In most of the EU countries cash payments are limited by law or limited by practice.
Below different domestic provision are explained (updated October 2015).
No limit on cash payments for the purchase of goods. However in cases where a purchase of services from self-employed persons is paid in cash exceeding 10.000 NOK – approx. 1078 EUR, a consumer will be jointly and severally responsible with the trader if the trader does not pay taxes and VAT of the purchase price.
No limits in the legislation. However, the accepted payment instruments may be limited on contractual basis. A trader is not obliged to accept cash as payment, if the limitation is stated clearly before making the sale.
Referring legislation: Money Laundering Act (Lag (2009:62) om åtgärder mot penningtvätt och finansiering av terrorism) obliges several categories of business to request identification of their customers, verify the origin of the money and report any suspected money laundering to the Financial Police. The companies that must do this include banks, exchange offices, life insurance companies, securities traders, law firms, casinos, real estate agents, accountants, tax consultants and the companies that sell against cash payment of € 15,000. Companies that do not follow these rules can be fined.
There is no provision in the legislation which would force anyone to always accept cash as payment. A company is not obligated to receive a large amount of coins (more than 50 metal coins for the same payment) or an exceptionally large bank note. If a company accepts cash payments, but sets limits to acceptable payment instruments, limits must be explained clearly before the making a sale.
No limit on cash payments for the purchase of goods. A legislative proposal not yet adopted may allow a seller not to accept cash payments anymore. However in cases where a purchase of services is paid in cash exceeding 10.000 DKK (including VAT) – approx. 1340 EUR, a consumer will be jointly and severally responsible with the trader if the trader does not pay taxes and VAT of the purchase price. If a consumer cannot pay digitally he can be released from the joint responsibility if he reports the amount of the purchase to the Taxation Authority.
The consumers can make cash payments without any limits. The traders, however, need to register themselves with tax authorities as ‘High Value Dealers’ if accepting cash payments in excess of €15,000.
Good to know: In England and Wales the £5, £10, £20 and £50 notes are legal tender for payment of any amount. However, they are not legal tender in Scotland and Northern Ireland. As for the coins: £5, £2, £1 without any limit ; 50p, 25p and 20p (up to £10), 10p and 5p (up to £5) ; 2p and 1p (up to 20p).
No limit in the referring legislation however restricted use in practice.
No limit. However, some institutions and professionals have the duty to report any unusual transaction (including the identity and other personal details of the person involved).
3.000 EUR since January 2014. This applies not only for the purchase of goods, but also of services, like the services of a real estate agent, ICT consultant, etc. From January 2014, all payments in cash for the purchase of a real estate will be prohibited. The notary or real estate agent and some other categories of sellers have the obligation to inform the authorities if the law is not respected. Fines on offenders from 250 EUR to 225.000 EUR can be imposed by the Belgian authorities.
3000 € for fiscal residents in France. 15 000 € for the non residents acting as a consumer – 3000 € if they act as a trader. As long as the consumer is under the above mentioned limit, the trader must accept a payment in cash, this means coins and banknotes. (From September 2015 the limit will be 1000 € for fiscal residents in France and 10.000 € for non residents).
Referring legislation: Articles D112 ‐3 et D112 ‐4 (code monétaire et financier) ‐ Article 1840J (code général des impôts ‐ sanction: up to 5% of the amount paid if it is higher than the authorized limit).
Referring legislation: § 61 Nationalbankgesetz (NBG, BGBl. Nr. 50/1984 idF BGBl. I Nr. 55/2002).
The limit for cash payments is 350 000 CZK (about 14 000€) in one day. As for the coins, the limit is 50 pieces. Banknotes must be accepted without limitation, those that are damaged in a non standard manner may be refused however.
No limit for the consumers. Limit of HUF 1.5 million (about 5000 EUR/month) for legal persons,
unincorporated business associations and VAT registered private persons that are obliged to open a bank. No limit for the consumers. Limit of HUF 1.5 million (about 5000 EUR/month) for legal persons, unincorporated business associations and VAT registered private persons that are obliged to open a bank account.
The restrictions for the cash payments: B2B, C2B and B2C payments up to 5000 EUR natural person who is acting for purposes which are outside his or her trade, business up to 15 000 EUR by payments higher than aforementioned limits can be processed only cashless transactions.
Referring legislation: Act no. 394/2012 Z.z. on restrictions of the cash payments (since 1st january 2013).
Cash payment limit in Poland for March 2015 is 15.000 euros ( approx. 62.220 PLN).
Since 9th May this year, cash payments from individual persons to traders are limited to 10000 RON/person/day (approx. 2260 EUR).
The Central Bank of Estonia and all credit institutions operating in Estonia are obliged to accept coins and banknotes without limits. All other persons have obligation to accept up to 50 coins irrespective of their worth and bankbotes without limits.
The cash payments of goods and services between consumers and traders are limited by the law that requires that the payment of invoices or similar documents on the amount of more than 1000 EUR, should be made to trader’s bank account by a mean that allows the identification of the receiver (bank transfer, bank debit or by a nominative check).
Referring legislation: Article 63-C of the decree law no. 398/98, of December, 12 (General Tax Law), amended by the law no. 20/2012, of May, 14 (amending 2012 State Budget).
Since November 19th, 2012, the limit is 2500€ (for Spain residents) and 15000€ (for non residents). If the amount is higher than these (in each case), the payment should be done by transfer bank. The fine for failing to carry out this precept could be about 25% of the total transferred amount. The law applys for payments between consumers and traders, whether the payments done between consumers are not concerned by the law.
Since December 6th 2012, cash payments are only allowed up to an amount of 999,99 EUR. To pay an amount of 1.000,00 EUR or higher it is necessary to either use debit cards, credit cards or non-transferable cheques or to pay by bank transfer. Fines start from 3000,00 EUR up to 40% of the payed amount.
Referring legislation: From 1° January 2016 limit could be € 3.000,00 (Legge di stabilità 2016).
Cash payment limitation: 15 000 €.
Limited to 14999 leva (approximately 7670€). If the transaction exceeds this limit, then the consumer should pay through a bank. The same applies also in any case where the purchase price is over 15000 leva, even when the consumer pays not the total price but a part of it ? then all parts of the price should go through a bank payment. If the payment is in another currency then the limit of 14 999 leva is calculated based on the exchange rate of the Bulgarian National Bank on the date of the payment.
Cash payments (including VAT) for the purchase of products and services are permissible up to 1500 euros. Beyond that limit, payments should be done via bank accounts, cheques or credit/debit card.
Author: ARMANDO DAKO