According to the 2018 Finance Act, any professional subject to value added tax (VAT) is obliged to have a cash register software that complies with the conditions of the regulations in force, that is to say, with the conditions of inalienability, security, conservation and archiving of data in the context of a possible control by the public administration.
Government test to see if you are required to have secure cash register software
The following are the reasons why it is necessary to comply with these conditions:
- Inalterability condition: the cash register software employed must guarantee the possibility of recording all data in connection with payments without it encountering any alteration
- Security condition: it must ensure the security of the so-called original data, any possible modifications and supporting documents
- Storage condition: the collection software must be able to record and be able to close out the data over a specified period
- Archiving condition: the software has the obligation to determine an archiving period including the frozen and dated data via a technical tool that ensures the guarantee of data integrity.
To justify the compliance of your cash register software for your business, it is required that a certificate of compliance is issued by an accredited body or by the software publisher.
Thus, are concerned by this regulation, the persons known as subjected to the tax on the added value, as from the moment when they use a software of cash, that they are legal entities or natural persons, in any sector of activity which carry out of the delivery of goods, or that they are service providers bound for the private individuals.
However, some professionals are not affected by this regulation. This is the case for persons who are taxable persons and who carry out all their activities in business to business (B2B), as long as they fall within the compulsory invoicing framework. This does not apply to taxable persons liable for value added tax who benefit from the exemption system, such as micro-entrepreneurs. Nor are taxable persons who benefit from the flat-rate reimbursement scheme for agricultural value added tax. Finally, persons who only carry out transactions that are exempt from value added tax are not subject to this regulation.
Thus, it is not compulsory to have a cash register software, but if you are subject to VAT, you must comply with the conditions laid down by law.
Obligation of compliance or certification?
State coffers lose between €15 and €20 billion a year, due to VAT fraud. In order to prevent the concealment of revenue and practices such as printing receipts without recording purchases, the Government has decided to draft a law obliging VAT taxpayers to use cash register software that complies with the NF525 standard.
This obligation applies to traders and retailers;
This obligation concerns traders and professionals (hairdressers, beauty salons, etc.) subject to value added tax who accept cash payments from non-taxable customers.
In practice, the State does not require certification. In fact, during an audit, a professional subject to VAT must only prove that his software complies with the standard in force. To do this, he can present the certificate issued by an independent and approved body or an individual certificate issued by the publisher of his computer program.
In other words, tax officials do not systematically require software that has been certified by bodies such as Afnor and INFOCERT. However, in the presence of a simple certificate, they can check the compliance of the cash register system with the NF525 standard. In case of anomaly, they can apply sanctions.
The requirements of the NF525 standard
NF525 certification is essentially granted to software that meets certain requirements. First of all, a certified computer programme must ensure the identification and security of collection data.
Secondly, it must be equipped with a transaction traceability tool and a system for archiving all collection data. Finally, it must provide tax administration officials with a data restitution system to facilitate controls.
In the absence of software that does not comply with the nf standard, a VAT taxable person may be required to pay a fine of the order of 7,500 euros. This amount is applied to each cash register system with deficiencies.
In the event of false certification or false attestation, the law provides for particularly heavy penalties: a three-year prison sentence and a €45,000 fine.
Although a certificate can, to a certain extent, prove the compliance of a cash register software with the NF525 standard, it is strongly recommended to opt for a cash register system certified by an approved body. Certification is the only solution that guarantees the absence of anomalies and avoids possible sanctions.
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