The receipt - rubbish or helpful against tax fraud?

What was introduced at the beginning of 2020 with the aim of preventing tax fraud has since manifested itself primarily as a cascade of additional expenses and a flood of wasted resources: the receipt obligation. Some consider the obligation to issue receipts necessary in order to limit tax fraud, others are critical of it and say the regulation entails an immense waste of resources, as the receipts end up in the garbage.

07/27/2021, Cleverbon

Wie viele Kassenbons landen im Müll

Since 01 January 2020, the Receipt obligation in Germany is causing quite a stir. It states that a receipt must be issued for every transaction that is completed using an electronic cash register. This applies to all companies, regardless of industry or size. Even if you only buy a pretzel at the bakery around the corner or a piece of chewing gum at the petrol station, you have to hand over a receipt. Only sales outlets that use an open cash register are exempt from the receipt requirement. If you look at the consumer behaviour of the German population, on average 2-4 receipts are handed out per person and day. On the one hand, the rule makes tax fraud more difficult; on the other hand, opponents of the rule point to the massive and avoidable environmental pollution. 

Contrary to environmental and climate protection

In fact, based on observations and statements from retail employees, it can be assumed that more than 90 % of the receipts end up directly in the trash. The average lifetime is less than one minute. This results in huge mountains of waste with approximately five billion receipts per year. In weight, that makes about 10 tons worldwide. The production of thermal paper is also resource-intensive: 58 million litres of water and 150 million trees are needed for it every year. Whether this is an appropriate solution in times when the sparrows are chirping topics such as sustainability or climate protection from all rooftops of the global village is more than questionable. In a country like Germany, which is notorious for its bureaucracy, this situation has long since ceased to be an uproar, but is just another entry in the long list of questionable decisions and water in the mills of those who accuse the German government of too much inaction in the fight against climate change. Cutting down trees to make paper on which to print cash register receipts that end up in the trash: A careful use of resources goes differently. What many who take the receipts also do not know: Not all paper is the same. Coated paper, such as till receipts or bus tickets, should be disposed of in the residual waste. In practice, however, people often dispose of them in the blue bin or in waste paper. But this doesn't have to be the case, because digitalization, which is slowly taking off in Germany, offers an intelligent way out.

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Alternative: the digital receipt

The legislator only prescribes the issuing of a receipt per se in the cash register law, but not the medium. Thus, digital receipts offer a practical and sustainable alternative to the classic paper receipt, because it reduces the waste of raw materials. Another advantage: selected providers offer the option of having the digital receipts individually designed, for example with discount codes or cashback functions. In this way, the paper-based receipt for the garbage becomes a digital, cost-effective marketing channel without negative effects on the environment or having to dispose of vast amounts of paper in the residual waste. 

CLEVERBON offers you the opportunity to take the wind out of the sails of complexity and save resources. At the same time, you benefit from a new and innovative way to interact with your target group and promote your own products. If you want to learn more about how CLEVERBON can help you, contact us ...preferably today.

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