How to Read Cash Register Tapes

How to Read Cash Register Tapes
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When you have made a purchase from a merchant such as a grocery store, drug store, or some other establishment you probably received a receipt generated by a cash register. These tapes carry identifying information. Some of the information provides details of the transaction, while other information displays contact information for the merchant. Cash register tape receipts provide verification that you made a purchase in case you have to return faulty or defective merchandise.

Review all components of your receipt starting at the top. The top portion of your receipt will usually have the name, address, phone number and fax number for the merchant. Sometimes you will find a store number if the merchant has more than one location.

Take a look at the cashier’s name. The name of the person who waited on you or took your order will appear on the receipt with his employee number. If there is confusion about your order it helps to know who waited on you.

Check the date on your receipt. You can find the date and the time you made your purchase printed on your receipt. If you cannot remember the exact date and time of your purchase, just look at your receipt, for clarification.

Look at the left side of your cash register tape receipt for an itemized listing of your purchases. Each item you purchased will be listed and you will see the price of the item. The quantity purchased is included on some receipts. There will be a subtotal for all of your items and then the amount of tax will be listed, if applicable. The amount of money you gave the cashier is next, and the next line will list the amount of change you received.


  • Receipts from different merchants can vary regarding how information is displayed.