BUSINESS COMPANIES ECONOMY LEGAL OUTLOOK

Digitalisation: Connecting electronic cash registers to the tax authority

By Dana GRUIA DUFAUT, Managing Partner, GRUIA DUFAUT Law Office

Starting with July 1, 2020, electronic cash registers shall be connected at NAFA’s servers, which is indeed a first in Romania, a very important turning point in the process of digitization of the administration.

According to the Order no. 2.668/2020 on the approval of the procedure of connection of electronic fiscal cash registers at the national system for fiscal data monitoring and control, published in the Official Gazette no. 527/2020, the deadlines to be observed with respect to the connection of the fiscal electronic cash registers at NAFA’s servers by all categories of taxpayers who use such devices are the following :

Large taxpayers : 3 months as of July 1, 2020, i.e. until September 30, 2020 ;

Medium and small sized taxpayers : until January 31, 2021 ;

The economic operators who purchase fiscal electronic cash registers after February 1, 2021: starting with the date of installation of the cash register.

For the record, according to the GEO no. 28/1999, all economic operators cashing up money further to the sale of goods or services provided directly to people, must use electronic cash registers.

Nonetheless, the legal text provides for some exceptions as well, such as, for example : occasional exchange of agricultural products coming from one’s own production, carried out by individual agricultural producers on markets, fairs, in the fields or in other public places authorised to such end ; for the sale of newspapers and magazines ; for public transport of passengers inside a locality on a ticket / subscription basis, as well as in the underground, activities carried out by liberal professions that does not involve setting up a company, for retail commerce of travellers as well as by correspondence, except for home delivery of goods by stores and food facilities, upon order, service provision of installation, repair and maintenance performed at the client’s domicile, etc.

 

PARTICULAR CASES

 

As for the fiscal electronic cash registers used in geographical areas that are not covered by communication networks, the economic operators owning such devices shall file electronically a declaration on sole responsibility with NAFA (the template thereof is available in the said order) whereby they declare that the device is working on offline mode.

 

The deadline for such filing is either September 30, 2020 or January 31, 2021, depending on the type of taxpayer holding the fiscal electronic cash register.

The economic operators who purchase fiscal tax cash registers after February 1, 2021 shall file such declaration within two working days since the date of installation of the device.

 

EFFECTS OF THE MEASURES ADOPTED BY THE ORDER 2.668/2020

 

According to the data recorded by the Ministry of Public Finances, 550 000 electronic cash registers are expected to be connected at NAFA’s servers until January 2021, which will result, on the one hand, in easing the relationship between the tax authority and the economic operators, and on the other hand, on a more effective tax collection.

Romania still has a long way ahead to follow for the digitization of public services and easing the relationship between the State and the taxpayer requires implementing specific and targeted measures. Espousing the principle « digital by default » may prove to be the only way to get there, which means that public authorities must make all services available online. Such process would also result, on the one hand, in increasing transparency and lowering corruption, and on the other hand, in rendering public service more effective.

Nevertheless, even if the current IT and communication infrastructure in Romania ensures a good coverage, digital culture and skills of the users remain rather poor. Therefore, there is a stringent need for digitalization of the administrative staff as well but also to ensure easier access to public services for small and medium sized taxpayers. Digital skills have become a must for most of the jobs on both public and private sector.

In the context of social distancing remaining a key for public health, during the state of emergency, and then, during the state of alert, in Romania, plentiful of public services adhered to digital communication by agreeing to receive electronically signed documents. Nonetheless, seeing the poor economic resources of small economic operators in Romania, the costs associated to getting a qualified electronic signature remain very high. Accelerating the digitalization process can not be accomplished by the State’s pushing along the digitalization of public services alone, the State also needs to support companies, by for example, under certain conditions, subsidizing the costs for getting a qualified electronic signature by small taxpayers.

Finally, in order to catch up with the other European countries in terms of digitalization, Romania must focus all efforts towards addressing the needs of the final users: the citizen and the company. Therefore, one of the important factors that shall make a tremendous difference when it comes to tacking bureaucracy and rendering public service more effective is to apply the « one time » principle. This means that all data regarding an individual or a company can be collected by only one authority, and to make sure that this will be the case, the State should not even hesitate to enact the ban on the authorities’ creating different data bases for gathering the same data on a taxpayer.

 

GRUIA DUFAUT LAW OFFICE

Attorneys at law (Paris & Bucharest)

www.gruiadufaut.com

 

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