As we have already seen, after the latest legislation, the adoption of electronic invoicing is advancing by leaps and bounds both in Spain and in Europe. The European Union has seen in e-invoicing an efficient measure to optimize control and monitoring of the administration, in order to improve the declarations to limit tax fraud, especially the VAT. In 2019, the EU lost 134,000 million euros in VAT revenue, as stated in the European Commission’s 2022 “VAT Gap” report. Among the main causes are bankruptcies, insolvency or information errors in addition to the fraud, which itself costs European countries between 40,000 and 60,000 million euros each year, as stated in the 2016 report “Fight against intra-community VAT fraud”.
“One of the main advantages of e-invoicing for European companies is the reduction of administrative burdens as it facilitates the daily tasks of the administration and accounting departments. Through technology, it is possible to automate the sending and receiving of invoices, to reconcile the invoices received with the merchandise received and the purchase orders or to validate the invoices, quickly, free of human errors and with greater efficiency to optimize In this way, the time”, says Diana Salazar, B2B Integration Sales Manager of Generix Group.
In this context, the European Union seeks in electronic invoicing a tool that allows the authorities monitor activity in real timeadopt measures without delay depending on the economic context and standardize the treatment of national and European transactions.
X-ray of electronic invoicing in Spain and the rest of Europe
The obligation to implement electronic invoicing is progressively being extended to B2B transactions. The European Union wants to fight tax fraud, limit the financial losses of the Member States and better control the economic activity of its actors. The Member States of the EU have some flexibility regarding the implementation of electronic invoicing both with public (B2G) and private (B2B) agents. Therefore, not all countries are in the same phase.
Generix Group experts have analyzed what situation are they in the main countries of the European Union in terms of the implementation of electronic invoicing.
On September 29, Law 18/2022 on the Creation and Growth of Companies, which registers the obligatory nature of the adoption of electronic invoicing in Spain, was published in the BOE. The standard includes, as a novelty, the issuance of electronic invoices in commercial operations between businessmen, professionals and suppliers. An obligation that extends regardless of the sector in which the activity is carried out.
This legislation is one of the main reforms of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan, which seeks to improve relations between companies and suppliers to reduce non-payments and the delinquency rate and which includes a historical demand from Spanish businessmen as it facilitates entrepreneurship and the creation of companies.
This Law includes the obligation to use electronic invoicing and that it will come into force in two phases. On the one hand, companies and the self-employed with an annual turnover of more than 8 million euros will have the obligation to apply this measure within a maximum period of one year from the approval of the regulatory development (from mid-2023). On the other hand, the rest of the companies whose annual turnover is less than 8 million euros will have to apply this measure within a period of two years, that is, in 2025 it will be mandatory for any type of company in Spain, regardless of the size and industry.
Electronic invoicing is mandatory in the central administration and the Länder of Bremen, Saarland, Baden-Württemberg and Hamburg. For the rest of the federated states, its adoption will be mandatory from 2023. In the private sector, electronic invoicing has been optional since 2011.
In Austria, electronic invoicing is mandatory for central public administrations, since 2014, federal and municipal public administrations, since 2020, and for their providers. In the private sector, electronic invoicing has been optional since 2013.
For the public sector, electronic invoicing has been mandatory in France since 2020 through the Chorus Pro platform. As for the private sector, there is a gradual obligation to issue invoices for VAT-registered companies between July 1, 2024 and on January 1, 2026.
In Italy, electronic invoicing has been mandatory since 2014 in the public sector and since 2019 for private agents through the SDL platform. In addition, the mandatory use of the electronic purchase order for the public health sector was established.
Electronic invoicing is mandatory for public administrations and their suppliers since 2019. The platform used in Portugal is eSPAP (Entidade de Serviços Partilhados da Administraçao Pública).
“For companies, the generalization of electronic invoicing can represent a significant challenge due to its technical and organizational limitations. However, it should be seen above all as a source of opportunities at the national, European and perhaps soon global level, given the numerous benefits it brings at the organizational and administrative level.”, concludes Salazar.