Service Invoices: City-level requirements are a key challenge in Brazil

Steve Sprague
August 16, 2016

We frequently talk about the challenges inherent in Brazil’s e-invoicing mandate, often in terms of its effect on shipping, logistics and the risk of operational shut downs. But there are separate concerns facing service vendors and procurement.

In many ways, service invoices (NFSe) are simpler for both parties than those for goods (NFe) since shipping, logistics and inbound receiving are not an issue. But, because tax calculations are assessed at the city level – and can vary from municipality to municipality – these invoices present a very different challenge from goods invoices.

Below are the key considerations for service invoices: 

  • Unlike goods invoices, services can be delivered before the invoice arrives.
  • There can be multiple line items on a given invoice, but they must include only one type of service.
  • Taxes are assessed by cities – not at the state or federal level – so integrations between your ERP and the government servers must be at the city level – requiring multiple integrations if your company does business in multiple jurisdictions.
    • NFS numbers and return codes are provided by each individual city, again making it critical that connections are in place for each jurisdiction in which a company does business.
  • The city takes most of the tax calculation burden for service invoices. In most cases, the city:
    • Calculates the tax; then companies make accounting adjustments if needed.
    • Handles validation. The buyer only has to manage withholdings, when applicable.

The good news? Standardization among cities is coming. While there are currently more than 400 cities in Brazil with varying degrees of difference, 50 have joined forces under ABRASF to develop a national NFSe model, and there is currently a pilot program among 8 cities to standardize NFSe throughout the country. However, no dates have been released indicating when this standardization might become a reality.

To learn more about Brazil’s NFSe requirements, key consideration for procurement and more, contact us.

If, in addition, you’d like to learn more about Accounts Payable and Inbound Logistics in Brazil,  listen to the webinar replay on this topic.


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Steve Sprague

Como director comercial, Steve Sprague dirige la estrategia corporativa, las iniciativas de penetración de mercado y de field enablement para el negocio del impuesto sobre el valor añadido global (GVAT) de la empresa. El estilo de liderazgo de Steve se basa en su convicción de que, para que las organizaciones tengan éxito, deben comprometerse e invertir en los tres pilares estratégicos de la empresa: las personas, las prácticas y los productos.
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