Online point-of-sale systems are an effective way to combat economic crime
The renewal, which has been proposed by The Tax Administration, would according to PAM's economic policy expert Katri Jakosuo decrease economic crime.
The grey economy can be prevented by introducing fiscal, or real-time, point-of-sale (POS) systems. Introducing these systems would boost tax revenue, and would also promote fair competition.
Fiscal POS systems are already in use in 22 countries, 15 of which are EU Member States. PAM’s economic policy expert Katri Jakosuo is pleased that an overhaul of POS systems is now on the agenda. The Tax Administration is promoting the matter and its own project report identifies it as being necessary.
PAM has been calling for this reform for a long time.
“Online POS systems would be a big step forward in terms of the success of service sectors. They are an effective deterrent to unregistered sales. If QR code tracking of receipts is put in place in parallel with POS systems, consumers and customers could then also check that their payment transactions have been registered with the Tax Administration”, Jakosuo says.
The Tax Administration’s working group proposed the introduction of new POS systems in its project report in June. Their calculations indicate that the reform could increase tax revenue by up to 120-140 million euros.
“PAM has been recommending the introduction of real-time POS systems for some time. In our opinion the reform should be implemented as comprehensively as possible in all sectors. In service sectors there is no doubt it would be important, especially in the hospitality and the hairdressing and beauty salon sectors, because there cash sales are still common”, Jakosuo says.
Investments in new checkout machines pay themselves back
The reform has been criticised because there are fears that it is expensive. Jakosuo emphasises that introducing new procedures and systems requires an adequate transition period.
“Changes cost money. As well as the hardware, companies also need to invest time. That’s way an adequate transition period is needed so that sole traders and micro enterprises can keep up with the change”, Jakosuo says.
Rolling out new practices in service sectors is in the interest of employers, employees and also consumers and society as a whole. The problems of the grey economy cost society more each year than the monetary resources put into preventing them.
Tax avoidance feeds the grey economy, so it should be curbed. Regulations, making tax avoidance harder and rooting out economic crime make for fairer labour standards, improve the position of employees and create better conditions for entrepreneurs.
The new types of POS systems enable better monitoring of tax avoidance and a different sort of grey economy. As the platform economy spreads it becomes even more urgent because currently some operators in the platform economy do not make all their statutory payments.
“As well as the new POS systems, progress is needed on getting the concept of wage crime written into law. Paying wages below minimum wages must be made illegal. Often tax avoidance and underpay go hand in hand. So that’s why measures to prevent them should be promoted in parallel”, Jakosuo states.