Cash check by the tax office

From 2018, the tax office may carry out an unannounced audit of the cash management of all companies with cash transactions at any time.

All companies that handle cash in their daily business operations are affected by the new regulations on the checkout check: retailers and restaurateurs as well as all service providers from hairdressers to nail salons. With immediate effect, the tax office has another tool at its disposal for the spontaneous control of companies of all sizes with the unannounced check of the cash management. The legal basis for the new test option is a “law to protect against manipulation of basic digital records of December 22, 2016”, which is intended to make fraud and other manipulations of electronic cash register systems and other cash registers more difficult.

Electronic cash register systems or open cash register?

In the case of businesses with cash transactions, the tax office makes a fundamental distinction between electronic cash register systems with records in digital form and the so-called open cash register, which is mainly used in small and very small businesses, from hairdressers to nail salons. In the case of electronic cash register systems and digital recording, the auditor will want to view these as part of the cash register review and request transmission of the data in digital form or request this data on a machine-readable data medium such as a USB stick. Open tills are even more problematic because the records required are often incomplete or not timely. If the cash register is open, the auditor can request a check-out as part of the check-out and have the records from the previous days presented to him.

Examination on the business premises and during normal business hours

The unannounced check of the cash management may only take place on the company premises or in the business premises of the entrepreneur and only during normal business hours. The possibilities of objection of those concerned are quite limited, in practice even completely ineffective. If an auditor is denied a spontaneous cash check, he can proceed immediately and without a separate audit order to a regular company or external audit, which then has a rather bad omen and is likely to be unpleasant for the taxpayer. Explicitly regulated and permitted by law are test purchases and observation of cash register processes through hidden controls. This includes observing the tills and handling them in publicly accessible business premises.

What is the best way to prepare for a checkout review?

The cash register review can and will usually take place unannounced, so good preparation is more than advisable. The smoother the checkout is, the faster the check is over and the examiner disappears again. We from the tax team will help you to prepare optimally for such an examination. In the case of electronic cash register systems, documents such as operating instructions and programming documentation for the cash register must be available and ready to hand as part of the review. You should also test the export of the electronic cash register data a few times so that everything works without problems during the check. In the case of open cash registers, your records from the previous day are usually used. We check these records long before the tax office and, with our experience, ensure that there are no objections to your check.

Conclusion on the new cash register review for our clients

If you have become the focus of this new check option by the tax office due to daily cash transactions, you should leave nothing to chance and take advantage of our advice in good time. We run through such a test with you BEFORE the actual test, show you your weak points completely and create a watertight system with you that easily withstands every test. So don’t wait until the worst comes to the worst, don’t risk a spontaneous extended tax audit. With our help, checking the cash register is as easy as checking tickets on a bus or train.