Serbia is on the final straight to implementing its mandatory e-invoicing, which will come into effect from 1 January 2023. Legislative changes are still being proposed before that deadline to allow for a complete introduction of mandatory e-invoicing to the whole B2B sector.

On 12 December 2022, the Ministry of Finance published the following Laws on Amendments in the “Official Gazette of the RS” No. 138 among others:

1. Amendments to Serbia’s Electronic Invoicing Law

One of the changes regarding the scope of the Law on Electronic Invoicing involves natural persons who are not liable for income tax for self-employment, in the sense of the law governing personal income tax, who will be excluded from the provisions of the Law on E-Invoicing.

Regarding the type of transactions that will not be in the scope of e-invoicing, there will be no obligation to issue an electronic invoice for the sale of goods and services free of charge. Lastly, the legal entities and entrepreneurs who are not VAT payers, nor voluntary users of SEF, will not be obliged to record VAT calculation in SEF if they are tax debtors.

In case of a temporary interruption in the operation of the electronic invoice system, the system will consider an e-invoice as delivered at the time operation resumes. The act of the Ministry of Finance that regulates such procedures will be adopted on 1 April 2023 – three months from the date of entry into force of this law.

Also, the following paragraph will be added to Article 6 stating: “An electronic invoice that has been rejected can be subsequently accepted”. This provision will apply from 1 June 2023 for electronic invoices recorded in the central register of invoices, in accordance with the law regulating the deadlines for settling monetary obligations in commercial transactions.

The law will enter into force on 1 January 2023.

2. Amendments to Serbia’s VAT Law

The changes introduced to the law on VAT that impacts electronic invoicing processes stipulate that an invoice is an electronic invoice accepted by the buyer, as required by the Law on E-Invoicing.

The law ensures that the taxpayer accepting the electronic invoice within the deadline to submit the tax return may exercise the right to deduct the preliminary tax at the earliest date for the tax period where liability occurred. The taxpayer will also need to notify the tax authority about a change of data relevant to the calculation and payment of VAT contained in the registration form. The notification will be exclusively electronic and excludes notice in writing.

The law will enter into force on 1 January 2023, coinciding with the Serbian e-invoicing mandate go live date.

3. Amendments to Serbia’s Fiscalisation Law

The Law on Fiscalisation regulates, among other things, the subject of fiscalisation and the procedure conducted through an electronic fiscal device. The supply of goods and services, conducted by a fiscalization obligor to a legal entity or taxpayer of income from self-employment, outside the retail store, is not considered a retail supply. Therefore, such supply will not be subjected to fiscalization requirements and will not need to be recorded through an electronic fiscal device.

Moreover, the amendments specify that the fiscal receipt does not need to contain the value of the transaction per tax rate as a mandatory element. By scanning the QR code for verification, which has all the parts of an electronic signature when printing a fiscal invoice or a hyperlink for verification when a fiscal e-invoice is issued, it will be possible to receive additional information about the fiscal receipt.

The amendments to the Law on Fiscalisation that impact the future e-invoicing mandate cover changes related to the fiscal invoices issued to legal entities and taxpayers on income from self-employment. Transferring these fiscal invoices to the System of Electronic Invoices (SEF) will happen upon fulfilment of technical requirements. The Minister of Finance will further regulate the method and procedure of data transfer in the future.

Based on Article 7, a separate regulation will control the manner and procedure of data transfer to the SEF platform, that will be adopted within 180 days from the day when this Law enters into force. This means adoption will be in June 2023 at the earliest.

The Law on Amendments and Supplements to the Fiscalisation Act will be enforced on the 8th day following its publication, which took place on 12 December 2022.

Integration of the Fiscalisation system with SEF

The above amendments relate to the plans introduced by the MoF to integrate the Fiscalisation system with the E-Invoicing system (SEF), which will most likely start at the earliest in January 2024. As the Minister of Finance Vuk Delibašić announced on 1 December 2022: “The plan is to integrate the E-Invoicing system with the Customs Administration, e-fiscalization, as well as the creation of a semi-automatic VAT declaration, and an electronic excise tax is also being prepared.”

