In March 2020, Romania launched an e-invoicing pilot program, e-Factura, to streamline the collection of taxes to improve and strengthen the collection of VAT whilst combating tax evasion.
The decision to launch e-Factura was taken after closely monitoring the Italian e-invoicing model and analysing the economic impact and efficiencies that electronic invoicing has had for both business-to-government (B2G) and business-to-business (B2B) transactions in Italy.
E-Factura is to implement a new e-invoicing system for B2G transactions but also lays the foundation for the extension of the platform for further developments and provides the necessary know-how to develop an e-invoicing system in B2B.
In October, Government Emergency Ordinance (GEO) no. 120/2021 introduced the legal framework for implementing e-Factura, regulating the structure of the Romanian e-invoice process and creating the framework for [achieving] basic technical specifications of the e-invoice system.
According to published documentation, the B2B e-invoicing process is not expected to differ from the B2G e-invoicing process, whose framework and relevant requirements are defined to a clearer standard.
Taxpayers can expect the same requirements to apply to B2G and B2B e-invoicing. However, certain aspects for B2B e-invoicing must still be clarified, such as the authentication process and requirements for accessing and using the e-invoicing system through the API for taxpayers and their service providers.
Main features of e-Factura
The Romanian e-Factura went live as a voluntary system on 6 November 2021, just six months from the announcement of the Ministry of Finance of the roll-out of a new e-invoicing system and only one month after publication of enacting legislation. Suppliers in both B2B and B2G transactions may opt to use this new e-invoicing system and issue their e-invoices in the Romanian structured format through the new system.
The Romanian e-Factura is a clearance system where e-invoices are sent, cleared, and received through the central platform. The structured invoice is issued in XML format and sent to the central platform for validation. The validation checks relate to the compliance of the structured invoice with the schema requirements, the authenticity of the origin regarding the identity of the issuer who is authenticated in the system and the integrity of the invoice content after transmission. An XML invoice that passes validation and is signed by the Ministry of Finance is considered the legal invoice.
The initial implementation timeline must be – by international comparison – considered short for the roll-out of an extensive new CTC system. This could be explained by the fact that the roll-out of the voluntary system is not as disruptive as that of a mandatory system.
If, or when, a mandate is announced or relevant e-invoicing incentives are introduced, a longer implementation timeline is likely to follow to facilitate for taxpayers to comply with the new requirements in time.