Cash 2022, withdrawal limit: new rules from 1 January

The news coming with the new year for payments, ceiling and fines. Retailers must accept debit and credit cards for any expense

Use of cash, a squeeze on the way. From January 1, 2022, the payment threshold changes with the limit going from € 1,999.99 to € 999.99. Threshold that is applied, remember, for any transfer of money between natural or legal persons. This means that not only the purchase of a good or the service of a professional but also a donation or a loan to a child for an amount of at least 1,000 euros must be justified and made with a traceable type of payment, such as a bank transfer.

Withdrawals and deposits

Nothing changes with regards to bank withdrawals and deposits, since they are not transfers of money between two different subjects but of movements that involve only one person. In practice, it will be perfectly legal to go to the bank to withdraw 1,500 euros: what will no longer be allowed is to use them all together to make a single payment. They can be kept in the house to be spent a little at a time within the established threshold.

The same applies to payments. Let’s take the case of those who received 500 euros in cash for their business, then 400 euros and then 600 euros again. In total, 1,500 euros that can be paid into your current account together. It does not violate the rules on the use of cash even to do ‘a little’ and a little ‘, that is to make a payment of at least 1,000 euros using both cash and a traceable instrument. For example, to pay for a service that costs 1,800 euros, you are allowed to give the professional 900 euros in cash and 900 euros by check, credit card or bank transfer. The important thing is that the cash sum always remains below the limit of 999.99 euros.


The new threshold of cash payments must be respected not only by the payer but also by the recipient of the money: both can be punished if the limit of 999.99 euros is exceeded. The law provides that with the lowering of the cash limit, the minimum penalty also decreases. Basically: from 1 July 2020 to 31 December 2021, the threshold for cash payments is € 1999.99, while the minimum penalty applicable in case of transgression (minimum, not fixed) is € 2,000. Now, with the limit of 999.99 euros from 1 January 2022, the legal minimum will drop to 1,000 euros. However, this rule is not valid for professionals or for anyone who does not report irregularities to the territorial directorates: in this case, the penalty remains fixed from 3,000 to 15,000 euros, therefore with a minimum threshold equal to three times the one provided for those who commit the violation.

It must be said, however, that both those who transgress the rule on the use of cash and those who do not communicate the irregularity, being required to do so, can benefit from the oblation, albeit in a different way. For those who commit the infringement, the penalty will go from a minimum of 4,000 euros to 2,000 euros. Instead, whoever has to communicate an irregularity, on the basis of current and future provisions, will continue to pay a minimum of 5,000 euros, equal to 1/3 of the maximum.

What changes for the shopkeepers

The crackdown on cash also affects merchants who, from 1 January 2022, will have to accept debit and credit cards for any expense. Therefore it will no longer be enough to comply with the obligation to have the Pos: those who do not use it will pay a fine proportionate to the value of the denied transaction. Until now there was the obligation to have it but not the fine for those who did not want to use it. Now we change: penalties are coming for those who refuse payments with Pos.

The shopkeeper or professional who does not have a POS or has it as an unused piece of furniture will be punished with an administrative fine of 30 euros plus 4% of the value of the refused transaction. To give some examples: those who do not accept to cash in a 1 euro coffee with an ATM, will pay a fine of 30.04 euros for each denied transaction, while those who refuse the electronic payment for a 25 euro meal will receive a fine of 31 euros. euro, and so on. The higher the value of the purchased good or service, the higher the amount of the fine.