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E-commerce fiscalization. What is it and how to avoid penalties?

Fiskalizaja e-commerce. Czym jest i jak uniknąć kar?

E-commerce tricks. How do e-stores attract customers?

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E-commerce tricks. How do e-stores attract customers?

Under the law, almost every entrepreneur[1] who sells services or goods must have a cash register. It is no different in the case of online stores.

A study conducted by the Gemius research institute, Polish Internet Research and IAB Polska in 2023[2] shows that as many as 79 percent Internet users, i.e. almost 24 million Poles, have made online purchases at least once. Customers perceive buying online as more convenient and uncomplicated. As an additional advantage, they offer a greater selection than in stationary stores. It is estimated that by 2026, e-commerce will account for approximately 20 percent[3] retail sales in Poland. As a result, more entities will have to face the fiscalization process.

What is fiscalization?

Fiscalization involves switching the internal memory of the fiscal device to a permanent record of completed transactions. It is carried out to adapt the cash register or terminal to generate documents important from the perspective of the Tax Office.

A receipt issued before fiscalization has no value from the point of view of tax regulations and is not admitted for trading. Only the fiscal receipt receives full legal force and can be given to the consumer as proof of purchase.

– The regulations regulate the obligation to use cash registers and, consequently, their fiscalization. This is, in a sense, activation of the device. Although we associate a traditional cash register with a stationary store, many owners of online sales platforms are also obliged to have one. It is necessary, for example, when a customer can pay cash for personal collection of goods. Unfortunately, fiscalization in e-commerce still causes headaches for entrepreneurs and generates a lot of problems. Our market experience shows that companies do not do it correctly, which may bring unpleasant consequences in the future, including financial penalties – says Michał Sosnowski, Business Development Director at Exorigo-Upos.

The problem of fiscalization and receipts in e-commerce

Issuing receipts and sending them are among the most frequently repeated duties in every online store. Due to the fact that online business operates 24 hours a day, transaction records should be kept virtually non-stop. The document confirming payment is to be provided to the buyer upon receipt of payment for the goods or services. This is also the case with settlements by prepayment or cash, in which case the receipt is sent along with the goods.

When paying by transfer, the receipt must be issued immediately after the funds are transferred to the bank account. This cannot be later than the end of the month in which the payment was received.

According to the Gemius report, the option to pay on delivery is particularly important. Over 35 percent decide to take such a step. online buyers. If the customer chooses this payment option, the obligation to issue a receipt occurs upon delivery of the goods. Therefore, sending the receipt in the same package is not possible and it must be sent, e.g., by a separate letter. This is a certain inconvenience, which is why it is common practice to issue a VAT invoice after making a purchase, but before paying the fee. Thanks to this, the seller will not have to send a fiscal receipt, but will only archive it in his or her own documentation.

In the case of omnichannel sales channels, there is also a problem when purchasing goods online and collecting them in person in the store. The same rules as described above apply here. The seller is therefore obliged to have a registered cash register and should issue a receipt to the buyer on site. If the order has been paid for before receiving the shipment, the fiscal document can be attached to the package earlier and issued together with the goods. Failure to fulfill these obligations is treated as a fiscal offense and may result in a fine or even restriction or imprisonment.

What is worth paying attention to?

To ensure that the process is performed correctly, you can use ready-made technological solutions. They allow entrepreneurs to improve and automate fiscalization. Automation brings a number of advantages to the company, the most important of which is the rapid scaling of the store and its sales.

– Companies must ensure appropriate procedures and systems to be able to implement fiscalization effectively and efficiently, without delaying the delivery of the order. Despite many potential challenges, it is worth ensuring that this process runs effectively and reliably. There are many technological solutions that can streamline the entire procedure. Automating receipt generation using POS systems can significantly increase efficiency and eliminate human errors. Also, e-commerce integration with fiscal devices and payment platforms significantly accelerates the fiscalization process, ensuring accuracy and compliance with applicable regulations – comments Szymon Bania, Product Owner at Exorigo-Upos.

Although fiscalization in e-commerce may be a challenge, it is important to take care of this process. First of all, because it is an obligation imposed on companies by the legislator. Moreover, ensuring effective and trouble-free fiscalization protects the company's interests and contributes to building a positive image and long-term relationships with customers.

The most important task currently facing e-commerce entrepreneurs is to ensure consistency of conduct. They must develop a practice that will allow them to issue receipts at the appropriate moment in the process without being exposed to financial penalties.

[1] Regulation of the Minister of Finance of December 22, 2021 on exemptions from the obligation to keep sales records using cash registers (sejm.gov.pl)
[2]79% of Internet users buy online. The "E-commerce in Poland 2023" report is now available – – Gemius – Knowledge that supports business decisions
[3] Poland – eCommerce (trade.gov)

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