Suspension of electronic cash register system to be extended till end of year

Photo: Obsahovka, Pixabay / CC0

The government’s electronic cash register system is to be suspended until the end of this year in view of the coronavirus situation. The prime minister also says that he will push through a reduction in VAT on accommodation services in a bid to help the hard-hit sector.

Photo: Obsahovka,  Pixabay / CC0
Under the divisive electronic cash register system, the first phase of which was introduced in late 2016, retailers, restaurants and other businesses in the Czech Republic must record their takings in real time into a central state system. In Czech it is known as EET.

The coronavirus crisis led the government to suspend the system until three months after the current state of emergency – which was recently extended until May 17 – comes to an end.

However, under the new approach businesses will not have to feed data into the electronic cash register system for the rest of the year. Similarly, inspections aimed at making sure this obligation is being met will be further suspended.

Alena Schillerová,  photo: ČTK / Michal Kamaryt
After Andrej Babiš made the announcement on Czech Television, his minister of finance, Alena Schillerová, told the news site Blesk that the government would on Monday rubberstamp the suspension of EET until the end of 2020.

The Chamber of Deputies should than approve it under a “state of legislative emergency” on Tuesday, Ms. Schillerová said.

The latest phase in the staged rollout of the electronic cash register system, pertaining to the likes of trades people and doctors, had been due to enter force at the start of this month.

Prime Minister Babiš also said on Sunday that he would push for a reduction in value added tax on accommodation services in the Czech Republic from 15 to 10 percent, adding that he would do so as soon as possible.

Andrej Babiš,  photo: ČTK / Roman Vondrouš
He said that the Czech Republic had the third highest VAT rate on accommodation in the whole of Europe. VAT for catering services was slashed from 15 to 10 percent at the beginning of May.

The PM added that the government would also create a special programme for entrepreneurs in the tourism sector, which he said had been the most affected area of the economy and would probably remain so given the closure of borders.

To help incoming tourism he said his cabinet was considering another programme in the style of COVID, a scheme aimed at assisting small businesses.

Mr. Babiš said there needed to be support for investment in accommodation capacity and that the government would appeal to Czechs to vacation in their own country this year.