It's helpful to keep your receipts, particularly for major purposes, in case you have to return an item. If you use a debit card, your bank statement itemizes sales records, including vendor names, date of purchase and amounts. Therefore, your bank statement serves as a secondary confirmation of sales purchases. However, the bank statement only shows an aggregate total, which may not serve your purposes.
A sales receipt is the best way to verify purchases. By law, a vendor should provide you with a receipt after a sale detailing the transaction. Most retailers require a sales receipt as part of their refund or return policy. Some retailers will not honor a refund request without a receipt. Thus, a bank statement may not be enough supporting evidence.
Other Proofs of Payment
While a sales receipt serves as indisputable proof of purchase, there are other proofs of payments that may be acceptable. For instance, a cashed bank check may pass for a sales receipt. Your bank statement shows cashed checks you've written. In addition, a debit card attached to a checking account may serve as a sales receipt because account records show all purchases made with the card. However, the store can use its discretion whether to accept such records in lieu of a sales receipt.
If you used a debit card to make multiple purchases from the same store, the account records probably will show an aggregate amount rather than a separate dollar amount for each item. In this case, it's difficult for a vendor to distinguish the purchase and price of a particular item. On the other hand, a single purchase is easier to verify.
Because a sales receipt serves as irrefutable proof of purchase, keep all receipts. Use your bank statement as a secondary and corroborating sales receipt. However, understand that the bank statement may not provide enough detail for multiple purchases with the same retailer. Before making a purchase, inquire about the retailer's refund policy.