Fiscalization - What Does It Actually Mean?

2 min read
March 23, 2022 at 1:48 PM

Fiscalization is used to record all transactions of a cash register without any gaps, to protect the data against manipulation and to archive them. This is a set of laws and regulations whose implementation is monitored by the tax authorities in order to obtain a complete accounting of the sales tax. In some countries in Europe, fiscalization of cash registers is mandatory. Germany was one of the last countries to introduce fiscalization of cash register systems. Since January 01, 2020, the Cash Register Security Ordinance prescribes new standards. This also includes a TSS for new devices.

How Will Fiscalization Be Implemented?

The central aspect of fiscalization is the protection of the cash register's transaction logs against manipulation. A principle similar to that of the blockchain is used for this purpose. Cash register receipts are chained together. Each cash register transaction is identified by a signature. Due to the chaining, each receipt contains its own signature as well as that of the previous receipt. Manipulation causes an interruption of the signature chain. This means that it can be immediately identified by an audit by the tax office.

Technical Safety Device (TSS)

Electronic cash register systems must be equipped with a technical security device (TSS) certified by the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI). The TSS consists of the following three parts:

  1. A security module that kicks in from the start of input and logs all records so they can't be changed later.
  2. A storage medium that securely stores the data for the duration of the legal storage period. This is currently 10 years.
  3. A security device that includes a unified digital interface for data transfer verification purposes.

The TSS must be continuously connected to the cash register. A failure must be reported immediately to the tax office.

Cash Register Security Ordinance

The ordinance for determining the technical requirements for electronic recording and security systems in business transactions - in short: Cash Security Ordinance - specifies the requirements of Section 146a of the Tax Ordinance from 2016. The following points are addressed:

  • Which electronic recording systems are affected by the AO
  • When and how the logging of digital basic records must take place
  • How the basic records must be stored
  • The requirements for a uniform digital interface, the technical security device and the receipt
  • The costs of certification

TSS: Hardware vs. Cloud Solution

Both a hardware module and a cloud-based TSS solution are permitted. The advantage of a cloud solution is that it records and electronically signs the entries in the POS system regardless of location. Such a TSS allows numerous cash registers or branches to be operated and managed centrally and online. This eliminates the need to convert each individual cash register, but each cash register must be connected to the Internet because it must log on via a special TSS web service. This significantly reduces the effort and cost of implementation.

The TSS as a hardware module is optimal for retailers who do not use Internet-enabled cash registers. Unlike in the cloud, the receipt signature runs independently of the Internet connection. The module can be used as a microSD card and, via an adapter, also as an SD card or USB stick.

What Is The Relationship Between Fiscalization And Self-Checkout Systems?

The Snabble Self-Checkout Cloud is also subject to and complies with the country-specific fiscalization requirement. With a cloud TSS, the connection is extremely simple and compact.

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