The ANO party which is trying to form a coalition government with the Social Democrats, with tacit support from the Communist Party, is preparing changes to the law on electronic cash registers introduced at the start of 2017 as a means of fighting tax-evasion. The third and fourth phase of the project, due to have come into force this year, had to be postponed after the Constitutional Court voiced reservations to some of the measures involved.
The law on electronic cash registers introduced by the outgoing government
has had a positive impact on state finances, Finance Minister Ivan Pilný
said at a press briefing in Prague on Friday. He said that since the law on
compulsory electronic cash registers was introduced in January, the state
had collected an additional 4.1 billion crowns in taxes, a figure that
could rise to 5 billion by the end of the year.
Over 160,000 entrepreneurs registered with the ministry in the first year and another 300,000 will start delivering electronic records of their earnings in 2018.
The centre-right parties have criticized the move saying it will put many small entrepreneurs out of business. According to the Czech Association of Hotels and Restaurants over 3,000 restaurants closed their doors following its introduction. The chairman of the association Václav Stárek told the ctk news agency that while the number was slightly higher than in previous years it was not a dramatic decline.
Financial Administration officials have carried out over 55,000 checks
since the introduction of electronic cash registers, a measure introduced
by former Finance Minister Andrej Babiš to counter the grey economy and
The authorities have issued nearly 1,700 fines to the tune of 15 million crowns. Eight businesses were forced to close down for failing to follow the rules. The first phase of the four-stage measure was introduced in December 2016.
The law on electronic cash registers which is being introduced in several phases is likely to cause problems at upcoming summer music festivals. Many stall-owners who previous provided refreshments at these events are concerned about reprisals and are seeking ways to avoid having to issue receipts, while others have cancelled attendance. The organizers say they fear long queues and poor service.
The center-right Civic Democratic Party outlined its election program for October's general election and selected election leaders for individual regions at a conference in Prague on Saturday. Party leader Petr Fiala highlighted the party's intention to lower taxes and boost wage growth. The Civic Democrats have vowed to seek an exemption from euro adoption, promised to overturn the smoking ban due to go into effect at the end of May and scrap the law on electronic tax registers. According to the most recent polls the party would get 7.5 percent of the vote.
Farmers’ markets, which have proven to be hugely popular across the Czech Republic could be hit by the recent introduction of the new electronic cash registers system (EET), designed to clamp down on areas of the grey economy and to bring in more tax revenues. According to Czech news site iDnes, some stall owners have decided to yank their wares because of the EET. Farmers’ products will come under the third wave of the system, beginning in March of next year.
Around 138,000 businesses are now using the electronic cash registers system, according to the data released by the country’ tax bureau, the Financial Administration. So far, entrepreneurs have issued around 663 million receipts and the finance ministry officials have so far levied 83 fines to totalling 492,000 crowns. The system, under which businesses’ sales are relayed to an online taxation database in real time, entered its first phase in December 2016 and as of March this year, it also applies to retail and wholesale sellers. The third and fourth phases affecting business in fields such as transport, agriculture and craft production, will be launched in 2018. The measure was introduced by Finance Minister Andrej Babiš to counter the grey economy and tax fraud.
Agriculture Minister Marian Jurečka has said the Christian Democrats will not support planned third and fourth waves of the EET or electronic cash registers system introduced last December to increase tax revenues and clamp down on the grey economy. Speaking on a Sunday TV debate programme, Minister Jurečka said his party was against the next waves and would not support them after the election later this year. Questioned over the matter, he also said he would not serve as minister in any government that did. The third and fourth waves are to affect craftspeople and food producers such as farmers' markets. Fellow guest on the programme former finance minister Miroslav Kalousek charged that if the Christian Democrats, the junior party in government, had voted against the EET in the first place, no such step would be necessary. The electronic cash registers system is the brainchild of current finance minister Andrej Babiš, the head of the ANO party.