Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Receipt Definition:

A document which acknowledges the delivery of a thing or the payment of money.

In Bowes v Foster, Justice Pollock noted that:

"A receipt is an admission.... (and) only evidence of payment.... (I)f proof be that no payment was made, it cannot operate as evidence of payment against such proof."

In Commissioner of Stamp Duties, Justice McTiernan of the High Court of Australia wrote:

"A document is not a receipt unless it is an acknowledgment to somebody, presumably the payer, for money received or paid. It is sufficient if the acknowledgment is express or tacit."

In AG v Northwood, Justice Greene wrote:

"One of the objects of a receipt ... is that it can be produced as evidence in a court of law.... (T)he use of such a document in a court of law as being one of the things one would expect the holder of a receipt to enjoy normally.

"Unquestionably, if you say a person has given you a receipt for something, what you mean is he has given you something which you can keep as your own and produce on all occasions that it is required, particularly in a court of law.

"In order to be a receipt, it must be a document whereby the receipt or deposit or payment of money is expressed and acknowledged."

In People of the State of New York v Fusaro, Justice De Luca adopted these words:

"A receipt (is) a written acknowledgment by one person of his having received money or property from another as will be prima facie evidence of that fact in a court of law.

"(A receipt is) also an admission of fact in writing or an act of acceptance for something delivered."


  • Attorney General v Northwood Electric 1 KB 511 (1947)
  • Bowes v Foster 27 Law Journal Reports (Exchequer) 262, at page 266 (1858)
  • Commissioner of Stamp Duties v H. Small and Company Proprietary Limited 80 Commonwealth Law Reports (CLR) 177 (1950)
  • Duhaime, Lloyd, Legal Definition of Quitclaim
  • Duhaime, Lloyd, Legal Definition of Release
  • People of the State of New York v Fusaro 279 NYS 2d 126 (1967)

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