Fiscal cash registers (FCR), sales register machines, electronic tax registers (ETR), electronic fiscal devices (EFD), are just some of the names to describe business machines used for production of invoices with capability to store daily reports in its fiscal memory.
These electronic devices are designed to address the need of taxpayers, in term of being suitable for the business model and functionality to secure tax information for audit purposes.
To become a fiscal machine, one electronic device has to fulfill demand set out in the regulation of fiscal country, it directs the input/output of data as part of functional certification and be able to physically secure internal parts from possible manipulation as part of mechanical certification. Unfortunately, in some countries publication of this process flow is not mandatory, in which cases the compliance method remains available only to a few device suppliers, the privileged ones.
Certificates are usually granted by Accreditation Board, formed by representatives from different government sectors. Certificates are based on unanimous decision and test results issued by appointed certification authority which show that the fiscal machine is compliant with Regulations.
Certificate with designation of manufacturer and supplier is usually published through official media; therefore, taxpayers are able to recognizing which fiscal machine they need to procure for their business needs.
The process of certification is usually difficult to establish in a short period of time and will gradually improve when necessary experience is reached. Technical experts who run certification will learn, in due course, in which way is possible to make some fiscal machine ‘popular’ by allowing special (phantom-ware) functions which enable manipulation of tax records. These fiscal machines, once certified with hidden function, become widely distributed because of its popularity and difficult to remove from the market without large expenses in compensations to users who simply “followed” government orders. For this reason, some fiscal countries have added an article to the Regulation requiring that supplier provides a financial guarantees for good business conduct. This is a big disadvantage for existing suppliers to stay in business, resulting that only companies with big capital are considered suitable to organise the supply chain of fiscal machines.
So far we haven’t seen any standard approach but only similar methodologies adopted between fiscal countries. Therefore, it is not possible to buy device in one fiscal country and use it in another fiscal country.