Currently, the NF525 standard is the subject of much debate. This is a certification dedicated to cash management software. It has been mandatory since the implementation of article 88 of the 2015 finance law. But who is this obligation aimed at? What are the steps required for certification and the penalties for non-compliance? Here are some points to know about this standard as well as the provisions of the Finance Act.
What does the 2015 finance law say?
Article 88 of the finance law 2015 stipulates that any professional subject to VAT, using a cash register and carrying out transactions with non-taxable customers, must be equipped with NF525 certified software.
The objective of the measure
In other words, it must prevent the concealment of data essential for the VAT declaration and ensure the electronic tracking of all cash receipts. The NF standard ensures that all information concerning cash receipts is recorded. It also rectifies the lack of reliability of older cash management software.
Professionals not concerned
The obligation to have collection software meeting the requirements of the NF525 standard is not applicable to companies that carry out transactions subject to invoicing between professionals.
Companies not subject to VAT are also not required to comply with the new provisions of the 2015 Finance Act, as are professionals benefiting from the basic VAT exemption.
This exemption makes it possible to be freed from the obligation to declare and pay value added tax. It is reserved for companies generating an annual turnover not exceeding thresholds set by law: €82,800 for traders and €33,200 for service providers.
Specifics of software that meets the NF525 standard
To comply with the NF525 standard, a software package must prevent the modification of cash receipts and offer a certificate system. The latter links different receipts and allows for quick detection of possible deletions.
Regarding retention, the programme must be able to keep data related to management documents and receipts for a minimum of six months.
For daily, monthly and annual cash closures, it must systematically archive.
How to prove the compliance of its cash register
To prove compliance with the provisions of the 2015 Finance Act, a trader must have the attestation issued by an approved certifying body.
He may also present a certificate provided by a third party company, such as an IT integrator, or issue his own certification. Self-certification is permitted provided that the company carries out activities involving the development of IT solutions, including cash register software. Discover how to know if a software is NF525 certified.
The sanctions provided for by the law
Article 88 provides for sanctions related to the NF525 standard including a fine of 7,500 euros in case of non-compliance. This fine is applicable per software not complying with the NF525 standard. Thus, a trader with two cash registers not equipped with certified software may be required to pay 15,000 euros.
After an initial sanction, a regulated professional has 60 days to comply with the law. If they fail to do so, they may be fined a second time.
An immediate application of the article of the finance law
The implementation of the article on the certification of cash registers has been set at 1 January 2018 and any trader should comply with the regulations, from that date.
According to INFOCERT, a declaration justifying the implementation of a certification process is not admissible. During an inspection, a shopkeeper, hairdresser or beautician must therefore have a certified software per cash register, to avoid sanctions.
By presenting a false certificate, a business owner is liable to 3 years’ imprisonment and a fine of €45,000. These penalties can also be applied to the software publisher.
About the control
In order to carry out controls, an administrative agent must have at least a controller grade. He can check the compliance of a company’s cash register software, unannounced. However, his interventions must be carried out during the working hours of the regulated professional.
At the beginning of the control, the agent gives a notice of intervention. Once the checks have been completed, he will draw up a report including, among other things, the references of the software and cash register systems as well as any irregularities.
In the event that he observes a non-conformity, he applies the fine provided for in Article 88 of the Finance Act. In addition, it should be noted that within 30 days of the issuance of the penalty notice, an audited person may make observations or submit a valid certificate of compliance. If the person provides the supporting documents requested by the administration within this period, the fine may be cancelled. It is impossible to be in the process of NF525 certification.
It should also be noted that the control procedure followed by the administration’s agents is described in Art. L. 80 O of law n°2015-1785 of 29 December 2015.
Where to find certified software?
NF525 certified software is available on the web. However, the choice of a computer programme must be made by taking into account various criteria: the size of the company, the professional activities, etc. Before buying any software, it is therefore preferable to seek the advice of an expert in the field. In general, it is best to rely on the expertise of a company specialising in computer software development.
For hair salons, beauty salons and spas, Merlin, Merlin Air and eMerlin are among the most reliable and suitable certified programmes. In addition to meeting the requirements of the NF525 standard, these programs Merlin certified NF525 offer an easy-to-use interface and various management tools: inventory management, employee scheduling, etc.
Whether it is for an existing company or a new structure subject to VAT, it is more than necessary to equip oneself with a certified program as soon as possible. Nevertheless, it would be disadvantageous for a professional to acquire a product that meets the standards in force but is unsuited to his professional activities.
The NF525 standard for cash register software applies only in France. Bercy has renounced the implementation of this standard for self-employed entrepreneurs. Casio is one of the most widespread brands for cash registers.
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