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Danish cafe fined 40,000 kroner for refusing cash

A café in Copenhagen must pay a hefty fine after refusing to accept cash payments from customers.

Danish cafe fined 40,000 kroner for refusing cash
A Danish cafe broke trade rules by refusing to accept cash. Photo by Emre on Unsplash

The café, Original Coffee, refused for four months to accept cash, broadcaster DR writes.

Copenhagen City Court rules on Friday that it thereby was in breach of rules protecting the use of cash under Danish law.

The state ombudsman for consumers filed a report against the café with police. It was found to have broken the law and must therefore pay a 40,000-krone penalty.

Under Danish law, businesses must accept cash between 6am and 10pm unless the transaction is remote – for example online – or at an unstaffed outlet such as a self-service petrol station.

The café said it had chosen not to accept cash because of the Covid-19 pandemic as well as a lack of change and the risk of break-ins. It reintroduced cash payments on February 1st this year.

It is unclear whether the business will appeal against the decision.

READ ALSO: Denmark will eventually be cash-free: expert

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TAXES

Danish government returns debt payments from 138,000 people 

Around 138,000 people in Denmark have been unable to repay debts to the Danish state in 2022 after money they paid was refunded.

Danish government returns debt payments from 138,000 people 

From January to October 2022, 138,000 people in Denmark trying to square their debts with the government were refused due to confusion about whether the Danish Debt Collection Agency (Gældsstyrelsen) actually has the right to receive it, newspaper Berlingske reports.

Having a debt to the Danish public sector on your books can have serious financial consequences, including jeopardizing your eligibility to secure a mortgage.

Data from the Debt Collection Agency indicate the number of debts considered “not ready for recovery” has increased by 1.5 million this year. Half of those debts are connected to the Danish Tax Authority (Skattestyrelsen). 

In total, the 138,000 people were refunded 121 million kroner, including 17 million kroner in unpaid interest. That works out at an average refund of 750 kroner per person.

Based on the scale of the problem, the government will have to consider cancelling some of the debts, Peter Bjerre Mortensen, professor of public administration at Aarhus University, tells Berlingske. 

“They need to swallow some very big camels and/or simplify some legislation or forgive some debts, because right now it seems that things are still going the wrong way with regard to collecting public debt,” Mortensen said. 

The issues with ‘unpayable’ debts first arose in 2015 when EFI, the IT system Skat used to collect debt, was shuttered, according to Berlingske.

Debts to the Danish state have been growing since then. The parliamentary ombudsman said earlier this week that he would try to find out why individuals have been unable to repay debts.

“The ombudsman has received complaints from several members of the public and there have been articles in the media about people who could not repay their debt to the state,” wrote the ombudsman, Niels Fenger.

Tax minister Jeppe Bruus has previously recognised the issue with the repayment system.

“This is a huge challenge and something that must be worked on and improved,” he told newspaper Jyllands-Posten in September.

READ MORE: ‘Topskat’: What is Denmark’s high income tax bracket? 

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