Is there a cash register requirement in Germany?

Is there a cash register requirement in Germany?

Long story short - no!

In Germany, there is no cash register requirement, not even for the gastronomy. The so-called open cash register remains allowed.

The introduction of the receipt requirement and the "Technical Safety Device - TSE" for electronic records - that is, cash register systems - repeatedly causes confusion in this regard.

Certain rules apply to the use of an open cash register. Although the retrofitting or new purchase of tamper-proof cash registers is intended to prevent fraud, cash can still easily be smuggled past the tax office. The tax office is aware of this fact and therefore checks cash registers more frequently, regardless of the model used. For this reason, examiners check cash registers and records without notice.

Even though there is no cash register requirement for open cash registers in Germany, it is still necessary to keep the cash register properly.

Therefore, all tax-relevant business transactions must be recorded according to the following scheme:

  • Identity of the seller, including name, company, and address, as well as the buyer
  • Description of the product sold or type of service
  • Payment amounts with the associated tax rates (e.g. 7% or 19%)
  • Tax amount in euros
  • Total amount of the transaction.

Companies that use a cash register must comply with higher requirements than companies that do not use a cash register.

In Germany, there is no legal obligation to use a cash register. However, there are certain requirements for maintaining cash registers, especially when electronic cash register systems are used. In this case, companies must equip their cash registers with a certified Technical Safety Equipment (TSE) and a digital interface to prevent manipulation. This is commonly referred to as an "electronic cash register requirement," although there is no legal requirement for it in Germany.

In exceptional cases, an exemption from the individual recording requirement may be granted, for example, for weekly market vendors who only bill in cash and sell goods or services to a large number of unknown persons. In this case, an open cash register can be used. However, it must be documented and numbered daily in a manual cash register report. Companies must also keep all data for cash register management and programming, cash books, receipts and the procedural documentation for ten years in a way that is suitable for audits.

The mandatory anti-tampering protection also includes a receipt issuance requirement and a mandatory registration and deregistration of electronic cash register systems and scales with cash register functions.