The Online Cash Register System

At the backdrop of extensive problems with electronic sales suppression and substantial tax loss, the Hungarian Government implemented The Online Cash Register System (OPG) legislation in 2014, starting with retail and hospitality sectors and in 2016 extending it to the service sector.

In total 250 000 cash registers are connected to the Tax Authority’s central data analysis system. The regulations include well defined technical requirements for online cash registers and their data security, mandating device certification, cash register licenses and user IDs. Cash register providers will have to get a license for distribution with approved hardware and software. Only certified cash registers can be connected to the system. The OPG is an advanced system where sales data is transmitted in real-time to the Hungarian revenue authority NAV.

The technological solution required to secure and securely transmit sales data, is a tamper-proof fully integrated fiscal module with a mechanical seal, here called the AEE; either integrated in an Electronic Cash Register or an a printer to a PC-based POS system.

The AEE has to undergo a specific device certification before the integration and co-production of the ECR or the POS-printer. Each connected cash register with AEE has an individual Device Certificate. No “middle-ware” is permitted in the cash register.

The central data analysis system is a combined control center and processing data warehouse that includes a Mobile Inspection System for real-time monitoring and online support for inspectors’ local on-site audit and control activities, graphically visualizing cash registers and fiscal data. It is a tool for risk-based audit analysis, making it easy to detect illegal operations, remotely block a cash register if fraud is suspected and select inspection sites.

All data and all operation software for every cash register can only be downloaded into cash registers from the central system via a certified procedure. Each cash register software upgrade or changes are certified and checked by the Tax Authority. The system has automated the auditing processes cost-efficiently.

The technical requirements are publicly notified and implemented by open competition among technology providers. Costs for tax payers to upgrade cash registers have been subsidized by 17-20%. The impact estimated for the first year was a 15% VAT income increase (VAT rate 27%) and a net revenue increase of €210 million.

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Retail Innovation is providing an AEE for the Hungarian market in collaboration with the major Polish cash register provider ELZAB/Comp Group. Learn more about product details here.