What distinguishes the hotel and catering industry?

It can be said that in recent years, the tax authorities have increasingly focused on these businesses. At the same time, the tax requirements for the businesses have also grown steadily.

This trend was already apparent in the letter from the Federal Ministry of Finance dated November 14, 2014, which defines the proper keeping and storage of books and documents in electronic form and data access (GoBD).

What does this mean?   

The resulting obligation to retrofit electronic cash registers – whereby the retention of open cash registers is still permissible – has demanded a great deal of invention from many companies. Now, companies are also required to implement a certified security system, and everyone is talking about the obligation to issue receipts. From this, the obligation to create a procedural documentation must also be emphasized, in which the operational processes and the data processing software used as well as the hardware are included.

In many cases, the small and medium-sized enterprises concerned are overburdened with the implementation of these requirements. Even compliance with the requirements for proper cash management is practically impossible for them. The fact that the fulfilment of these obligations can now also be checked by the tax office by means of an unannounced cash check has led to great uncertainty in the industry.

As the tax authorities have increasingly been confronted with the question of whether they could still ensure uniform tax execution in the hotel and catering industry (FG Baden-Württemberg of 12.06.2018 – approval of the revision to the BFH), more and more tax audits are currently being carried out in this sector.

The results of these audits are often threatening the existence of the companies. They are confronted with sometimes horrendously high estimates or indiscriminate safety surcharges, which they have to defend themselves against!

What do you have to pay attention to?

In cooperation with the LSWB (Landesverband der steuerberatenden und wirtschaftsprüfenden Berufe in Bayern), the Bavarian State Chancellery and the DEHOGA Bayern, we have developed a cash register guide on this topic, the application of which is intended to provide legal certainty for the industry. The Bavarian tax authorities have joined this guide.

In our view, the companies should critically examine their own operational procedures on this basis and act where necessary.

Your ACCONSIS contact

Dr. Christopher Arendt

Specialist lawyer for tax law

Dr. Christopher Arendt 
Managing Director of ACCONSIS

+49 89 547143
or by e-mail

My recommendation

“In any case, take your time and study the very clear guide below. But we are also happy to assist you with advice: As we have a large number of hotel and catering businesses in the ongoing tax consultancy business and are also called in by other tax consultants to support them in tax audits, we can draw on a wealth of experience in this particular field, which helps us – and ultimately you – in providing advice.”

Guide to sound financial management (in german)

In addition, we would like to point out a clear presentation of a procedure documentation for the hotel and catering industry, which is also provided by DEHOGA Bayern. This template represents a good basis for meeting the requirements of the tax authorities on one’s own.

My experience with ACCONSIS

Isabella Hren
Bayerische Tourist GmbH.

“Our cooperation covers several levels. ACCONSIS is a premium partner of DEHOGA Bayern. The association’s partner program is managed by BTG. In addition, we are customers of ACCONSIS with all GmbHs and the AG.”

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