The Importance of Specifying Payment Purposes

Nov 7, 2023
4 min

In an era where digital payments have become an integral part of our daily lives, paying bills, making purchases, transferring funds to family or friends has never been easier. Our Blackcatcard website and app offer a convenient user-friendly interface for these transactions. 

However, an aspect of these transfers that is often overlooked by users themselves is the importance of specifying the purpose of payment, even when you are just sending money to loved ones. Companies are more attentive to this aspect, since vigilant accounting and tax reporting is critically important for them. But individuals often do not pay due attention to the purpose of the payments. But we'd like to point out why this is so important.

Accomplishing this simple task is highly relevant in terms of:

1. Clarity and Accountability: Specifying the purpose of payment ensures clarity in financial transactions. It helps both the sender and receiver understand the nature of the funds transferred. This clarity can be crucial, especially when dealing with larger sums or multiple transactions. It also establishes accountability, as both parties can reference the purpose of the payment in case of any disputes or misunderstandings.

2. Tax Compliance: One of the often-forgotten reasons for specifying payment purposes is tax compliance. While sending money to family and friends may not seem tax-related, it can have implications, particularly if the funds are significant or involve repayment of debts. Specifying the purpose can help in tracking the nature of the transaction for tax reporting purposes. This is especially important when dealing with debts, gifts, or financial assistance, as it may have tax consequences.

3. Legal Documentation: In some cases, specifying the purpose of payment can serve as a form of informal documentation. While attaching invoices and contracts might not be necessary for most personal transactions, clearly stating the purpose in the transaction description can provide a record of the agreement between parties. This can be particularly helpful when dealing with debts or other financial arrangements within a family or friend network.

4. Anti-Money Laundering (AML): It is important to note that the purposes of a payment are also relevant to AML policies. It is common for a company to receive recurring payments from the same customer or vice versa, for example a monthly payment for a utility bill, such as electricity, or bonus payments. Therefore, specifying the purpose of the payment can be helpful for both individuals and companies in order to comply with AML rules and to have the necessary documentation in case of any inspection by official bodies.

Common Payment Purposes

Although the purposes can be many and diverse, here are some of the most common ones:

  • Inheritance or Gift: If the funds are related to an inheritance, stating it in the payment purpose is crucial for tracking and potentially addressing tax-related concerns. When you're transferring money as a gift, specifying it as such can be important for tax purposes. Gift tax rules may apply depending on the amount, and stating it as a gift in the payment description helps in clarifying the nature of the transaction. 

    Both gifts and inheritances are generally taxable in European countries such as Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, among others. Even inheritances or gifts may be subject to these taxes in two or more countries, in the EU for example, if you receive them from a person located in another country.

    It is important to note that money transfers with the purpose of payment “gift”, which are not related with a significant date such as a birthday and are often repeated, are already regarded as a regular payment
  • Transfer to a relative: As with the previous purpose, it is necessary to indicate this type of operation under this denomination and better to specify the degree of consanguinity with the same tax purpose.
  • Debt Repayment: If you're paying back a debt, mentioning it as a debt repayment helps in differentiating it from a gift or other forms of financial assistance. If you care about your tax reporting and personal accounting, then it is better to note in the purpose of the payment whether this payment is a full repayment of the debt or a partial one and, if so, what the full amount of the debt is.
  • Rent/Utilities: If you're sharing household expenses with roommates or family members, it's a good practice to specify the payment as rent or utilities. It simplifies record-keeping and avoids confusion.
  • Food/Entertainment: When you're splitting a bill at a restaurant or paying for shared entertainment expenses, mentioning this in the payment description makes it easier to track expenses and maintain transparency. This is also important if you pay a restaurant bill at a business meeting and this payment will be reflected in your tax returns as an individual entrepreneur or in the company's financial statements.
  • Payments on behalf of third parties: This refers to cases in which a third party makes payments on behalf of another individual or legal entity. It is also important to point out this payment purpose, taking into account that many professionals, due to their type of business or people who do favors for a friend or relative, pay on behalf of someone else and this has tax effects for the person who de facto pays, even if it is not his money or receives profits from that operation.

Is it necessary to attach invoices, contracts, etc?

While not all personal transactions require attaching invoices and contracts, specifying the purpose of payment is a simple and effective way to maintain financial transparency and accountability. By doing so, you'll not only avoid potential tax-related issues but also ensure smooth financial relations within your personal network. It may take a few extra seconds, but it's a practice that can save you from headaches and questions down the road, especially when it's time to submit tax returns.

The advantages of our Blackcatcard platforms

Indicating the purpose of a transfer is very simple when using the Blackcatcard website or app. During the process of initiating a transfer, you'll typically find a designated field where you can enter the purpose or description of the payment. This feature allows you to clearly communicate the nature of the transaction with just a few extra seconds of effort. It's a straightforward and user-friendly way to ensure that your financial transactions are well-documented and easily understood by both you and the recipient.


Why is it important to specify the purpose of payment when transferring funds through Blackcatcard, even to family and friends?

Specifying the purpose of payment is essential for clarity, accountability, and potential tax compliance

Do I need to attach invoices and contracts when indicating the purpose of payment on Blackcatcard?

In most cases, attaching invoices and contracts is not necessary for personal transactions. Simply specifying the purpose in the payment description is enough. However, for more complex or formal financial arrangements, attaching supporting documents can be beneficial for documentation and record-keeping.

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