A voucher , also known as a discount coupon , coupon or voucher , is a ticket or an electronic ticket or equivalent (material or digital) document giving entitlement to a discount on a particular purchase.
Traditional purchase vouchers are usually distributed by post , found in magazines or newspapers . They must be cut out and presented to the retailer to get the discount.
For some years now, the custom of offering discounts through vouchers has landed in the digital world. Digital discount vouchers for use on the internet — also called promotional codes, discount codes, coupons, etc. — are alphanumeric strings (for example «ABC321» or «NATALE1») issued by stores that sell their products online ;once typed in the dedicated box in the cart of an online store before a purchase, apply a price reduction; it can be in percentage (- 5%, 10%, 50% etc.) or directly in cash, but not only. In fact, they can also give the opportunity to receive free shipping of goods ordered, or the right to a gift, all always included in the price.
A discount can require a minimum purchase to be used — eg: «10% discount starting from 100 euro purchase …» Usually has an expiration date that can vary from a few hours, up to a few months and can be used both only once, in almost all cases, in an unlimited way.
Internet vouchers have gained popularity in recent times, thanks to the fact that they have much lower costs than those sent by traditional means. With the same principle, mobile telephony vouchers were also born , widespread thanks to recent technologies, which allow users of cellular or satellite phones to connect to the Internet.
More and more companies are using discount codes to promote their products. Thanks to this, several websites were created in internet on which to find the promotional codes of different brands like grocery outlet coupons, as well as frequented forums where to find offers and coupons reported by users. Other sites such as Groupon publish several offers daily purchased directly through their site, others as Coupon5stelle allow you to download the offers with a down payment: the proposals on these pages are familiarly called «deals» (business) and others have directly publish offers and promotions for companies at no cost.
The origins of the marketing of coupons are due to the Coca Cola Company , which thanks to an idea by Griggs Candler distributed numerous coupons for the drink, by mail or in magazines. It was estimated that between 1894 and 1913 only one in nine Americans had received a voucher for a coke, for a total of 8 500 000 free drinks.
Gift certificates (boxes or digital purchased on the web platforms of companies in the sector) require a mandate contract (with a commission charged regularly invoiced to the franchisee) between the company issuing the voucher and the merchant / professional providing the product or delivers the service. Between these and the buyer there will be a normal sales or service or supply contract. In exchange for receipt of the voucher these must issue a regular fiscal document to the buyer the voucher (or the user-when the two figures do not coincide-as in the case of companies or individuals who give the vouchers), obviously with the words «payment occurred through voucher code / number X «) which will then be used to obtain reimbursement from the issuing company (to which the merchant / professional is affiliated), which then proceed to pay the franchisee (except for the retained commission), obviously prior invoice presentation issued by the franchisee to obtain reimbursement (not having received money from the purchaser / user) . It should be noted that between the issuing company the voucher and the buyer there is no commercial but only financial relationship, therefore it issues a document out of VAT field. Clearly, the extras compared to the voucher are paid by the user to the franchisee (who will issue a receipt / invoice or invoice if requested in exchange for cash collected).
What is described above also serves to explain the reasons why it is completely fiscally correct that the voucher purchased is not a VAT document: it is a document of financial legitimacy and not an ordinary receipt / receipt. Likewise, it is correct that the merchant releases the receipt / receipt to the user, without receiving money, which cites the reference of the voucher.