A red-tape busting rule change will mean companies can cut back on the amount of paper receipts they need to store for business expense claims, as long as workers have a smartphone camera, according to informed sources.
Currently, companies are obliged by corporate tax law to keep paper receipts for seven years, although they can scan them as digital data upon approval from the head of a tax office.
But the government and ruling bloc plan to let companies dispose of paper receipts more easily , leading to more efficient operations and reduced accounting requirements.
At the end of September this year, Japan abolished a rule under which only receipts less than ¥30,000 could be saved digitally.
The government and ruling camp intend to make receipt handling more convenient in tax reforms for fiscal 2016 from April. Images of receipts taken by smartphones outside a company and sent to the company will be accepted, the sources said.
As in scanned receipts, the images will need to have time stamps attached proving they haven’t been manipulated. They will also need to be signed off by an accounting representative, and subsequent checks by a third party will be required.
Time stamps will need to be attached within three days of receipts being photographed. The images must also be clearly focused and of at least 5 million pixels in resolution.
The rule change will mean that employees won’t have to return to their office just to report expenses.