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German shops required to act: Electronic cash registers need retrofitting

Dec 28, 16 • Value Added TaxNo Comments

For companies working with cash registers there will be a major novelty as of 01/01/2017: All electronic cash registers need to be retrofitted or exchanged. In the future, every business transaction required to be registered has to be recorded by the cash register separately, completely, accurately, and in a timely and orderly manner.

The electronic recording system and digital records must be protected by an accredited technical safety device. As a consequence, a simple submission of printed data will no longer be sufficient as of 01/01/2017. The aim is to avoid manipulations in the future.

Cash registers as the basis of the bookkeeping system

Companies should strictly comply with this novelty, as tax audits will pay particular attention to the cash registers. These must compulsorily comply with all requirements. In case of infringements, the auditor can refuse to accept the bookkeeping. In such case, the taxation basis will be estimated. Such estimates include safety margins, which – experience has shown – are mostly to the disadvantage of the company concerned.

Introduction of an obligation to issue receipts

Another novelty is the obligation to issue receipts. Anyone recording business transactions required to be recorded must provide the contractual partner with a receipt immediately after the business transaction concerned. Previously, this was not required under tax law. The tax authorities can, however, grant exemptions from the obligation to issue receipts in case of companies selling goods to a great number of unknown customers if said obligation is deemed to be unreasonable. Bakeries, for example, cannot reasonably be required to issue a receipt for every roll they sell.

If you have any questions regarding the obligation to issue receipts and the correct use of cash registers, please do not hesitate to contact our experienced advisors. We are looking forward to hearing from you.

Continue reading:
Refund of the German Value Added Tax
Tax law and accounting for your company

Johannes Fein

Johannes Fein

Attorney Johannes Fein works in WINHELLER's departments of Tax Law and Tax Advisory and the Law of Nonprofit Organizations. He is a legal and tax counsel for nonprofit organizations, trade- and professional organizations, nonprofit limited liability companies and cooperative associations as well as foundations.

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