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Update: 3 February 2023 by Marta Sowińska

Poland: e-invoicing mandate postponement to 1 July 2024

According to an official announcement published by the Ministry of Finance on 2 February 2023, the go-live date of Poland’s mandatory e-invoicing system is now 1 July 2024 – delayed six months from the previous date.

More than a year since the roll-out of the voluntary phase and following extensive testing of the KSeF system by taxpayers, the Ministry of Finance responded to the feedback submitted by businesses and entrepreneurs in the public consultation by announcing the delay of the mandate and relaxing certain requirements.

The expected changes are:

Taxpayers should not treat the postponement of the e-invoicing mandate as a reason to pause the implementation process. Instead, taxpayers should treat the delay as an incentive to implement complex legislative and technical requirements before the go-live date and adapt their accounting and invoicing processes considering any errors that may appear.

The proposed changes will need to be adopted by law to become effective. Such legislation, considering the often-lengthy legislative process, is expected to be published just in time for the mandate roll-out in July.

Looking for more information on e-invoicing in Poland? Speak with our expert team.

 

Update: 15 December 2022 by Marta Sowińska

Poland publishes draft law on mandatory e-invoicing via KSEF

 On 1 December 2022 the Ministry of Finance in Poland published the draft legislation amending the VAT Act regarding the introduction of mandatory e-invoicing in the National e-Invoicing System (KSeF). It is the second stage of the implementation of mandatory CTC e-invoicing in Poland, which will take effect from 1 January 2024.

Due to the Council Implementing Decision (EU) No 2022/1003 of 17 June 2022 authorising Poland to apply a special derogatory measure from Articles 218 and 232 of Directive 2006/112/EC on the common system of value added tax (OJ. UE L 168/81), Poland is now able to propose amendments to the VAT Act that leads to full implementation of mandatory e-invoicing in the country.

What is KSeF and who is in scope?

KSeF is the centralised e-invoicing platform for issuing, exchanging and archiving structured invoices. We are currently in the voluntary phase of issuing invoices through the KSeF system; the system has been available for transactions since 1 January 2022.

From 1 January 2024, with the implementation of the mandatory mandate, suppliers and buyers will be obliged to issue and receive their invoices through the KSeF.

Transactional KSeF scope:

The obligatory e-invoicing will cover activities that currently require documenting an invoice issued in accordance with the VAT Act. Therefore, the transactional scope will include the supplies of goods and services made between entrepreneurs (B2B), to public authorities (B2G), and to consumers (B2C).

Subjective KSeF scope:

What amendments were introduced for KSeF?

Verification QR code

Taxpayers will need to mark structured invoices with the verification code (QR code) if issuing them outside of KSeF. The code will need to be displayed when visualising e-invoices in commercial programs or free tools provided by the Ministry of Finance (meaning in PDF or paper formats too).

KSeF will provide functionality enabling verification of the correctness of the invoice issued via KSeF. After scanning the QR code, the information contained in the code will be read, and data identifying this invoice will be displayed with information from KSeF about their correctness. The implementing regulation to the VAT Act will provide further information regarding the method of marking e-invoices.

Corrective process – new document introduced

Contrary to the previous position of the MoF, corrective invoices issued after the entry into force of the draft Act will be issued in KSeF if they are issued by a taxpayer with a registered office or permanent place of business in Poland, regardless of whether they were issued using KSeF or outside KSeF.

Also, buyers will be able to propose corrections to the original invoice (except to the NIP number). After seller acceptance it will become a corrective e-invoice (alternative corresponding to the corrective note, which can only be issued by the buyer and used when the invoice recipient finds a mistake in the delivered invoice).

Cash registers

From 1 January 2025 invoices issued via cash registers will be in scope of the KSeF system. Taxpayers keeping sales records using cash registers will be required to issue a fiscal receipt for each sale, but they should not issue an invoice from the cash register, as this document will not be considered an e-invoice.

Also, from 1 January 2024, a receipt with NIP number up to PLN 450 will not be considered an e-invoice.

Technical issues with the KSeF system

In case of KSeF system failure, taxpayers will have to issue e-invoices in accordance with the schema, but instead transfer them to the recipients outside the KSeF. The date of issue of such e-invoices will be the date specified in the P_1 field.

