The purpose of the french financial law n° 2017-1837 is to combat VAT fraud. Since January 1, 2018, it obliges French ecommerce websites to use an extension that meets the requirements of inalterability, security, preservation and archiving of data for control of the french tax administration.

This new law applies to all "logiciel de caisse" which can be translated to english by Cash Software.

Is my ecommerce VirtueMart website a "logiciel de caisse" (Cash Software) ?

The problem comes from the interpretation of the term "Cash Software".

What the french fiscal administration means by "Logiciel de caisse" is any software delivering non-billable goods or services. You can find more information about the exact definition and text law references on this article: Is the use of your extension illegal in France on January 1, 2018 with the new french financial law?

From our point of view, Yes when your ecommerce website uses VirtueMart to take the money (payments) and VirtueMart creates the invoice, then VirtueMart is a cash software.

Who is concerned by the french financial law ?

You are concerned by this law if:

  • your company is french,
  • your company is subjected to VAT and is not covered by the VAT exemption scheme, or carry out exclusively exempt transactions,
  • your website use software - management, accounting or a cash register system - to record sales or service transactions. In our case, your website uses VirtueMart,
  • your company sells to individuals (B2C business model) except if you are an "auto-entrepreneur".

What needs to be done to comply to this law ?

To comply to the french financial law, your e-commerce website must satisfy the following conditions:

  • Inalterable data: your extension must keep the data entered in its original state and record any modification operation,
  • Security: your extension must secure the data and thus guarantee the return of transaction data in their original state,
  • Retention: your extension must have closure-of-accounts exercise - at least annually - and data retention for 6 years. Your extension must also include a daily and monthly closure-of-accounts,
  • Archiving: your extension must allow to archive and date the documents and to guarantee easy access to the tax administration. The french tax administration must be able to consult the data, in a tax file format.

What about VirtueMart?

The french VirtueMart team has been discussing this topic since several month on their forum: Loi de finance et conformité 2018, quelles solutions le e-commerce open source ?.

There are still many gray areas in the understanding of this french financial law and its application. We hope to obtain soon more clarification from the french tax administration.

However, we want to reassure our French community that the team follows this issue closely, and will provide solutions for the french VirtueMart e-commerce websites to comply to the french financial law.