Till data must be saved digitally.
Digital detail data from a till must be saved so that the Tax Authorities can carry out efficient inspections. The Dutch Supreme Court stated this in a recent ruling. This seemingly simple ruling could have great consequences for retailers, market traders, filling station owners, hospitality businesses and other entrepreneurs who work with a till. An important detail here is that the entrepreneur is held responsible by the Dutch Supreme Court for saving the digital detail data properly, even if his till system has insufficient memory capacity. What does this ruling mean exactly and what are the consequences?
What is the law in this respect?
The core of an entrepreneur’s administration duty is regulated in AWR (General Tax Act) art. 52. The act says that an entrepreneur must keep records in a way that suits the nature and size of the enterprise. The entrepreneur is also responsible for keeping the data and submitting it within a reasonable time to the Tax Authorities for inspection.
What does the ruling by the Dutch Supreme Court entail?
The requirements of an administration have changed due to technological developments, such as till operation from mobile telephones and data in the cloud. The detail data in some tills is overwritten every week in order to save memory. However, the Dutch Supreme Court confirms in their pronouncement that detail data is required for an efficient inspection. Inspection of a company must be possible within a reasonable time; that is the reasoning. Checking the till roll copies to find out the amount of turnover would take too long. And information about orders, sales and payments is required in order to be able to determine the connection between purchasing and sales at item level. Hence the ruling that detail data from a till must be saved.
The argument made by the entrepreneur that the till has insufficient capacity to save this data for the retention period is not accepted as an excuse by the court.
What are the consequences of the ruling?
The Tax Authorities could reject the administration if there is a difference of opinion about the turnover during an inspection and the entrepreneur cannot provide the till data digitally. The burden of proof will consequentially be reversed and weighted. Therefore the Tax Authorities and accountants advise entrepreneurs with counter payment traffic to purchase a modern till. A modern till supports the business process and saves the registered data, digitally and in detail.
What is a modern, recommended till?
Software developers, suppliers and accountants have, together with the Tax Authorities, developed a standard for tills: the Keurmerk Betrouwbaar Afrekensysteem (Dutch Reliable Accounting System Hallmark). A hallmark till provides a complete, clear and transparent report of the registered turnover and conforms with the legal duty of retention. It also gives insight into the turnover and facilitates checking the personnel. These securities are an important contribution to reliable operational management.
Additional information about the duty of retention can be found in:
• the ruling by the Dutch Supreme Court of 25 June 2015 (ECLI:NL:HR:2015:1740)
• The brochure ‘The till system in your company’
More information about the Keurmerk Betrouwbaar Afrekensysteem (Reliable Accounting System Hallmark) can be found on www.keurmerkafrekensystemen.nl. For information about the various types of till systems on the market, you may consult the site www.checkout.nl.