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Receipt Regret: New research reveals Aussie taxpayers are missing out on a potential $7 Billion in unclaimed deductions due to lost or damaged receipts

Intuit Quickbooks 3 mins read

[Sydney, 12 June 2024] – With tax return season fast approaching, a new, nationally representative study commissioned by accounting software brand Intuit QuickBooks has revealed that, while 93% of Aussies still collect physical receipts to claim back at EOFY, lost or damaged receipts are causing us to miss out on a potential $7 Billion in unclaimed deductions across the nation.

The study, which took place in May this year, found the majority of Australians (59%) admit to having lost receipts, while 47% had promised themselves they would store receipts better this year but haven’t done so. These findings suggest the experience of ‘Receipt Regret’ is widespread among Aussies at tax time.

Receipt Regret is something many of us can relate to, where life gets in the way of best intentions and those tiny pieces of paper end up covered in our morning coffee or as an ‘appetiser’ for our famished furry friends.

The real cost of poor receipt management

As we juggle our busy lives, our receipts can get easily left behind, but the cost of this is telling, with each Australian taxpayer potentially leaving hundreds of dollars worth of expenses unclaimed.

The struggle to sort through a pile of receipts and (quite literally) piece together your year in a last-minute scramble has become a dreaded chore for many ahead of tax time. Despite their intentions, over a third (42%) of survey respondents sometimes or always forget where they’ve stored their receipts, with 15% spending up to a whopping 5 hours sorting through them in the lead up to tax time.

The survey revealed that many receipts have met a watery end, with 22% of Aussies reporting to have lost a receipt to the washing machine. Other receipts have met a smelly fate with 13% 

admitting to having fished them out of the bin. Almost half of survey respondents (46%) have had to deal with faded, torn or illegible receipts, and more than half (59%) have lost receipts completely.

In a bid to salvage their receipts, nearly a quarter (27%) of Aussies have hung receipts out to dry, 24% have glued a damaged receipt back together, and 16% have used a hairdryer on wet receipts.

Alleviating the burden of tax time

In a cost of living crisis where every dollar counts, it’s no surprise that almost a quarter (23%) of Aussies are looking forward to doing their tax return this end-of-financial year in the hope of getting money back. Nearly 1-in-5 (19%) admit that the main motivation to submit their taxes is to ‘see if I can get a tax rebate’. Despite this, approximately 1-in-7 (15%) feel weighed down by the admin involved. 

“Although we’re living in an increasingly digital world, the reality is that most of us still need to deal with paper receipts. With a majority of Aussies (53%) doing their own tax returns, it can be tough to keep track of receipts throughout the year if you don’t have a good system in place,” said Damien Greathead, Accounting and Advisor Group Lead at Intuit Australia.

“Aussies can make tax time less stressful by using tech to their advantage to make a digital copy of receipts as soon as they are received. The trick is to strike while the admin is hot and you’ll save yourself from receipt regret at tax time. The ATO has a great feature on the app where you can capture receipts throughout the year, and this uploads directly to your tax return,” he said.

“If you’re running a small business, we recommend working with a tax advisor combined with management tools like Intuit QuickBooks. Our snap and store receipt function allows SMBs to capture business costs on the go when using our mobile app. Through surveying our own customers, we know that 90% agree the QuickBooks mobile app makes it easy to stay on top of their expenses[1],” said Greathead.

Small Business owners can visit Intuit QuickBooks’ EOFY Hub for more tips and information: .



[1] Based on a survey conducted by Intuit Australia Pty Ltd in September 2022. Of the 90 respondents to this question who use the QuickBooks mobile app to capture receipts, 81 agreed or strongly agreed with this statement.

Key Facts:

        59% of Aussies claim to have lost receipts completely, while 1-in-5 (22%) have accidentally put paper receipts through the laundry wash

        47% had promised themselves they would store receipts better this year and haven’t

       17% of Aussies have kept their receipts in a shoebox and 49% in a desk drawer

       Meanwhile, over one third of Aussies (33%) admit they would rather watch paint dry than tackle their taxes this year

About us:

About Intuit
Intuit is the global financial technology platform that powers prosperity for the people and communities we serve. With 100 million customers worldwide using TurboTax, Credit Karma, QuickBooks and Mailchimp, we believe that everyone should have the opportunity to prosper. We never stop working to find new, innovative ways to make that possible. Please visit us at and find us on social for the latest information about Intuit and our products and services.

Contact details:

Georgiana Kelleher

Edelman Australia

+61 459 431 732

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