When many Malawians buy items in medium to large shops that do not have cash registers machines, they do not ask for a receipt to be written up for them by the shop clerk.
The reason for this is mainly because many Malawians do not understand the importance of having a receipt written up for them, and hopefully I can give you some enlighten on the importance of receipts and encourage you to always ask for a receipt when you make a purchase, especially in clothing and hardware stores.
When shop owners give out receipts to all their customers, copies of all these are kept in the receipt book and the amount of all sales made by the shop owner are recorded.
The importance of all sales being recorded accurately is for tax reasons. When receipts are given out for all sales made then the tax authorities, Malawi Revenue Authority, can collect the full amount of tax that the shop owner owes the Government, by studying the receipt book of the shop.
The Government collecting the full amount of taxes it is owed is very important because taxes are a major source of funds for Government, and these funds are the ones that Government uses to build roads, schools, hospitals, buy medicines, pay civil servants etc.
So when you make a purchase and you do not ask for a receipt you are unknowingly assisting the shop owner in committing tax evasion, because with no receipt there is no evidence that that transaction ever took place and that income made by the shop owner will most likely not be declared to the M.R. A, meaning the amount of tax revenue the Government will collect will be low thereby affecting the country as a whole because Government will have fewer funds to carry out its development projects and provide public services.
So remember every time you buy an item form a medium to large shop ASK FOR A RECEIPT!