The Ministry of Finance attaches great importance to the projects that are part of “Greece 2.0” and concern the modernization of the tax audit system with the ultimate goal of reducing tax evasion.
According to ministry officials, the completion of the projects will have significantly reduced the loss of revenue for the State and thus will have freed up resources for other activities, such as social benefits.
Perhaps the most emblematic project that is included in the Cohesion Fund, is the interconnection of cash registers with POS that will transfer in real time to the electronic systems of AADE the data for the receipts that “cut” the stores.
To date this is not possible and the customer in a business can pay through his credit card an amount and the entrepreneur can issue a receipt less in amount, or even not issue a document.
In order to establish the violation and to impose the legal sanctions on the offender, the cash and POS data must be crossed, which is very time consuming and as it is understood can not be done for all companies.
This project complements a series of previous interventions, such as myDATA, the interconnection of approximately 500,000 cash registers with the electronic systems of AADE.
The whole package of tax evasion reduction projects will be supplemented by the expansion with 50,000 POS in all sectors of economic activity.
It should be noted that the specific project of interconnecting cash registers with POS was recently included in the Recovery Fund, with the decision signed by Deputy Minister of Finance Theodoros Skylakakis.
According to AADE agents, the completion of the project will bring significant amounts to the public coffers, both from VAT and from income. Based on recent audits, it has been found that many businesses do not issue retail receipts in their credit or debit card transactions.
In other words, while the POS accepts the transaction, the shopkeeper either does not cut a receipt at all or issues a receipt but with a small amount, as a result of which huge amounts are lost to the State.
The project is estimated to be completed in June 2024. Thus, cash registers and POS will be essentially a complete system that will allow the complete recording of all data in real time and of course there will be the possibility of direct cross-checking by the tax control mechanisms.
This project includes:
1. The definition of the specifications for the interconnection of cash registers with the POS card acceptance terminal for the certification that every POS transaction will be recorded in the cash register and the data generated will be transmitted in real time to AADE. There will also be special specifications for sales outside the business. According to information, the relevant decision is ready and is being signed while it has received the approval of the Commission.
2. The creation of infrastructure and applications for the monitoring of cash transactions and the support of the control mechanism.
According to the decision of the Deputy Minister of Finance Th. Skylakakis for the financing of the project by the Recovery Fund, in the first phase the reform concerns the replacement or updating of all cash registers that can not function as Electronic Cash Registers (OCR) of new generation.
In the second phase, businesses will need to link their online cash registers to myDATA to automatically register their retail transactions in e-books.
In the final phase of the project, next-generation OCR cash registers will need to be interconnected with POS systems to ensure that a receipt is issued when a card payment is accepted.
In Greece, it is estimated that there are about 600,000 cash registers, of which about 288,000 can be connected electronically to the Tax Office, 150,000 have the technological ability to interface with the tax authorities, while there are 161,000 who do not have online capabilities due to the age of the model.
In addition, in many areas of activity of the Greek economy the existence, use and operation of cash registers is not mandatory (gyms, educational services, parking, cultural services, car rentals, etc.).
It is estimated that more than 50,000 cash registers and POS terminals will be installed in these sectors. Also, many catering businesses use tax mechanisms (known as EAFDSS) that have been shown to be easy to break.
In this category of businesses it is not easy to secure revenue even if data transfer is used in a short period of time and therefore the cash registers of these businesses will have to be replaced with reliable cash registers.
The main objectives of the project are the following:
- All businesses should have approved cash registers, which will be connected to the card acceptance terminals (POS) and will be further connected to the AADE electronic system and will transfer real-time information on revenue and payment methods.
- The interface in its full development, will connect and communicate with myDATA e-books and thus will allow the immediate recording of income (retail receipts) and expenses (e-invoices) in business e-books.
- The reform focuses on the need for immediate implementation of the connection of the companies’ cash registers with AADE. This will make it possible to record the transactions and the VAT return, which corresponds to the respective transaction, in real time. It is also proposed the wider application of debit and credit VAT offsetting procedures in all transactions, both with individuals and with public bodies.