Bill of sale vs receipt of sale: is a receipt a bill of sale?

A man and woman in a office look over a bill of sale.

Depending on the type of transaction, you may need a bill of sale or a receipt detailing the purchase.

Individuals and businesses use receipts and bill of sale documents to record the details of a purchase. There are many financial documents to keep track of, like a bill of sale, receipt, or others, depending on the transaction. Regardless of whether the sale is public or private, it’s important to keep accurate records — and get signatures where appropriate. Learn more about which one to use and why.

Is a bill of sale a receipt of sale?

One common question that often arises in financial transactions is whether a bill of sale can be considered a receipt of sale or vice versa. In a nutshell, the answer is no. A bill of sale is not a receipt of sale, and vice versa. However, the differences between these two documents are worth exploring, which we will delve into in the next section.

Differences between bill of sale vs receipt of sale.

A bill of sale is not the same as a receipt. A receipt is a digital or physical document that says a customer has paid for a product or service. For example, if you buy a new computer for your business, you’ll be issued a receipt for the purchase. You can then keep the receipt and use it for tax or accounting purposes.

Similar to a receipt, a bill of sale records the details of a transaction. Bills of sale are commonly used between buyers and sellers for cars or boats. Additionally, a personal identification on a bill of sale may be required, which isn’t for a receipt. However, a bill of sale is unique in that it:

Is a bill of sale the same as a receipt for tax purposes?

Now that we know the general differences between a bill of sale versus a receipt let’s go over whether a bill of sale is the same as a receipt for tax purposes. When it comes to taxes, understanding how to treat a bill of sale is important.

While a receipt shows payment, a bill of sale provides detailed purchase information. Whether a bill of sale should be used for tax purposes depends on local regulations. Consult local tax authorities or a professional for guidance on retention periods, typically several years, to ensure compliance.

Does a bill of sale ever have an additional receipt?

In many cases, a detailed bill of sale can serve as the only document required to record a transaction. However, there are scenarios where having both a bill of sale and a separate receipt can be beneficial. Here are some situations where you might consider having both documents:

How do I digitally send a bill of sale or receipt?

To send a digital receipt or bill of sale, you’ll need to use a free scanner app to scan your handwritten BOS, use a pre-built template, or create one from scratch — and Adobe Acrobat is a great place to get started. All that’s generally required is to enter the transaction details and include the appropriate number of signature fields.

When the document has been completed, enter the email address of each person involved and click send. You can check on its progress by tracking the document’s history to see that everyone signed the form correctly.

Learn more about what you can do to make transactions hassle-free. Explore everything you can do with Acrobat today.