Online cash register FAQ: what will change for businesses, buyers and city authorities

Online cash register FAQ: what will change for businesses, buyers and city authorities
More than 20 percent of Russia's cash registers are used in Moscow, where over 100,000 retailers operate. From July 1, they will have to adopt a new model. has researched how to do it and who will benefit from the reform.

What will change?   

The cash desks do not have to change much, or can be modified, however, the way they are used will be different. All transactions with the cash register equipment (CRE) will be conducted through the Taxpayer’s Personal Account on the Federal Tax Service website, including online registration of the CRE, adding documents and obtaining inquiries from the tax authorities. The list of online services is to be extended. To access your account, you will need a qualified electronic signature.

Instead of the cash-register tape, a replaceable fiscal storage device will be installed in your equipment, a special device for encrypting and protecting all transaction data which will be sent to the tax authority in real time.

Why do I need an online cash register?

Due to the rapid data transfer through the Internet and its automatic analysis, there is no need for additional checks, so all market players will be in equal conditions.

Businesses will not have to enter into a maintenance contract for their cash registers, which will save money. The innovation will also reduce the time for registration and re-registration of the CRE: they will no longer have to go to the tax office, just log on to their account and follow the proceeds online.

Buyers will also benefit from the change because their rights will be protected by the new technology. They will receive an electronic receipt from the operator and (or) by e-mail. The possibility to quickly check the legality of their receipt using a free mobile app is also a plus; if there are doubts, they can immediately send a complaint to the tax authority. The app is available from AppStore and Google Play.

The reform will enable the city authorities to receive real-time information on the volume of retail trade and Muscovites’ purchasing power, to analyze the structure of trade turnover, monitor prices and understand how economic policy really affects them. The online data transfer will contribute to the growth of declared revenue, which means that it will increase the government coffers. In addition, the authorities will find it easier to track those who evade paying taxes and other costs.

The transition to the new technology is not just a technological change, but a different level of awareness of the state of business in Moscow. These cash registers will complement Internet analytics, information on cellular communications, cadastral and tax accounting and other things. Together they will form a more complete picture of Moscow’s life and help to effectively manage the city. Moscow has been successfully using large- scale data processing technology for a long time.

What equipment should I use?

There is no need to hurry to replace your cash desk: first find out if the model can be modernised. You can inquire with the manufacturer, on the Federal Tax Service website or at your maintenance centre.

If the device can be upgraded, you need to buy a software upgrade kit and remove your cash register from the Federal Tax Service registration. After that, you need to replace the electronic tape with a fiscal drive, update the software, conclude an agreement with the operator of fiscal data, and register your device with the tax authority. This will take some time, so do not delay.

The cash desks that cannot be modernised will have to be replaced.

When do I need to switch over to a new cash register?

The law on transition to a new type of equipment came into force on July 15, 2016, and the tax authorities ceased registering the old type of cash registers on February 1, 2017. All previously registered devices can remain in operation until July 1, 2017, and then businesses will have no other option but to use online cash registers.

The law applies to all companies and individual businesses that make payments in Russia. These are retail stores, cafes, restaurants,  chemist shops, petrol stations, law firms and other businesses that provide public services.

Firms and individual businesses that issue accountable forms will have until July 1, 2018, to start using online cash registers. The new law will not also affect companies trading through vending machines, one-man businesses that use a patent system of taxation, and payers of single tax on imputed income until that date as well.