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Refunds are entered the same way as Payments (using the same dialog), except that the Amount will default to the negative balance due. This is because the balance due itself should be negative at the time you enter the refund, indicating that a balance is due the customer. If there is not a negative balance due, a Refund cannot be done. Thus the Amount shown in the Enter Refund window will actually be shown as a positive value, equal to the amount to be refunded. (Make sure you enter a positive amount here if you enter it manually.)
Point of Sale (POS) Refunds -- Returns for POS sales are done differently -- see the Returns section in the Point of Sale documentation for details.
First Step -- getting a negative (credit) balance
If you already see a negative balance for the amount you want to refund, e.g. if they paid more than the amount of charges already entered, then you're all set -- go ahead and complete the Refund (see below).
Otherwise, you must first create a credit balance (the amount you owe the customer), which will be negative, at least as large as the refund to be done. Essentially you need to enter "negative" charges to offset the charges for which you want to give a refund (e.g. for days not stayed or merchandise returned).
The easiest way to do this, if you are using version 8.0 or later, is to use the "Reverse Charges" button: Select all Charges, Discounts and Taxes to be refunded (click on the transactions in the grid to highlight, holding the Ctrl key to select multiple lines) . A "Reverse Charges" button will appear at the bottom. Click this button and it will add equivalent transactions to the ones selected but with negative amounts, effectively reversing those charges in one step. Now you should have the negative balance. (You still need to do the Refund function to show the money refunded.)
For prior versions (before 8.0), or if you need to only reverse a partial quantity of a charge instead of the whole amount, then you need to enter a negative charge manually. You can either use the Charge function and enter a negative Quantity, or use Select Rates if you have an appropriate Rate to refund (select the rate and enter the number of days, etc. as a positive amount and Add it as usual, but check the "Invert Amounts" box before clicking Done).
After entering the negative charge transactions, you can add any corrected charges or separate changes needed (e.g. a Cancel fee), and then the reservation balance should be the negative amount you owe the customer.
Completing the Refund
Once you have the appropriate credit balance, click the Refund button to enter the actual Refund transaction showing the money actually returned to the customer. This works just like Payment transactions, but it's subtracted. Select the payment method to be used for the refund (Cash, etc), and enter a positive amount to be refunded (e.g. to refund $10 to the customer, enter "10", not "-10"). This may already be filled in -- but change it If you want to refund less than the current credit balance. Then Save it, or Process it if it's a credit card refund (see below).
Processing Credit Card Refunds
If you are doing credit card processing through Campground Master, then you will usually want to process the refund as a credit to their card as well. By default, when you click the Refund button and the most recent Payment or Deposit transaction has credit card information, then it will automatically populate the credit card information from that payment, so the refund will be processed to that card.
Selecting a specific Payment to refund
In versions after May 2019, the credit card Refund request will also contain the "Transaction ID" of a payment to be refunded, which is required now by most merchants to process refunds. In other words, a refund will be verified against a specific payment previously charged to that credit card -- you can't do "blind" refunds to a credit card. As mentioned above, the most recent Payment (or Deposit) transaction will be used by default. If you need to select a different payment to refund, either due to a different credit card being used or due to the amount of payment (or amount of it not already refunded) not being enough to cover the refund, then you must select a specific payment to refund. To do that:
1. Click on the payment (e.g. on the word "Payment" or "Deposit") in the Type column of the transaction you are trying to refund -- do NOT click on the "Payment" or "Deposit button.
2. You will see the word you clicked on highlighted, usually in blue. If not, then you didn't click in the right place.
3. Click the Refund button to open the Refund dialog, and enter the amount to be refunded from that payment.
If some of the selected payment has been previously refunded, then the amount available to refund from that particular payment will be reduced accordingly. For instance if you had a payment of $100, and later refunded $60 from it, then you can only refund the remaining $40 from it. Any additional amount would need to be refunded from a different payment -- repeat the process as needed, selecting each payment to take some of the refund from.
Note: This requires version "10.0 rev.g" or later, otherwise it will always use the last credit card payment for reference, or possibly not use any reference at all.
"Cannot Exceed Sales Cap" (or similar) processing error
As mentioned above, all Refunds are processed with reference to a specific payment -- which is the most recent payment (the lowest in the transaction list) by default. As a result, if the refund (or combination of refunds done using that Payment) is larger than the amount of that payment, you will get an error similar to "Exceeds sales cap". Therefore you may need to select a payment other than the most recent payment to reference for the refund -- see "Selecting a specific Payment to Refund" above.
It may also be necessary to do the refund in multiple parts not exceeding the amount of each payment, if no single payment is large enough for the needed refund.
Note that if the credit card has expired, then it cannot be used and may not appear as the card being refunded. Likewise, if the customer's credit card from the original payment is no longer active, or if you have changed credit card processing services since the payment was done, then the refund transaction will fail and you will need to refund the customer in some other way.
If you issue refunds by check, then you will probably want to add a new Payment Method called "Refund check" that you use for those, instead of just selecting "Check" as the payment method. This way it will show those separately on the Receipts by Payment Method report, for instance, instead of just subtracting them from the total of Checks received. See Pick Lists for adding the new Payment Method.