After the failure is over, taxpayers will have seven days to send invoices issued in this way to KSeF. Also, it is possible to issue e-invoices outside of KSeF in the event of a crisis.

KSeF penalties

According to the draft law, failure to comply with the obligations introduced in the amended VAT Act will lead to financial administrative penalties.

The head of tax office will be able to impose:

Penalties can be imposed when the taxpayer:

It’s vital to highlight that the introduction of the administrative penalties with the half year delay isn’t hindering the introduction of mandatory e-invoicing in Poland. This postponement should not be viewed as a delay to the introduction of the mandatory e-invoicing obligations. Invoices issued between 1 January 2024 and 30 June 2024 outside of KSeF will not be treated as structured invoices, and therefore penal and fiscal sanctions will apply.

Key KSeF dates highlighted by the draft regulation

KseF public consultation deadline: 23 December 2022

With the draft regulation published, the Ministry of Finance also presented the new logical structures of FA(2) and FA_RR. The public consultation on the substantive and logical correctness of the schemas is open until 23 December 2022, coinciding with the public consultation regarding the draft regulation on the mandatory implementation of KSeF.

The draft regulation amending the VAT Act is available on the Government Legislation Centre website and the draft schemas can be found: FA (2) and FA_RR.

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On 30 August 2022, the Ministry of Finance published draft legislation amending the Regulation on the use of the National e-Invoice System (KSeF). The purpose of the draft amendment is to adapt KSeF’s terms of use to the specific conditions that apply to the local government units and the VAT groups that will operate as a new type of VAT taxpayer from 1 January 2023.

The current regulatory status in Poland

The concept of VAT groups was introduced in Poland in October 2021. VAT groups are a legal form of cooperation, a type of taxable entity that exists solely for VAT purposes. On joining a VAT group, a group member becomes part of a new separate VAT taxpayer possessing one Polish tax identification number (NIP).

The regulation on the use of KSeF didn’t take into consideration the uniqueness of the legal nature of the VAT group, as well as the VAT settlements in the local government units. Based on current regulation, the governmental units are treated as a single VAT taxpayer, using one NIP number.

Similarly, in the case of VAT groups, separate VAT taxpayers who create one new taxpayer (a VAT group) use one NIP number. The proposed changes resulted from the ongoing public consultations that took place in December 2021. Additionally, the change was also requested in May 2022 by the Union of Polish Metropolises.

Proposed amendments to the current e-invoice regulation

The draft law provides the possibility to grant additional limited rights for the local government units and members of VAT groups. Moreover, local government units and VAT groups will be able to grant administrative rights, to manage permissions in KSeF, to a natural person who is their representative.

Thanks to such delegated rights, there will be an option to manage authorisations for the local government unit and for the entity that is a member of a VAT group. Moreover, it is significant that a person with such authorisation will not have simultaneous access to invoices in other units within the local government or within other members of a VAT group.

For local government units and VAT groups, granting or withdrawing authorisation to the natural person must be performed electronically. It’s not possible to submit a paper form to notify the competent tax authority.

Remaining issues for KSEF and enforcement date

As mentioned, the proposed amendments are in response to concerns that were raised by the impacted entities. However, they don’t meet all the needs of local government units and VAT groups. For instance, the question of how to assign an inbound electronic invoice to a particular internal unit or member of a VAT group remains open. This is because invoices contain only the data of the taxpayer, which in this case is the local government unit or a VAT group, and not data of the internal unit or member of a VAT group.

The regulation will enter into force 14 days after the date of publication. However, provisions that apply to VAT group members will be effective from 1 January 2023.

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Latest Changes

1 July begins the second half of 2022, and in line with that milestone, changes have started to be implemented in the CTC sphere. In this blog, we highlight vital developments that have taken place in and outside Europe that may influence the continuous transaction controls (CTC) landscape globally.

The Philippines: Pilot program

The Philippines has officially implemented its mandatory continuous transaction controls (CTC system, which consists of the near-real-time transmission of electronically issued invoices and receipts. On 1 July 2022, the Philippines tax authority launched the Electronic Receipt, Invoice and Sales Reporting System (EIS) pilot program.

