Retailers: Cash Register Requirements

As you may be aware every business is obliged to keep proper books and records relating to:

  • All sums of money received and expended in the course of the trade or profession
  • All sales and purchases of goods and services
  • The assets and liabilities of the trade or profession

All supporting documentation, including invoices and receipts as well as details of the calculations must also be retained.

For retailers, this includes daily till receipts that show all the individual sales from the day as well as the end of day total. A daily summary of transactions is not sufficient, the individual customers sales must be retained on paper or electronic backup. And these individual sales must have a sequential transaction code togther with a record of the date and time of the transaction.

Records and supporting documents must be retained for a period of 6 years following the year of assessment (individuals) or the accounting period (companies) to which they relate.

For more information, see Revenue’s easy-to-read guide on their website www.revenue.ie.

9 thoughts on “Retailers: Cash Register Requirements

  1. Hi Orla

    I am opening a cafe shop for the first time. I would like to know how are the Rate of Vat Calcaulate? For sitting and takeaway?

    Regards

    James Lai

    • Hi James,

      Thanks for your comment.

      VAT on cafes can be quite complicated so I would recommend getting professional advice if possible.

      Firstly, it is important to agree with your local tax office to treat the takeaway portion of your business as a separate activity otherwise the sales will be at the same rate as sit-down.

      In answer to your query on VAT rates, in general the following apply:

      For sit-down services, sales are normally at 13.5% except for alcohol, bottled water and soft drinks which are at 21%.

      For takeaway, it depends on whether the food is served hot or cold. Takeaway hot food is usually at 13.5%, for example, toasted sandwiches, sausage rolls, tea, coffee, hot chocolate.

      Cold food can be at the following rates:
      • Sandwiches 0%
      • Cakes, biscuits (except chocolate covered biscuits) 13.5%
      • Confectionery, desserts, snack products, drinks 21%

      There are special rules for combinations of hot and cold takeaway food. If cold takeaway, zero-rated food or drink, is supplied with hot takeaway food for an inclusive price (e.g. coleslaw with hot chicken) the entire charge is liable at 13.5%. Soft drinks supplied with hot takeaway food for an inclusive price are liable at 21%. It will be up to you to charge separately for the different parts of a takeaway meal and to pay tax accordingly. Otherwise the highest rate will apply to the total meal. You may apply to the Revenue Commissioners for a rate-averaging concession but this will only be allowed on “fixed” meals (e.g. a Happy Meal). In addition, the Revenue Commissioners’ averaged rate will be such that they will never lose out on VAT.

      The above is just a general outline of the VAT rules. The Revenue have a leaflet on Food and Drink which contains a table of the different VAT rates applicable that is worth reading: http://www.revenue.ie/en/tax/vat/leaflets/food-and-drink.html

      The Revenue’s VAT rate index can be useful too: http://www.revenue.ie/en/tax/vat/rates/index.jsp

      If you have any further queries, please let me know.
      Best regards,
      Orla

  2. Hello Orla

    You say above to
    ‘agree with your local tax office to treat the takeaway portion of your business as a separate activity otherwise the sales will be at the same rate as sit-down.’

    What matters would need to be agreed with Taxes in order to have takeaway treated as a seperate activity ?
    Is there a standard application form ?What is the position if this was inadvertently not done at the the time business commenced – is agreement only valid from the time of application ?

    Regards

    John
    What is the position if this agreement was not agreed and

  3. Hi Orla.
    I refer to John O’Brien’s question.

    RE:agree with your local tax office to treat the takeaway portion of your business as a separate activity otherwise the sales will be at the same rate as sit-down.

    How does one go about this.

    Can a sole trade avail of quartlerly VAT returns?

    Regards
    Rachel

    • Hi Rachel,

      You can ring your local tax office and speak to someone in the VAT section. Alternatively your accountant may be able to deal with this for you.

      Regarding VAT Returns, they are normally done on a bi-monthly basis but there are other options depending on the size of your business:
      * For businesses with a yearly VAT liability of €3,000 or less the option of filing returns on a six month basis is available.
      * For businesses with a yearly liability of between €3,001 and €14,400 the option of filing returns every four months is available.

      Best regards,

      Orla

  4. Hi Orlan,
    I am going to purchase a take away business in Cork. This is a pizza shop which is running. I am buying the place and keeping it’s original name.

    I asked an accountant for his services. He said to me Eur2500 plus VAT. There are 6 employees at present in that place. He also suggested me to make sure they get p45 from previous owner and then I can decide whether i want to keep or reduce them to suit business need.

    I would like to get your advice on it. Do you think his service charges are ok for the year. I really do not want to let those employees go as they are good worker and I do not feel it is right inside my heart.

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