Compulsory cash register receipts - effects and opportunities
Tax fraud costs the German state several million euros every year. In order to prevent this in the future, regulations were introduced to protect cash register systems with a "technical security device" (TSE) and to maintain the integrity of the data. In addition - as a kind of double protection - the cash register receipt obligation was introduced almost a year ago. Since then, this has applied to most companies and - unsurprisingly - has resulted in considerable additional work for them. But aren't there also opportunities to profit from the regulation?
What is the receipt requirement?
Since January 1, 2020, the so-called "taxation" rule applies in Germany. Receipt obligation. Anyone who keeps an electronic cash register must issue a receipt to the customer for each transaction. All entrepreneurs are affected, regardless of industry or size. Only those who have an open shop cash register are exempt from the obligation to issue receipts. Those who have a large number of unknown customers can be exempted from the obligation, but this is decided on a case-by-case basis and involves a lengthy verification procedure.
Section 6 of the German Cash Register Security Ordinance (KassenSichV) defines the contents that the receipt must contain. This includes the full name and address of the company, as well as the price and the tax amount due on it. The exact date of issue with the beginning and end of the transaction and the description of the goods or services together with the quantity are also mandatory. The serial number of the electronic recording system or security module and a transaction number are also required.
What does this look like in practice?
What is well-intentioned in theory - to put a stop to tax fraud and reduce problems - turns out to be laborious in practice. It was foreseeable that more receipts would have to be printed out than before, but it was initially impossible to estimate how much this would really amount to. The actual figures are considerable: almost two million kilometres of additional receipts were printed in the Federal Republic in the calendar year 2020. A baker from the Rhineland, for example, produced five times as many receipts in the first quarter after the introduction as in the entire year before. Most of them end up in the trash, or even worse: on the street.
Not surprisingly, few people need a receipt for two pretzels worth 98 cents. Customers keep receipts for larger purchases and for products that could result in a warranty claim. However, they already did so before the introduction of the regulation. It was not uncommon for companies and businesses to be forced to make investments: several hundred euros quickly become due for the necessary hardware to create the receipts. However, there is one point that is often overlooked in the discussion about the topic. Namely, the receipt does not necessarily have to be printed out. It can also be created and transmitted in digital form. However, since digitalization in Germany is such a thing and probably more people know the word than actually experience it, there is definitely still room for improvement - a lot, in fact. Thereby there are efficient and cost-effective solutions.
An end to mountains of paper - the digital receipt
The machete with which to cut a swath through the jungle of bureaucracy is the digital receipt. Customers receive the receipt directly at the point of sale on the smartphone - simple and straightforward. It meets the requirements for certified technical security devices and the cost savings through the conversion for companies is 80 %. In addition, the digital solution also offers the possibility of cross-selling and upselling. Modern solutions provide the receipt with a QR code, which either sends the recipient to the online shop, sends him/her a voucher or discount code or leads him/her to helpful content on the website. If you want to go one step further, you can send the receipt directly into the Integrate marketing mix and add offers. However, advertisers should be careful not to overtighten the screw. Less is more and those who expose the already permanently overstimulated customers to even more advertising quickly run the risk of scaring them away. And one essential advantage has not even been mentioned yet: Of course, the digital receipt also leads to more Sustainability and the protection of the environment, as consumes fewer resources become. All those who now secretly think: "I don't want to improve the world, I want to earn money", are advised to think outside the box. A sustainable use of resources and a small(er) ecological footprint can be communicated to the public and has a positive effect on the perception of the target group. More and more people attach importance to sustainability and demand that companies - whether global corporations, SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) or one-person businesses - make their contribution. The positive image subsequently leads to more or more loyal customers and thus to more money.
The receipt requirement was introduced for a good reason, but it also brings with it considerable side effects in the form of extra work. However, as is so often the case, the key here is to make the best of the situation and take advantage of the opportunity that presents itself. This is the only way to ensure that you are up to the competition. CLEVERBON offers technologies that make it easier for companies to deal with complexity. If you would like to learn more about how CLEVERBON can help you increase your productivity, please contact us.