New rules on cash register software are applicable since January 1st 2018 to all VAT taxable persons. First, we need to define a cash register software: It is a computerized system in which a taxable person records deliveries of goods or services that are not billable.
It is therefore a computerized system where the taxable person records transactions with his non-taxable customers.
I – Technical referential
The software defined above must comply with four conditions:
- Inalterability: Prevent user access to modification features,
- Security: The recording of the collections made as well as the possible modifications must remain traced,
- Data retention: these must stay online,
- Archiving: The data must be unalterable.
These conditions are attested by a certificate issued by an accredited body or by an individual certificate issued by the publisher.
The software publisher must issue a certificate or request certification.
II – Persons concerned by this law
This text only concerns VAT registrants carrying out transactions with non-taxable customers and is limited to software with cash register functions to record non-invoiced transactions.
An accounting or management software is concerned with certification if it has a cash function.
Weight / price scales are also concerned when they have a memory function.
Are not concerned by the obligation:
- Sales of goods or services between professionals subject to an invoice,
- Professionals exempt from VAT,
- Professionals benefiting from the basic VAT exemption.
For example, a person doing e-commerce and not subject to VAT is not affected by the certification requirement.
III – Other precisions
The scheme is aimed at all taxable persons in France, so it concerns foreign companies registered for VAT in France not established in the country.
However, as a measure of administrative tolerance, foreign companies registered for VAT not established in France are out of scope of the device.
On the other hand, branches and subsidiaries of foreign companies operating in France are subject to this obligation.
- Terminals used strictly for payment are excluded from the scope of the law. Indeed, the ministerial simplification decision of June 15th 2017 only deals with the exclusion of accounting and management software (without cash functionality) from the system. Electronic payment software or electronic payment terminals are electronic devices able to read the data of a bank card, to record a transaction, and to communicate with a remote authentication server.
Under this definition, strict payment terminals are excluded from the scope of the law.
- The law is not limited to cash receipts. The device targets all software and cash register systems that allow the registration of their customers’ payment transactions regardless of the method of payment.
- The law does not oblige VAT payers who do not currently have cash register software to purchase one. These people can continue to manually record their transactions.
We have tried to summarize the main answers to the most frequently asked questions by companies about the payment software law. In some cases, some things may seem obscure to you. You can contact one of our English speaking chartered-accountants to get our opinion.
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