My client gave me a cheque where I gave him the receipt for it's acknowledgement. Now my client tells me to return the cheque and is willing to pay with cash. How to edit the receipt or is there any other method?

  • 5
    possible scam? if he doesn't send cash in the end, he has a "cheque" receipt, and you have nothing? do not send the work before receiving the cash. Commented Jan 8, 2021 at 11:07
  • @OlivierDulac Yes sir, I haven't started the work. It's just that I want to know what to do in case. Commented Jan 8, 2021 at 12:33
  • 1
    I believe it would make sense to propose to only send the cheque back when you receive the cash (as the cheque is not in your bank, you have 0 income yet, so it makes sense they send the cash first) Commented Jan 8, 2021 at 15:07
  • @OlivierDulac I definitely will do that. It actually doesn't make any sense to send the cheque if the payment is not done by other mode. Commented Jan 8, 2021 at 15:27
  • 2
    One red-flag for a possible scam: the whole thing does not make 100% sense. He could just deposit the money in his account and let you use the cheque anyway. I don't see how is it an advantage to switch to a cash payment. Commented Jan 8, 2021 at 21:55

4 Answers 4

  1. Return the check, and
  2. take back the receipt (so the other guy can't come back later, present the receipt and demand money back) for the check payment.
  3. Issue him a new receipt for cash.
  4. Note on your copy of the old receipt what happened, and the new receipt number so that anyone looking at the old receipt knows what happened, and where to look for the new receipt.
  • 30
    It is worth adding for superior clarity: The first transaction happened and now there is a second transaction, both needs to be accounted for. Never tear any old papers or change any old transaction. Commented Jan 8, 2021 at 8:19
  • 1
    @user5198077 correct; that's why I indicated to notate the old receipt.
    – RonJohn
    Commented Jan 8, 2021 at 13:58
  • 1
    I agree that it's probably worth adding to the answer explicitly why you take back the receipt, not just to do it, probably roughly how @user5198077 did. Why is more important than how on questions like these.
    – Joe
    Commented Jan 8, 2021 at 20:06
  • 1
    @Joe good point. Answer modified.
    – RonJohn
    Commented Jan 8, 2021 at 20:10
  • 1
    I wouldn't bother returning the check (immediately). If the client doesn't want the check cashed, they can put a stop on it at their own bank. Once you have the actual payment in hand, return the check.
    – chepner
    Commented Jan 8, 2021 at 21:26

The most important details here, which are revealed in your other question, are:

  • You have not yet begun work on this client’s project.

  • The check he gave you is undated and the client has asked you not to deposit it. If you did deposit it, it would likely bounce.

  • The client has been delaying you for three months after giving you the bad check, promising every few days to make it good, then delaying again.

Here is my advice:

First, ask yourself if you really want to do this project with this client. If he’s willing to pay you in cash in advance and you don’t have any other work lined up, the answer might be “Yes.” However, this client has already been a hassle and the project has not even begun. If you do have other jobs to work on, now is a good time to cut ties with this client: No money has yet changed hands and no work has begun, so neither of you owes the other anything right now, really.

You can return the check to him anytime you like, as it is no good, anyway. Don’t worry about a receipt, just send him a written letter/statement along with the check that says that you are returning the check undeposited. I know that there were some answerers on your other question that were nervous about that, but if the client were to falsely claim that you had deposited the check, bank records would clearly show that to be false.

If you do decide to work with him and he does give you cash in advance, give him a receipt, but also make sure that the two of you have a signed written contract spelling out what work will be done for the amount that was paid. That way, there is no question later what was agreed upon.

  • 3
    While this is answer is grounded in business, not personal finance, I have to say it's pretty solid advice.
    – corsiKa
    Commented Jan 8, 2021 at 5:10
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    @corsiKa Small, one-person business is on-topic here. And thank you. :)
    – Ben Miller
    Commented Jan 8, 2021 at 5:13
  • Wow, I wasn't aware of that! Very cool.
    – corsiKa
    Commented Jan 8, 2021 at 5:15
  • 6
    "if the client were to falsely claim that you had deposited the check, bank records would clearly show that to be false" - It is important to write 'VOID' across the check when you return it. A scammer (or someone that picks it out of their trash) may find a way to get the check cashed. Then the client would have a record of writing the check to you and the check being cashed. Commented Jan 8, 2021 at 17:45
  • @JasonGoemaat but how can someone cash it if the cheque has my name on it. Like wouldn't bank identify it? Commented Jan 20, 2021 at 5:06
  1. Do absolutely nothing until you have the cash money literally in your hand (ie, so the paper of the money is touching the skin of your hand)

  2. Once you cash money literally in your hand (ie, so the paper of the money is touching the skin of your hand), count to ten, and hand back the cheque.

Regarding the receipt: do absolutely nothing. Nothing has changed in terms of transfer, it's only a mechanical detail. Do nothing.

  • 3
    If the original receipt mentioned a cheque, then a new or amended receipt may be called for. I can't think of a way that receiving cash instead of a cheque could cause later issues, but better safe than sorry. Commented Jan 8, 2021 at 16:17
  • 1
    well, if OP hands that person a cheque (or indeed ........ any object or paper whatsoever), ie at the moment the OP "returns" the cheque, it would be ideal that the OP gets a receipt stating that indeed the OP returned the cheque. Then OP could give a new receipt regarding the cash handed to the OP.
    – Fattie
    Commented Jan 8, 2021 at 16:36
  • 4
    (however exactly as Ben explains, the whole thing is moot ... the "client" is a scammer/idiot .. OP should walk away)
    – Fattie
    Commented Jan 8, 2021 at 16:36

Tell him to give you the cash AND the old receipt. Then give him a new receipt saying he paid in cash along with the check.

Get the cash and the receipt first!

This smells like a possible scam by your 'client'.

Also be wary of cashing the check and then sending him any money as the check will often bounce and the bank will take the money from your account so you cannot collect from the bank or anyone else leaving you poorer.

  • How can it be a scam from the client? Commented Jan 11, 2021 at 7:49

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