Portugal‘s New E-Invoicing Rules Impact Archiving and Reporting

Francisco de la Colina
April 3, 2019

Beyond the implications outlined in our last blog, Decree-Law 28/2019 (the Decree-Law)  impacts areas beyond invoicing, introducing modifications to both archiving and the reporting of tax data.

Mandatory electronic archiving

A novelty of the Decree-Law is the explicit introduction of an obligation to archive electronic invoices in electronic format which in turn further promotes the adoption of electronic formats. Portugal has chosen a closed system in which by law the invoice must remain in the same format in which it was issued. This means that even those companies who are not engaged in e-invoicing, but who receive an electronic invoice from a supplier, will have to acquire and maintain an electronic archive. The alternative would be to reject the invoice and request a printed version. For archiving, the law does not allow for the invoice format to change. 

The law also establishes archiving requirements:

  • Archiving of e-invoices must enable the execution of controls that guarantee the reliability of the data;
  • Execution of controls to prevent the unlawful creation, alteration or removal of data;
  • Data recovery in case of incidents;
  • The ability to reproduce readable copies of the data.

It is mandatory for taxpayers to report to the tax authority the location of the electronic archive. All taxpayers must comply with the transition rules of the Decree-Law within 30 days from when it comes into force – i.e. by 17 March 2019.

SAF-T (PT) filing changes

As well as the e-archiving rules, changes have been introduced to the reporting of invoice data to the tax authority through SAF-T (PT) files by modifying provisions set in Decreto -Lei n.º 198/2012 regarding the time of filing the SAFT-T (PT) file. Until now, taxpayers could file the SAF-T file to fulfill reporting obligations until the 25th of the following month of issuing the invoice.

A reduced time to report comes into force according to the following schedule:

  • For 2019, the decree modifies the deadline to the 15th day of the following month of issuing the invoice;
  • From 2020, it is further reduced to the 10th day of the following month of issuing the invoice.

Taxpayers can still choose to report in real-time through webservice integration instead of uploading the SAF-T (PT) file.  The Decree-Law enhanced this option as taxpayers who choose to report in this way are not obliged to print B2C issued invoices unless it is explicitly requested by the buyer and provided they comply with the requirement of inserting the unique invoice code to the invoice and use certified invoicing software.

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Author

Francisco de la Colina

Francisco de la Colina is a lawyer working on the regulatory team at Sovos TrustWeaver.
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