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Cash register legislation becomes effective 1 January 2010

As of 1 January 2010, anyone that sells goods and services in return for cash payments or payments vith credit cards must have a certified cash register. This rule is the result of a legislation that was enacted by the Swedish Parliament (2007:592).The purpose of this legislation is to protect serious business owners that conduct cash transactions against unfair competition.

Who are the subjects of this law?

This law applies to companies that sell goods and services in return for cash payments. Cash payments also include payment by debit (bank) card. Note that this law applies even if you only provide services as part of your business. The law also applies to dentists in private practice, foot care therapists, massage therapists and others.

Exceptions

The following types of businesses are automatically exempt from the requirement of having a certified cash register. As such, they do not need to apply for an exemption:

  • businesses that have an insignificant scope
  • businesses that, as per the Income Tax Act, are exempt from tax liability for the income derived from the sale of goods are services
  • taxis
  • long-distance and door-to-door sales
  • vending machines and similar items
  • automatic games as per the Lotteries Act
  • town square and market trading. Please note that from January 1, 2014 town squares and market trading will no longer be exempt from the requirement of having a certified cash register. Exemption does not apply to those who have a license for serving alcohol to the public
  • unmanned businesses as per the Swedish Tax Agency regulations SKVFS 2009:20.

Insignificant scope

Insignificant scope refers to business activity where the cash sales are less than four times the price base amount (for 2010, one price base amount is equal to SEK 42,400). Such companies are automatically exempt from the legal requirement and they do not need to apply for exemption.

Financial year that is other than 12 months

If a company's financial year is shorter or longer than twelve months, the standard value of four times the price base amount is recalculated to the yearly basis.

Business is conducted only during a portion of the year

For sales companies, cash sales are recalculated to the yearly basis when sales are only conducted during a limited portion of the year (seasonal sales). However, any such recalculation may not be made if sales occur during at most 30 days during a calendar year. However, there is a proposal (Fi 2013/2050) that this rule should be changed and that any adjustment for annual sales should not be done. The amendment will apply retrospectively.

Temporary sales

Sales of insignificant scope also includes cash sales in a company that only occur on an exceptional basis and where the scope of such sales is small compared to the company's total sales. As a rule, cash sales that occur for more than twelve days per year or that exceed two percent of the company's total sales are not to be considered as insignificant in scope.

The Swedish Tax Agency has developed general guidelines¹ on what is considered to be sales of insignificant scope according to the law on cash registers. The notification contains information concerning insignificant scope. On 12 January 2009, the Swedish Tax Agency decided on the general guidelines and the notification.

Exemptions in individual cases

Your company may apply for an exemption if it is able to, in some other manner than through ownership of a certified cash register, satisfy the Tax Agency's needs in terms of reliable documentation that can be used when performing tax examinations. This applies primarily to large companies that have good internal controls.

The Swedish Tax Agency has developed general guidelines¹ on exemptions in individual cases. The notification contains information about exemptions in individual cases, etc. The Tax agency decided on the general guidelines and notification on 12 January 2009.

Statutory requirements for cash registers and control units

Cash registers

This law requires that cash registers must be certified. Cash registers that have a manufacturer declaration and are connected to a certified control unit fullfils these statutory requirements. Information about the first manufacturer-declared cash registers is published on the Swedish Cash register webpage.

Certified control unit

A certified control unit must be connected to a cash register. The control unit must read registrations made by the cash register. An independent company appointed by SWEDAC carries out certification. Information about the first certified control unit is published on the Swedish Cash register webpage.

Manufacturer-declared cash registers and certified control units

Information about the first certified control unit and manufacturer-declared cash registers are published on the Swedish Cash register webpage.

The Swedish Tax Agency's main encryption key  

Signing and encryption are used to securely store the information from the cash register in the control unit. The control system with a certified control unit is based on the manufacturer for each control unit model obtaining a main encryption key from the Swedish Tax Agency. The manufacturer then uses the main key to create unique encryption keys that are placed in the control unit during the manufacturing process. In order to obtain main encryption keys, manufacturers must submit an application to the Swedish Tax Agency.

Regulations

On 12 January 2009 the Tax Agency decided on the following regulations:

  • regulations on the requirements for cash registers, SKVFS 2009:1
  • regulations on the usage of cash registers, SKVFS 2009:3 and
  • regulations on the control unit for cash registers, SKVFS 2009:2.

Sweden has already submitted these regulations to the European Commission in accordance with the rules regarding the reporting duty for technical regulations.

The European Commission has stated in a comment that the Commission will review the practical application of the rules, which may not interfere with the free mobility of cash registers. The Commission also emphasizes that parties from other member states must be able to market control units that meet the requirements of the Swedish Tax Agency's proposed regulations.

