Confusing Tax Invoices

A few days ago, I bought some item from the pharmacy we used to visit when we lived at our previous home as I needed to visit that shopping centre.

After I returned home, I looked at the invoice and I believed I had been overcharged based on the sale prices displayed in the store so I returned there yesterday but the pharmacist explained that the pricing was correct after the discount was deducted from the prices shown on the tax invoive.

The tax invoice does not show the actual price charged.

The pharmacist said that they had been told that the ACCC requires them to show their normal price and the sale discount, which I said that I have never seen anywhere else.

I think that Discount Drug Stores have got things mixed up and have it confused with fake presale prices as per the likes of Harvey Norman and Kogan.

It certainly confused me and wasted my time.


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Different businesses have their ways of doing things. I notice when I buy some specials at the colesworth, it shows the discounted price, and others the original price with a minus charge for the item to represent the saving. Confusing? Sure is.


When I buy farm gear we get our items listed as
Description, number, unit price (ex-GST), GST, Total (number x unit ex-GST)
Tractor Widgets, 5, $10.00, $1.00, $50.00

At the bottom Total (incl GST), GST, Total ex-GST.
Total $330.00, GST $30.00, Total $300.00
So I have to add GST + Total for each line to assign to various accounting categories, and because of the way the BAS is organised.

My independent supermarket only notes that a product was on special with a # (savings are rolled up to a note total at the end of the docket). Any products that were marked down (usually due to damage or due date) are charged at the normal price $3.55 with a line “Markdown savings” -$0.71. Fresh fruit & veg on ‘special’ are not highlighted. eg zucchini was $3.99/kg last week now advertised as $2.99 so, although you know you are getting them cheaper, there is no indication on the docket. At the end is a Total $141.65 and “By purchasing our specials you saved $22.71 on our already low prices”


The price charged was $51.96…it is clear on the Tax Invoice.

$11.69 + $15.09 + $11.69+ $19.09 = $57.56

$57.56 less the $5.60 discount = $51.96…the amount charged.

Quite simple.

Our own business tax invoices when we offer a discount we put the standard price and then a separate line items with the discount amount…then the total…similar to what this invoice shows. It allows the customer to see what the standard price is, the discount and the final paid amount. This is standard practice of many businesses.

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That docket is probably clearer than if they had added a negative amount for the discount below every price in the totals.

As it is, the discounts are individually listed so you can see what they are, and then totalled to be decuted from total price to give the price you actually need to pay.