The obligation to receive confirmation was a real thrill a year ago. Since then, companies with an automated cash register system have had to print receipts, even for small amounts. What is the balance?
Frauke Feldmann, SR
“No, thanks!” – Even one year after the introduction of the acceptance requirement, this is the standard answer for many customers to the acceptance question. At the Kleinbauer bread factory in Saarbrücken-Dudweiler, the rejected receipts go directly to the bag next to the cash register. “Only about three percent of customers want a banknote when they buy a roll. So 97 percent of customers do not take the receipt with them, which then ends up in paper waste, ”says master baker Hans Jörg Kleinbauer. At his branch in Dudweiler, there are about three to four bags full of receipts every day. He collects them in the cellar and throws them out twice a year.
Instead of disposable cups, receipts now end up in the trash
Most small businesses, such as bakeries, have now come to terms with the obligation to issue receipts. “It’s just the law, and of course we abide by it.” The bakery business basically means transparency, says Kleinbauer, who is also the state guild master in the Saarland. “But the fact that we remove the disposable cup on the one hand and buy a new mountain of rubbish through receipts on the other hand is really useless in our opinion.” In addition, the required cash roles are another financial burden for many small businesses.
In addition, digital cash register systems already record and store every single purchase. Gradually, certified technical safety equipment, abbreviated TSE, will also be introduced everywhere. It is intended to guarantee the safeguarding of commercial transactions against unauthorized manipulation and can be read directly by the financial supervisory authority. It should originally be mandatory on 1 January 2020. However, the introduction has been postponed again and again: initially because the system was not ready in time and certification was time consuming. Then came the corona pandemic. All cash registers should now be equipped with the new TSE system by 31 March 2021.
The Federal Ministry of Finance satisfied with the implementation
What is the advantage of the obligation to issue receipts? According to the Federal Ministry of Finance, there is no specific information on the extent to which the law could avoid tax evasion. “As tax evasion takes place in secret, no estimates are possible,” the statement said. However, the Ministry is drawing a positive balance from the admission requirement and wants to continue to comply with it. “The obligation to issue documents in the Act on Protection against the Manipulation of Basic Digital Records has created transparency. Transparency is a general preventive effect that is appropriate to prevent tax evasion. “
In addition, the interaction between the two measures, the certified security device at the box office and the obligation to provide receipts, is important and necessary. Because without the obligation to issue receipts, the taxpayer can ask his customer if he wants a receipt at all before entering the amount. If this is not the case, the taxpayer can make a turn around the cash register. This means that no transaction would be initiated that the system could not record. “Without the obligation to issue receipts, the tax authorities would be deprived of the basic means for effective tax enforcement,” the spokeswoman said.
The tax union is talking about appropriate means
The German Tax Union takes a similar view and continues to consider the obligation to issue documents to be an appropriate means. With corona measures and the closure of many small businesses, it is difficult to conclude after the first year, says Julia von Oetinger-Witte, president of the German tax union in the Saarland. However, the introduction was correct. “Only the obligation to confirm guarantees that sales were actually posted to the cashier. Only when revenue is generated and at the same time is it established is it guaranteed that sales have been recorded. “
However, Von Oetinger-Witte warns that tax supervision should not be passed on to the customer. “Tax supervision is still the responsibility of tax authorities, tax officials, the tax auditor, the on-the-spot checkout, so that an entrepreneur who follows taxes and books properly is not stupid.”
Electronic reception instead of a pile of garbage?
As for the mountains of paper, von Oetinger refers on the one hand to ecological paper. It can now be purchased instead of special thermal paper. “But it would be ideal if you switched to electronic income, which is sometimes offered.” This is also supported by the Federal Ministry of Finance, and this applies to new technologies that no longer require paper receipts. Customers have the option of receiving electronic receipt directly on their smartphone by scanning a barcode.
According to master baker Kleinbauer, this type of receipt has not yet been captured by customers. Hardly anyone wants an electronic confirmation. In addition, many bakeries avoided further change for financial reasons due to Corona. He therefore hopes that the request for confirmation can eventually be lifted again. That’s how long there will be tons of paper in stores. Although Corona overshadows everything: Even a year later, the obligation to receive a receipt causes a bit of trouble.