New Revenue Quebec Requirements for Mandatory Billing/SRMs in Restaurants

Quebec SRM Restaurants.jpg

To combat perceived tax evasion in the restaurant sector, Revenue Quebec(MRQ) has implemented a new program which requires all businesses in the restaurant sector to comply with certain rules, most notably the installation of a Sales Recording Module (SRM), that has been selected by the MRQ.  To compensate for the costs of installing the system, Revenue Quebec is (kindly?)offering a subsidy, the amount of which is dependent on the date of the installation.  Below are some of the key details relating to the program:

Deadline:

Existing restaurants have until November 30, 2011 to implement the required SRM. New restaurants are required to install it prior to serving their first meal i.e. upon set up of the new restaurant.

Equipment Required:

  • an SRM selected by Revenu Québec
  • an SRM-compatible cash register or point-of-sale system
  • an SRM-compatible receipt printer

Filing Requirements:

Once the SRM has been activated, restaurant establishments are required to prepare and send a Sommaire périodique des ventes (periodic sales summary) on a monthly basis.

Criteria for Qualification and Exclusion:

Pretty much all establishments that qualify as restaurants are required to implement the new system.  This includes take out places and catering operations.

Notable exclusions include bars (90% or more alcoholic beverages), business cafeterias, restaurants that are mobile or located at movie theatres and sports stadiums, grocery stores and butchers etc. offering meals for takeout.  A more detailed list can be found here

Subsidies for Restauranteurs:

To compensate for the significant costs that can be involved, the MRQ is offering a subsidy to all restaurants that are affected by the new measures and cover the costs of the equipment as long as the installer is registered with Revenue Quebec.

It is important to note that subsidy is double - 80% vs 40% upto a maximum amount depending on the establishment's sales, if the installation is completed by March 31, 2011. 

Comments

It is important for small business restaurant owners to comply with the rules prior to November, 2011.  By implementing the new system prior to April, 1st however they are able to access a much higher subsidy and as such may make sense to do it as soon as possible.  And although the solution is both costly and time consuming , it can be helpful in improving sales reporting for establishments that currently use receipt books and antiquated cash registers.  When installing the new system, owners should ask the installers how to integrate it with their accounting and inventory systems which can greatly improve both accuracy and efficiency of your existing accounting.  Additionally it can give business owners a much better sense of their actual sales and expenses.  An understanding of sales patterns and associated expenses (what are your bestsellers? Are pizzaghettis really that profitable? Should you have more salads on your menu) can go a long way to making your business more profitable.

Ronika Khanna is a Montreal based accountant who helps small businesses achieve their financial goals.  To receive regular updates of articles pertaining to small business, accounting, tax and other topics of interest to business owners you can sign up here.  You can also follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

 

Update

on 2011-03-18 03:39 by Ronika Khanna

Revenu Québec has extended the deadline by which sales recording modules must be activated so that Québec restaurant establishments can benefit from the maximum subsidy amount. The new deadline is May 31, 2011.

However, a contract confirming the acquisition of the required equipment under the subsidy program must be signed with the installer no later than April 15, 2011. Restaurateurs must enclose the contract with their subsidy application. The other terms and conditions of the program remain unchanged.  

Additional detals here