El Salvador Introduces Legal Framework for E-invoicing System

Andres Landerretche
October 18, 2022

The Legislative Assembly of El Salvador has published Decree 487 on reforms to the tax code. The decree enables the use of Electronic Tax Documents (Documentos Tributários Electrónicos – DTE) in the country, introduces new articles to the tax code and reforms existing ones.

The decree incorporates new articles to the tax code to regulate DTEs. DTEs are defined as documents generated, signed, and transmitted electronically to the tax administration platform and include a receipt stamp.

El Salvador electronic tax documents

While the decree doesn’t detail all aspects of the e-invoicing system it sets out the general framework, establishing its formal requirements, the issuance process of DTEs, contingency, invalidation, sanctions, and archiving requirements.

It also establishes the list of DTEs that must be issued within the system, the most notable include:

  • Electronic Tax Credit Voucher
  • Electronic Invoice
  • Electronic Export Invoice
  • Electronic Remittance Note
  • Electronic Credit and Debit Notes
  • Electronic Settlement Vouchers
  • Electronic Withholding Voucher
  • Electronic Settlement Accounting Document, among others.

Issuance of electronic tax documents

According to the new legislation, the issuance of electronic tax documents includes their generation and electronic signature, transmission to the tax authority for granting of receipt stamp and delivery to the recipient in electronic format.

The electronic documents must be transmitted to the platform established by the tax authority, complying with the rules, forms, terms, and conditions established for the granting of the receipt stamp.

Once electronic documents obtain the receipt stamp, transmission is considered complete and an electronic tax document.

Expenditure deductions supported by electronic documents will be admissible if they comply with the provisions of the new legislation.


The DTE may be invalidated after issuance if errors are found in the content that don’t affect the operation. The deadline for transmitting the invalidation event is defined by the tax administration.


The DTE must be kept by the taxpayer for ten years, counted from the date of generation. Likewise, the graphic representations of the DTE must be kept in the same format and medium it was issued.


Specific sanctions for breaching DTE have been introduced, such as:

  • Omitting the issuance or delivery of the DTE
  • Issuing documents that fail to comply with established formal requirements
  • Transmitting the DTE to the tax administration platform without complying with the requirements or data structure required by the administration
  • Omitting the delivery of the graphic representation of the DTE
  • Failing to comply with specific DTE regulations issued by the tax administration etc.

What’s next?

The Decree was published in the Official Gazette on 20 September 2022 and entered into force eight days after its publication. Now the tax authority must communicate the dates from which taxpayers will be obliged to issue DTEs, define the rules, form, terms, and conditions for compliance with the obligation to issue such documents, define the instructions and technological specifications for the generation and delivery to the DTE receiver, as well as the data structure and electronic format of the DTE and the form, terms, and conditions for transmission.

Finally, the decree states that the tax administration could provide taxpayers with a free solution to facilitate the issuance of electronic tax documents and their graphic representations.

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Andres Landerretche

Andrés es el Director de Análisis y Diseño Regulatorio en América Latina. Es licenciado en Derecho por la Universidad de Chile y tiene un LLM en Derecho Internacional por el Kings College de Londres. Andrés tiene más de 20 años de experiencia internacional trabajando en el servicio diplomático chileno, con destinos en Sudáfrica y en las Naciones Unidas en Nueva York. Tiene una importante experiencia en asuntos corporativos, cumplimiento, comunicaciones y relaciones comunitarias en Chile, Brasil, Colombia, Perú, Sudáfrica y Australia.
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