Deposits and Vouchers Guide

Especially around the festive season many hospitality businesses take deposits and issue gift vouchers.

With uncertainty around COVID, some non-refundable deposits are being retained.
How do you account for this money in your business?

Must you give change on gift vouchers?
What about swapping non-refundable deposits for vouchers to use in January?
What terms and conditions should I use?

These and many more questions are answered here.

Pub restaurant gift voucher
Pub restaurant gift voucher

Terms & Conditions templates?

VOUCHERS F.A.Q.s

 
 

DEPOSITS F.A.Q.s

LOADING.gif

If I take a booking deposit, how do I account for the money through the till?


You need to record any income, and this includes deposits. Ring this through your till as a product named ‘Deposit’.

This should not assign to either food or drink but to ‘other’ (contact your till company if you’re not able to do this yourself).

This way you can take payment in cash or card, provide a till receipt to your customer, and it is clear on Z reports where the money came from for both your accountant and stocktaker.




Is a deposit liable to V.A.T and if so, at what rate?


Yes, VAT is due on money received as a deposit unless refunded in full. It is charged at the standard rate which is currently 20% HMRC now insist that any money taken as a deposit is recorded at the time of being taken.




If a deposit is non-refundable and the booking is cancelled, how do I account for this money through my till?


The money has already been rung through your till. You need do nothing else.




How do I ring the deposit through my till at the point the customer pays their bill on the day?


The money has already been rung through your till when the deposit was paid, so at the point your customer comes to pay their bill, you simply apply an overall ‘deposit discount’ of £50 for example.

Contact your till company if you are unable to set this up through your till yourself.

This way means that you can present your customer with an exact outstanding amount on their final bill, less the amount already paid.

REMEMBER: When telling your accountant about your daily takings, tell them about cash, card and deposits redeemed (used).




What if my till can’t do this?


If you don’t have a modern EPOS type till, you can track deposits manually by using a deposits book or diary. Once a deposit has been taken issue a receipt and keep a copy onsite.

REMEMBER: When telling your accountant about your daily takings, tell them about cash, card and deposits redeemed (used).




If a deposit is non-refundable but as a gesture of goodwill I give the customer a voucher to that value for future use, how do I account for that income?


As you have already accounted for that money, it is just a matter for you to internally know how much has come from vouchers and how much from deposits for example.

If you are going to have both deposits and vouchers, then you will have a button on your till for product ‘Deposits’ and for product ‘Vouchers’.

This means you can do a refund on your till for £50 on ‘Deposits’ and then charge £50 for ‘Vouchers’. This corrects what the sale was for and keeps the money even.




Will taking deposits affect my stocktaking results?


Each item purchased should go through your till as normal, the only difference is that instead of paying the full amount, they pay less. This means that all stock items are still accounted for on stock reports.




Should I provide terms and conditions for deposits?


This would be a good practise. It gives you the chance to be clear from the outset on policies such as expiry dates and refunds.

We have an example that you can customise for your needs here




Can I take payments for deposits over the phone?


You can but it is not as secure. The process is known as a CNP (card not present) transaction. Your merchant processor may charge more for handling these transactions as they are unsecure and more open to fraud.

To take payment this way you would key the card details into your PDQ machine manually.

Do not write down the card details, as these could be used for fraud.

Check that any data you do take for transactions is covered by data protection rules.

Do not take payments by customers giving card details over email as this is not secure.





LOADING.gif

If I sell a gift voucher, how do I account for the money through the till?


You need to record any income, and this includes vouchers. Ring this through your till as a product named ‘Voucher’. This should not assign to either food or drink but to ‘other’ (contact your till company if you’re not able to do this yourself).

This way you can take payment in cash or card, provide a till receipt to your customer, and it is clear on Z reports where the money came from for both your accountant and stocktaker.




How do I ring the gift voucher through my till at the point the customer pays their bill on the day?


The money has already been rung through your till when the voucher was bought, so at the point your customer comes to pay their bill, you simply ring the items bought through your till as normal, and then apply an overall ‘voucher discount ‘of £50 for example.

Contact your till company if you are unable to set this up through your till.

This way means that you can present your customer with an exact outstanding amount on their final bill, less the amount already paid.

REMEMBER: When telling your accountant about your daily takings, tell them about cash, card and vouchers redeemed (used).




Is a money from the sale of a gift voucher liable to V.A.T and if so, at what rate?


Yes, VAT is due on money received as a voucher. It is charged at the standard rate which is currently 20%




What if a customer redeems a gift voucher for £50 but spends less, do I have to give them change in cash?


In the UK, you are not obliged to do so. It is a good idea to set out your policy on this matter clearly in your terms and conditions of use (an example that you can customise is available here). You can give change as another voucher, as cash or not at all.




Will gift vouchers affect my stocktaking results?


Each item purchased should go through your till as normal, the only difference is that instead of paying the full amount, they pay less. This means that all stock items are still accounted for on stock reports.




Should I provide terms and conditions for gift vouchers?


This would be a good practise. It gives you the chance to be clear from the outset on policies such as payment due dates and refunds.

The purchaser of a voucher is bound by terms made known before, or at the time of purchase.

We have an example that you can customise for your needs here




Can I take payments for gift vouchers over the phone?


You can but it is not as secure. The process is known as a CNP (card not present) transaction. Your merchant processor may charge more for handling these transactions as they are unsecure and more open to fraud.

To take payment this way you would key the card details into your PDQ machine manually.

Do not write down the card details, as these could be used for fraud.

Check that any data you do take for transactions is covered by data protection rules.

Do not take payments by customers giving card details over email as this is not secure.




What if I use a voucher as a prize or promotional giveaway.


Similarly, to using gift vouchers, you ring things through as normal and then either discount by £x or 100% if the voucher is for a specific thing (e.g. 8 pints of beer).

REMEMBER: When telling your accountant about your daily takings, tell them about any promo vouchers used.




Can I give members of staff gift vouchers as a Christmas bonus?


You cartainly can. These do represent a 'benefit in kind' so make sure you tell your payroll provider about the amount given. For tax purposes, this amount will be treated in the same way as if it were a cash bonus. Over the course of a year you can provide employees with under £50 worth of 'benefits' before tax applies, although gift vouchers are always taxed and treated as 'cash'.