This initiative was first introduced in 2018 by the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Act, known as TRAIN law. 100 selected pilot taxpayers are now obliged to issue and transmit e-invoices/receipts to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) through the EIS platform. (Philippines Advances Towards Mandatory CTC Reporting | Sovos)

Romania: E-Factura system and E-Transport system

Romania has been taking steps toward implementing its continuous transaction controls (CTC system since 2021. As of 1 July 2022, Romanian taxpayers are required to use the CTC e-invoicing system e-Factura for the supply of high-fiscal risk products in B2B transactions and all B2G transactions. Suppliers must transmit structured invoices issued in XML format to the E-Factura system. Subsequently, the seal will be applied by the Ministry of Finance as proof of clearance. Such invoice will be legally valid under the Romanian regulation. (Romania: Questions Remain as Deadline Looms | Sovos)

Alongside the 1 July 2022 go live for the CTC e-invoicing mandate, the e-transport system has been introduced to monitor high-fiscal-risk goods transported domestically. Taxpayers must issue an e-transport document before certain goods are transported. Moreover, taxpayers must send files to the tax authorities in XML format. Based on Act No. 106 issued by the Romanian government on 30 June 2022 and the change of Articles 13 and 14 of GEO, the fines for non-compliance with the e-transport requirements will not be effective until 1 October 2022. Also, starting from 1 July 2022, SAFT began to apply to large taxpayers as the penalty grace period has ended.

Vietnam: CTC Mandate

On the list of countries expanding their e-invoicing requirements is also Vietnam, where the issuance of e-invoices became mandatory for all taxable persons operating in Vietnam as of 1 July 2022. Previously, the expected deadline was 1 November 2020, but the tax authority extended it due to the difficulties encountered by local companies to implement on time a compliant e-invoice solution.

Moreover, enterprises, economic organisations, other organisations, business households and individuals must register with the local tax administration to use e-invoices according to the rules established in Decree 123. (Vietnam: E-invoicing Roll-Out in July 2022 | Sovos).

Portugal – B2G invoicing postponement

Mandatory B2G invoicing has been postponed for small, medium, and microenterprises with the enactment of  Law Decree 42-A/2022. The initial date was 1 July 2022. Now, the B2G e-invoicing is going to be mandatory from 1 January 2023. The reason for this change is that, after extending the deadline for acceptance of electronic invoices in PDF until 31 December 2022, the Portuguese government considered it important to also extend the deadline for receiving and processing B2G electronic invoices for micro, small and medium-sized companies until 31 December 2022 (Portugal: Mandatory B2G invoicing for SME’s postponed again | Sovos)

Turkey, South Korea and Italy: Expansions of existing mandates

In Turkey, the tax authority expanded the scope of taxpayers required to use e-fatura, e-arsiv and e-waybill applications. This expansion was done by either adding new sector-based mandates or decreasing the annual revenue threshold. The new requirements became applicable recently, and the taxpayers in the scope of the changes started using e-documents as of 1 July 2022. (Turkey Expands Scope of E-Documents (sovos.com)

In South Korea, e-invoicing has been mandatory for all corporate businesses since 2011. An issued e-tax invoice must be transmitted to the National Tax Service (NTS) within one day of the invoice being issued. The current change concerns the threshold limit for individual businesses, which from 1 July 2022 has been lowered to KRW 200,000,000.

Italy has also entered another phase of implementing its CTC requirements. Starting with cross-border invoices, the Esterometro (the report of cross-border invoices) has been replaced with the transmission of cross-border invoice data to the SDI in a FatturaPA format from 1 July 2022. Additionally, the recently published Decree n.73 established a threshold for the cross-border invoice reporting mandate. Taxpayers are only required to report transactions that exceed the amount of EUR 5,000 for every single operation. This applies, more specifically, to purchases of goods and services not territorially relevant for VAT purposes in Italy, under Articles 7 to 7-octies of Presidential Decree 633/1972.

Moreover, e-invoicing through the SDI became mandatory from 1 July 2022 for taxpayers applying the flat-rate VAT regime (regime forfettario), as well as amateur sports associations and third sector entities with revenue up to EUR 65,000. Lastly, e-invoicing became mandatory between Italy and San Marino from 1 July 2022. The system for e-invoice exchange between Italy and SM will leverage the SDI as the access point for Italian taxpayers and a new, comparable hub for companies in San Marino.

