• Christian Stender, Partner |

Highlights

  • The implementation deadline for the Cash Register Security Ordinance (KassenSichV), which was extended by most federal states by six months, expired at the end of March.

  • Every cash register system must be equipped with a certified technical security device (TSE) and the digital interface of the tax authorities for cash register systems (DSFinV-K).

  • In the event of violations, the next tax audit or cash register inspection may result in an additional assessment, which can be very costly for the taxpayer.

With the Ordinance on the Technical Requirements for Electronic Recording and Security Systems in Business Transactions (in short: Cash Security Ordinance or KassenSichV), the government pursues the goal of preventing manipulation of sales data.

The core of the ordinance is the mandatory installation of a certified technical security device (TSE) in electronic or computer-aided cash register systems and cash registers. The TSE logs all cash register entries, including the time, so that no changes can subsequently be made to the recorded data. In addition, the KassenSichV obliges companies to equip their cash registers with a uniform digital interface so that they can export the data according to the DSFinV-K description standard. DSFinV-K stands for the digital interface of the tax authorities for cash register systems. Thanks to a standardised data export for cash register systems, tax auditors should be able to conduct a detailed and standardised audit of the cash register data. The tax office uses the IDEA audit software for this.

Chronological order

The regulation came into force on 1 January 2020. However, there were problems with technical implementation, among other things because there were not enough certified TSEs available and the few TSE manufacturers did not keep up with the installation at the customer's premises. Until the end of September 2020, a non-objection rule applied, which involved the condition that timely commissioning of the POS equipment could be demonstrated. This gave businesses some breathing space in what was already a challenging time due to the coronavirus pandemic and the VAT conversion. 

The federal government refused to grant a further extension of the implementation period, but the federal states showed more understanding for the challenges to be overcome. All but one of the federal states extended the deadline until the end of March 2021 by decree, although the conditions differed from state to state. Bremen took its own path, requiring an application for relief under Section 148 AO for an individual extension even after September 2020.

Key changes

With the Regulation amending the KassenSichV in May 2021, the legislator implemented the knowledge gained so far, tightening in particular the minimum requirements for cash register receipts.

Previously, the following minimum information (among other things) had been required in accordance with Section 6 KassenSichV:

  • Full name and address of the trader providing the service
  • Date of issue of the receipt and beginning and end time of the transaction
  • Quantity and type of goods supplied
  • Transaction number
  • Amount charged and tax due on that amount (if applicable, tax exemption notice)
  • Serial number of the electronic recording system or the serial number of the security module

Newly added requirements from 1.1.2024 mean that

  • the serial number of the electronic recording system and
  • the serial number of the security module

and also

  • the test value within the meaning of Section 2 S.2 No. 7 KassenSichV and
  • the sequential signature counter issued by the TSE

must be indicated on the receipt.

In addition to these changes, as of May 2021 (when the ordinance enters into force) a QR code can be used instead of printing the above-mentioned data. This should also make it possible to verify receipts outside the taxpayer's business premises.

As the two serial numbers now must both be indicated, this also affects the logging of digital basic records pursuant to Section 2 S.2 No. 8 KassenSichV.

In addition to the changes to the cash register receipt, the legislator has also expanded the scope of application of the ordinance. To combat susceptibility to fraud, EU taximeters, e.g. in rental cars, and odometers in motor vehicles must also be protected by a TSE from 1 January 2024. However, different transitional provisions may apply here if necessary.  

On the other hand, the scope of application has been limited in that pay stations and parking ticket machines for parking space management as well as charging points for electric and hybrid vehicles are no longer covered by the KassenSichV.

Possible repercussions for omissions

Since 1 April 2021, the requirements of the Cash Security Ordinance have had to be fulfilled nationwide. Neglecting to do so will have consequences at the next audit or cash inspection, if not sooner, and this will often cost the company dearly. For example, doubts may arise about the evidential value of the bookkeeping, and the tax authorities may estimate the basis for taxation. In addition, there is also the threat of delay fines, penalties and criminal tax proceedings against those responsible. If a cash inspection reveals that the requirements of the KassenSichV have not been met, this could lead to an external audit even without the need for a prior audit order.

It is therefore high time to check whether your own equipment complies with the ordinance.

What companies with cash register systems should consider now

As part of internal control, it is worth checking whether the requirements of the KassenSichV have been met: Have all affected cash register systems in the company's own branches and business units in Germany been equipped with a certified technical security device in good time? And have the DSFinV-K requirements been met? If not, this should be done as soon as possible and an application for relief should be submitted to the local tax office as a matter of urgency. 

In order to ensure that data is imported without errors and that it is consistent in terms of content, we recommend a test of the digital data access with IDEA. In this way, any gaps in the data export or in the export interface can be closed in advance. If the DSFinV-K has not yet been set up, we recommend tests with data in the corresponding format during implementation. This allows possible errors or gaps to be rectified directly. If the tests are sufficiently documented and retained for the relevant period, the company will also fulfil important compliance requirements for the internal control system (ICS).

KassenSichV in interaction with GoBD

Anyone who deals with the KassenSichV inevitably also comes into contact with the principles for the proper keeping and storage of books, records and documents in electronic form as well as for data access (GoBD, formerly GDPdU). The accounting processes must be set out in GoBD-compliant procedural documentation. Taxpayers must therefore create procedural documentation for their cash register system. In order to meet the strict requirements, companies should deal with this at an early stage. Because breaches of the GoBD, too, can result in high penalties and fines.

Conclusion

With the Cash Register Security Ordinance, the legislator is taking action against manipulation of the basic digital records of cash registers. If you use digital cash registers or cash registers, you should - if you have not already done so - equip your cash registers with a certified technical security device. In addition, make sure that you have the uniform digital interface required by the tax authorities that supports data export in the standardised format.

Our practical experience shows that it is worthwhile to formally test and document the data export as part of the internal control using the IDEA audit software. This allows you to detect and eliminate possible complications in time. The KassenSichV also always goes hand in hand with the topic of GoBD: make sure that the procedural documentation for your POS system covers the new procedure and the integrated technology. As far as the KassenSichV is concerned, this will make you compliant.

We will be happy to assist you with our practical experience if you have any questions about the KassenSichV and GoBD.