or destruction.
But for those days when things are just too hectic or they simply forget, the lost receipt affidavit is a useful tool to have in your expense management toolbox to keep your travellers and controllers happy.