Switzerland along with other countries, such as Portugal and India, is endeavoring to support automation in financial processes without introducing structured invoice files. The method for automation in these cases has been through the introduction of mandatory QR codes on financial documents.
The concept of a QR bill was already introduced in Switzerland in June 2020, with an aim to modernize Swiss payment transactions. As of June 2020, invoice recipients have started receiving their first QR bills instead of traditional payment slips. The QR bill is divided into two parts, the receipt and the payment section with the QR code placed in the payment section and containing all relevant information needed both for invoicing and for payment.
From 30 September 2022 orange and red payment slips will become invalid with banks no longer processing them. Therefore, starting from 1 October 2022 customers will need to be provided with the information previously presented in a payment slip, in the form of a QR code. This impacts both B2B and B2C sectors in Switzerland.
These changes don’t affect the mandatory invoice requirements from a VAT perspective. The QR code doesn’t constitute the mandatory requirement for issuing a formal correct invoice that would entitle a taxpayer to input VAT deduction.
Nevertheless, if a payment slip is attached to an invoice this information should be included
on the invoice in the form of a QR code. Therefore, companies will need to include a QR code if they wish to add payment information.
Impact on businesses and Swiss society
The innovations introduced in Switzerland bring significant benefits to the Swiss economy and society. The QR bill enables data digitalization leading to more efficient processing and monitoring of payments. The QR code is provided in one standardised form, making it easier both for the invoice recipients to process the invoices, as well as for invoice issuers to transfer all payment information electronically.
For businesses, the biggest challenge is transitioning from payment slips to QR bills. The payment transactions need to be altered to adhere to the new standards, including the accounts payable and accounts receivable accounting of invoice issuers with hardware and software solutions. Companies need to begin conversion from the old model to the QR bill now, to meet the new changes that will be active from 1 October 2022.
Need help with the upcoming QR bill requirements in Switzerland? Get in touch with our tax experts.