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The Consumer
Receipt from BIR-registered cash machine considered official

By Linda Bolido
Inquirer
First Posted 19:57:00 03/07/2007

Filed Under: Lifestyle & Leisure, State Budget & Taxes

MANILA, Philippines -- With the ongoing Bureau of Internal Revenue promo, the weekly Premyo sa Resibo with a cash prize of P1 million, people are learning to ask for official receipts from stores, restaurants and other commercial establishments.

But reader Irene Tanzo wants to know just what constitutes an official receipt. In her e-mail, she said she wanted to know the difference between receipts stores gave customers. ?They tend to vary from sales invoice, sales receipt, official receipt, to cash invoice.?

She noted that the big chains were issuing sales receipts/invoice printouts from cash registers. Tanzo seemed unsure if those pieces of paper spewed by cash machines were to be considered official receipts.

Tanzo and other consumers will be happy to know that those little pieces of paper are considered as official receipts if the cash register machines (CRM) that issue them are registered with the BIR.

In a letter published in the Inquirer?s Letters section, Commissioner Jose Mario C. Buñag, responding to a query from another reader, said the ?computer printout or CRM-generated tape receipt ... is for all intents and purposes considered an official receipt? if the machine is registered with the bureau.

Responding to Tanzo specifically, Robinsons, one of the major chains she mentioned in her letter, gave the assurance that their CRM were registered with the BIR.

A Robinsons? spokesperson said in her e-mail, ?the BIR permit attached to the POS (point of sale terminal) or ECR (electronic cash register), states that the machine is authorized to issue receipts in lieu of sales invoice.?

Robinsons? cash invoice, sales invoice and official receipts could be manually accomplished or printed from the POS.

So consumers who hesitate to join the BIR?s Premyo sa Resibo raffle because they only have the tape receipt should feel reassured by these statements.

Feedback

A reader, reacting to the Feb. 22 column on banks, said he had also been a victim of the financial institutions? ?unfair practices.?

?I think you should warn your readers to check their monthly statement to see if their bank has automatically deducted a service fee ... or other penalties? because their accounts fell below the maintaining balance.

He said he was surprised to find that his bank deducted P100 from his account for falling below the required maintaining balance.

He said his bank?s old maintaining balance for savings deposit with passbook was P1,000. But it was raised to P5,000 in January without informing depositors.

The reader added, ?I?ve done some research in the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas web site regarding this and, surprisingly, they have a circular dated May 2005 regarding service and maintenance fees. It was stated that ?banks should inform its depositors about changes in the terms and conditions in their deposit products at least 60 days prior to implementation.? However, it seems that the banks do not follow this BSP regulation and BSP is powerless to impose these regulations on the banks.?

New scam?

I got a call recently from people who claimed to represent a pre-need company. They were telling me I was one of 15 lucky winners of a raffle marking the 28th anniversary of their company. My prize was a certificate of insurance that I had to claim at their office.

To make themselves more credible, they even told me the president of the company himself, mentioning the name of someone who seemed to be a well-respected and well-known member of the insurance industry, drew the winning numbers.

I asked what I did to deserve the good fortune and what was expected of me. They assured me repeatedly there was nothing to buy and no seminars to attend.

Still such good fortune do not just fall on your lap for nothing so I asked somebody whose office just happened to be in the same building to check out the company. The office was there all right but nobody has heard of the promo or the people who called me.

So I am still wondering what it was all about.

Previous columns:
Can you bank on them? - 02/22/07
A different kind of truth (2/08/2006)
?Mameng?s? friends (2/01/2006)
Why set rules you cannot enforce? (1/25/2007)
A glaring omission (1/18/2007)
Gray areas of marketing (12/28/2006)



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