Businesses protest cash register changes

Latvia's leading business body called Wednesday for changes to the way firms can use cash registers to be postponed until the full impact has been assessed.  

"The State Revenue Service's (VID) new requirements for cash registers and systems is a clear example of how a new system is introduced to the country before a proper estimate has been made of the effects it will have on businesses," Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LTRK) chairman Jānis Endziņš said in a release after meeting government and tax service officials Wednesday.

"Why is this so important?" he asked, raising suspicions that the losses incurred by introducing the new system would likely outweigh the benefits.

Traders believe that the cost of implementing the new framework for business is disproportionately high and that the stated goal - fighting against the "shadow" economy - could be achieved more efficiently via other means.

As a result LTRK called on the Finance Ministry and VID to carry out a proper evaluation of the burden being placed on businesses, to provide a transitional period of three years to being any new regulations into force, to come up with new anti-fraud measures and to think more carefully about which makes and models of cash register will be on the approved list.

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