Fabian Demicoli

GRTU Legal Office this week

 VAT Exemption Number Requirement for Points of Sale other than Cash Registers – Any retail operation that opts for a computer based or other touch screen style point of sale system needs to be in possession of an exemption number from the VAT Department.

It is not enough to have purchased the software or hardware which a trader utilizes in his retail outlet from the list of suppliers approved by the VAT Department. The system needs to be registered with the VAT Department which in turn will issue an exemption number. Such number moreover needs to be correctly indicated on the fiscal receipt being given to consumers.

VAT Inspectors are heavily enforcing this requirement and several retailers are being arraigned in court charged with having deficiencies in their systems, with fines starting from €700.00.

Moreover in the case of more than one outlet operated by the same Company or trader, a separate exemption number needs to be applied for related to each and every outlet.

It is every trader's responsibility to provide a valid fiscal receipt bearing an exemption number unless the receipt is issued by a regular cash register. In the event of any issues that a trader may have with his point of sale system or fiscal cash register, it is always advisable to have the manual VAT receipt books available at hand, not to get caught out.

Every trader and retailer needs to be aware of the exorbitant penalties being imposed by the Court of Magistrates in the event of any VAT related breach or default. Moreover Chapter 406 of the Laws of Malta (the VAT Act) makes it highly unlikely for a trader to justify any VAT shortcomings when arraigned in Court.

The GRTU advises all members to take the necessary measures immediately in the event of any allegations of breaches or shortcomings following VAT Inspections, by contacting the GRTU or otherwise seeking advice from respective legal advisers.


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