Additional regulations on requirements for certified control units

On 17 November, the Swedish Tax Agency reached a decision to send out an exposure draft regarding proposed additional regulations on the requirements for the control units for cash registers.  At the same time, the Swedish Tax Agency submitted the proposed additional regulations to the European Commission, in accordance with the rules regarding the reporting duty for technical regulations. In conjunction with this, there is a mandatory standstill period of three months, during which time the Swedish Tax Agency is prohibited from making any decisions on the regulations.

Regulation for cash registers and control units for cash registers

Legislation on cash registers provides the basis for implementing a technical system that would make it possible to put controls in place regarding the taxable revenues of companies. This would make it more difficult for irresponsible companies to withhold revenues. In addition, it would significantly improve the Swedish Tax Agency's control function. In order to achieve these goals, the cash register must register the information that is required for being able to check revenues. In addition, it is important that this information is stored and that the Swedish Tax Agency has access to it. It should not be possible to manipulate or make any changes to the system without discovering that such has happened upon inspection.

Regulations on requirements for cash registers

SKVFS 2009:1

In the requirements regarding how cash registers should be designed, there are definitions on what is considered to be a "cash register," most often a cash register, along with the type of information generated by cash registers. In the regulations, there are also general requirements on the types of software that must be installed on cash registers. No software may be installed on the cash register other than the particular software that is specified for it. The cash register's functions must be stated in its documentation. No other functions should exist beyond those that are stated in the documentation. The regulations state that cash registers must be connected to a certified control unit.

Regulations on certified control units

SKVFS 2009:2

The regulations on certified control units for cash registers include specific functional requirements for control units. Control units must be able to read registrations that are made in the cash register and create a unique control code. By reading the control code, the Swedish Tax Agency will be able to check whether cash transactions have been registered correctly.

The Swedish Tax Agency has made changes to the regulations on control units. The English version of regulations is not updated with the changes.

  • The changes are described in this document

Proposed additional regulations on the requirements for certified control units

The proposed additional regulations do not recommend any changes to the functional requirements that already exist in the regulations for control units. The proposal contains clarifications and specifications that are aimed at facilitating the certification of control units.

Regulations on usage

SKVFS 2009:3

These regulations include requirements directed at the users of cash registers. For example, this includes requirements on the type of information that must be contained on cash receipts and in reports.

The Swedish Tax Agency's supervision of cash registers

The Swedish Tax Agency will make inspections, without advance notice. Business owners must provide any information that is requested. When making inspections, the Swedish Tax Agency will check that it is only the business owner who is in possession of the cash register and that the cash register complies with the stated requirements.

The Swedish Tax Agency's inspection routines

The Swedish Tax Agency may also implement special inspection measures. This includes the following:

  • unannounced visits to business locations in order to count customers
  • inspection of purchases
  • inspection of receipts and
  • taking cash inventory.

Business owners must be able to provide a control strip, a log memory or a so-called "x-receipt" so that it is possible to determine how sales have been registered in the cash register.

What happens if you do not comply with the law?

The Swedish Tax Agency may charge an inspection fee of SEK 10,000 to a company in the following instances:

  • a cash register does not exist
  • the cash register does not meet the stated requirements
  • notification of the cash register was not submitted on time
  • the cash register has not been subjected to regular technical controls
  • information has not been saved in the cash register
  • amounts are not entered into the cash register
  • customers are not given a receipt.

The fee is SEK 20,000 for any new violations that occur within one year. 

Notification to the Swedish Tax Agency

Before the business activity starts, business owners are required to submit a notification to the Swedish Tax Agency that the cash register complies with the stated requirements. If there are any changes to the initial notification during the course of the business activity – e.g. if additional cash registers are acquired or the ownership of the business changes – the notification needs to be adjusted within two weeks.

It is possible to submit such notification to the Swedish Tax Agency via an e-service. The Swedish Tax Agency will then prepare registration plates that must be affixed to the cash register and control unit. It is necessary to notify the Swedish Tax Agency whenever changes are made, such as purchasing a new cash register, scraping an old cash register or selling a cash register.

Would you like more information?

If you have any questions regarding cash registers, you can find answers (in Swedish) to the most frequently asked questions in our summary on cash registers.

If you have additional questions about cash registers, feel free to call Tax Information at the following telephone number: 0771-567 567,  (from abroad +46 8 564 851 60)

You may also submit questions to the Tax Agency via

kassaregister@skatteverket.se


¹General guidelines contain general recommendations on how to apply a statute that stipulates how one may or should act in a certain situation. General guidelines serve only as guidance.

Cash register legislation becomes effective 1 January 2010
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