POS Supply Solutions Blog


Thermal Paper: Paper Receipt Importance for Tax Preparation


Since April is Tax Prep month, that means you’ll be getting ready to do your taxes and and going through receipts from the last 12 months.

You may notice that some of your POS Thermal Receipts have faded over the year due to a combination of ultraviolet (UV) light sensitivity and extended exposure to office lighting.

The amount of fading depends a number of things including: the degree to which the image was originally developed, the individual product design, the intensity of the UV light, and the character of UV (percent of UV range in light source).

While many businesses already practice keeping a record of all their receipts, the IRS recommends you keep all receipts for 3 to 7 years depending on the Period of Limitations that apply to your situation.

So if you’ve already noticed some diminished images on your receipts, here are some pointers on how to keep them clearly visible over the next 7 years.

Properly Storing Your Thermal Receipts for Taxes

Thermal printed receipts should be stored in a dark place at a relative humidity between 45% and 65% and a room temperature below 77°F (25°C). If these conditions are met and the recommended equipment is used to create the thermal documents, the images should remain legible for at least five to seven years without much issue.

In addition to UV light, exposure to the following materials may lead to image degradation and should therefore be avoided:

  • Organic solvents (i.e. Alcohols, Ketones, Esters, and Ethers)
  • Cleaning Fluids
  • Plasticizers
  • Petroleum Solvents
  • Wet-type diazo copy paper
  • Carbon papers
  • Castcoated papers
  • Papers containing tributyl phosphate
  • Dissimilar thermal systems
  • Carbonless papers
  • Ammonia
  • Certain Oils
  • Water (prolonged exposure)

Thermal paper comes in a variety of grades. We offer a plethora of paper grades to meet your needs and combat image life issues.


For more information about Thermal Paper, read our other blog posts:

Blog - Thermal Paper: What is it?

Blog - Thermal Paper: Components of Thermal Paper

Blog - Thermal Paper: Selecting the Right One For Your Application

Blog - Thermal Paper: Storage and Shelf Life Recommendations

Blog - Thermal Paper: Three Places to Never Store Rolls

Blog - Thermal Paper: Is It Recyclable?

Blog - Thermal Paper: Caliper and Basis Weight

Blog - Thermal Paper: Grades of Thermal Paper

Blog - Thermal Paper: Ways to Reduce Your Usage

Blog - Thermal Paper: What is Two-Sided Thermal Paper?

Blog - Thermal Paper: Super Saver Rolls are A Game of Inches

Blog - Thermal Paper: Is My Thermal Printer Working Properly?

Blog - Thermal Paper: POS Supply's Thermal Rolls are BPA-Free!

Blog - Thermal Paper: What is Phenol-Free Thermal Paper?