Online cash register - can it be turned off when no receipts are issued?

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Taxpayers now have to switch to online checkouts. The above does not apply to all business entities. This is to ensure that budget revenues will be higher and that taxpayers will record all their transactions at the cash desk. In this article, we will explain whether the online cash register should be turned on in the event of occasional recording of sales.

Who needs to record sales on the cash register?

Pursuant to Art. 111 sec. 1 of the VAT Act, taxpayers selling to natural persons who do not conduct business activity and flat-rate farmers are required to keep a record of the sale using cash registers.

The above provision specifies a general rule that the obligation to keep records with the use of a cash register applies to all taxpayers who sell to the recipients specified therein, i.e. natural persons who do not conduct business activity and flat-rate farmers. Thus, one of the basic criteria determining the obligation to apply to the registration of cash registers is the status of the buyer of the benefits provided by the taxpayer.

Online checkout

The legislator introduced significant changes in the field of cash registers to the VAT Act. The new regulations assume, inter alia, the possibility (and for taxpayers running a business in sensitive sectors specified in the act - an obligation) to use a new type of cash registers, the so-called online cash registers for the purpose of keeping sales records for natural persons not conducting business activity and flat-rate farmers.

Example 1.

The taxpayer provides construction services. It carries them out for natural persons who do not conduct business activity. Does he have to install the online cash register in this case?

From July 1, 2021, construction companies are required to register sales to individuals using an online cash register. Thus, in the analyzed case, the taxpayer is obliged to replace the cash register.

The taxpayer has the right to deduct 90% of the net value, but not more than PLN 700, when replacing the cash register with an online cash register.

Importantly, online cash registers are equipped with new functions that allow, in addition to saving in the fiscal memory and the protected cash register, also the continuous, automated and direct transfer of data registered using them from the kept records and data on events important for the operation of cash registers to the ICT system Central Repository of Cash.

Online cash registers connect to the Central Repository of Cash Registers via the telecommunications network in a manner that ensures:

  1. sending data from cash registers to the Central Repository of Cash Registers in a direct, continuous, automated manner or at the request of the Head of the National Revenue Administration, in an electronic form corresponding to the logical structure referred to in the Tax Ordinance;

  2. sending orders from the Central Repository of cash registers to cash registers regarding the operation of cash registers and their receipt by these cash registers:

  • related to the fiscalization of the cash register,

  • including the term:

    • the method and scope of data transfer from this cash register,

    • the way the cash register works,

  • ensuring the correct operation of the cash register.

Importantly, the act defines the requirements and principles of operation that should be met by online cash registers (Article 111 (6a) of the VAT Act). Pursuant to the aforementioned provision, the cash register must ensure the correct recording, storage and safe transfer of data from the cash register to external data carriers and enable the connection and transfer of data between the cash register and the Central Repository of Cash Registers.

What do we do when there is no online checkout connection?

If, for reasons beyond the control of the taxpayer, it is not possible to provide the connection referred to above:

  • temporarily - the taxpayer is obliged to keep sales records and ensure this connection as soon as these reasons cease to exist;

  • permanent - the taxpayer is obliged to keep sales records and, with the consent of the head of the tax office, ensure this connection at intervals agreed with the head of the tax office.

Thus, as it follows from the above-mentioned regulations, the primary duty of the taxpayer is to ensure a connection of the cash register enabling data transfer between the on-line cash register and the Central Repository of Cash registers. The online cash register should provide connection and data transfer between the cash register and the Central Repository of Cash registers during sales that require recording at the cash register, which should also be understood as the taxpayer's readiness to make such a sale.

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Online cash register can be turned off

Many taxpayers have an online cash register, but due to the specific nature of their business, they use it sporadically.

Example 2.

The taxpayer runs a construction company. Keeps records of sales for natural persons who do not conduct business activity on-line cash register with an internet card. Due to the nature of its business - construction services lasting several weeks - it issues one or two receipts a month. Despite the fact that it records only once or twice a month, it includes the cash register every day.

The taxpayer believes that in his case he has the right to turn off the online cash register. He wants to turn it on only when he issues a receipt or a daily or monthly report. It performs its services outside its permanent place of business. Therefore, is the taxpayer right when excluding the online cash register?

The online cash register should provide connection and data transfer between the cash register and the Central Repository of Cash registers during sales that require recording at the cash register, which should also be understood as the taxpayer's readiness to make such a sale.

Thus, as a rule, an online cash register should be connected to the Internet during working hours, i.e. the opening of a service outlet or company, and not only when there is a sale transaction. In the presented circumstances, since the taxpayer's work consists in providing a service at a site where a renovation or other construction service is performed, this is not the case.

In summary, due to the nature of the business, i.e. when the sale will be carried out only after the completion of the construction service, which - as described in the case of the taxpayer - may last several weeks, the online cash register does not have to be turned on all the time.