One of the strangest part of doing expense reports for work trips are my taxi cab receipts.
Everything else I do for work gets a professional looking, official receipt, whereas for taxis, I’m still handed a piece of photo copied paper to write in the amount I spent.
For a system where your entire trip is recorded and metered, this seems bizarre to me. And easy to manipulate.
In fact, I was recently in a cab for a work trip where I asked for a receipt and the taxi driver actually asked me, “Want me to add $5 to help screw over the man?”
This was slightly less subtle than the cab drivers who ask me how much I want them to write on the receipt. (Which, having a taxi driver write in an amount is rare!)
When I’m writing in the amount myself and the taxi ride was more expensive than usual, I feel uneasy about writing in the correct amount. It’s not that I think my employer won’t believe me if I explain, but it does look weird to suddenly have a series of $30 receipts and then a $60 receipt for the same distance on another day.
I’ve also supervised people who travel for work. And I’m lucky to have people who are very trust-worthy. But this system makes it really easy to rip off your employer.
When trying to search for taxi receipt laws, my first results were: 1. A discussion with people about which taxi cab websites have download-able receipts and how to take public transportation and then estimate how much your cab would have been. 2. A website where you can generate taxi and restaurant receipts for the town you were in.
#1 might not seem so bad to people since the employer was willing to pay for a taxi and the employee took the more “arduous” route of travel. But when I’m letting employees take taxis, it is so they can be less tired for their meetings and be more productive on the road. This would defeat that whole purpose. And it’s ripping the company off.
This is fraud, flat out, but a fraud that would be hard to prove. Which makes me more comfortable with things like UberX because it shows the fare and exactly where the person went. It’s hard to game.
Some places do require taxi drivers to give out receipts printed from their machines. And this can cut down on fraud.
But what do you think?
Is this type of fraud a big deal, or something that just tends to happen?