Many countries around the world are either introducing or expanding their existing CTC Regimes with the active changes taking place globally. Sovos continues to monitor which countries are next on the list to build its local CTC regimes and comply with the international standards.

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In line with the obligations set by the European Directive 2014/55 on electronic invoicing in public procurement, Belgium introduced a mandate for public entities to receive and process electronic invoices in 2019.

For Brussels, Flanders, and Wallonia the initiative went beyond the bare minimum of the EU Directive requirements and introduced obligations to also issue e-invoices for suppliers to public sector entities in these regions.

With recent legal changes, Belgium is now preparing to extend the e-invoicing obligation to even more businesses by introducing mandatory e-invoicing in the B2B sector.

E-invoicing in public procurement

On 31 March 2022, the Belgian Official Gazette published the Royal Decree of 9 March 2022, which intends to expand the obligation to issue electronic invoices to all suppliers of public institutions in the context of public contracts and concession contracts.

As previously mentioned, such obligation was already present in multiple regions including Brussels, Flanders, and Wallonia, however, now the mandate covers suppliers of public bodies in all regions. The dates concerning issuing electronic invoices in the public contracts, based on their value are:

Only public contracts and concessions, which estimated value is less or equal to €3,000 excluding VAT are exempt.

E-invoicing in the private sector

As reported previously, Belgian authorities have indicated the ambition to move beyond B2G e-invoicing. On 11 May 2022, the Belgium Chamber of Representatives published a draft law amending the law of 2 August 2002 on combating late payment in commercial transactions, as last amended by the law of 28 May 2019, with the aim to implement electronic invoicing between private companies (B2B).

The rationale behind the proposal is the need to enable companies to invest in electronic invoicing, after already supporting the digitalization of invoicing in the B2G sector. The benefits that will follow are a much faster invoicing process, which is more secure and minimises the risk of errors and missing data.

Moreover, the chances of fraud will decrease while privacy protection increases, without the need for human intervention in the invoicing process.

Lastly, the environmental aspect concerning less paper consumption is highlighted. In terms of financial gain, as calculated by the Administrative Simplification Service (DAV), full digitalization of invoices in Belgium could reduce the administrative burden by €3.37 billion.

Based on the draft law, companies (with the exception of micro-enterprises) will be obliged to send their invoices in structured electronic form (in line with the European standard for electronic invoicing EN 16931-1:2017 and CEN/TS 16931-2:2017) as well as receive and process invoices electronically.

Nothing in the draft law describes the involvement of a centralised clearance platform, or the reporting of e-invoice data to the tax authorities. At this time, there is therefore no formal indication that the proposed mandate would be designed as a Continuous Transactions Control (CTC) e-invoicing system, however it is possible that the system will evolve to connect with PEPPOL.

The law will come into effect on 1 January 2025 regarding SMEs, thereby ensuring that companies have adequate time to prepare for the transition. If it comes to large enterprises, it is expected that mandatory e-invoicing will be present from January 2024. Originally the date concerning large taxpayers was July 2023, and small taxpayers from 2024, therefore those dates will most likely be postponed.

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Eastern European countries are taking new steps concerning the implementation of continuous transaction controls (CTC) systems to reduce the VAT gap and combat tax fraud. This blog provides you with information on the latest developments in several Eastern European countries that may further shape the establishment of CTC systems in other European countries and beyond.

Poland

Previously announced on 1 January 2022, taxpayers have been able to issue structured invoices (e-invoices) using Poland’s National e-Invoicing System (KSeF) voluntarily, meaning electronic and paper forms are still acceptable in parallel. On 30 March 2022, the European Commission announced the derogatory decision from Article 218 and Article 232 of Directive 2006/112/EC. The decision will apply from 1 April 2023 until 31 March 2026, after receiving the last approval from the EU Council. Moreover, on 7 April 2022, the Ministry of Finance published the test version of the KSeF taxpayer application that enabled the management of authorisations issuing and receiving invoices from KSeF. The mandatory phase of the mandate is expected to begin the second quarter of 2023, 1 April 2023.

Romania

The Romanian CTC system is one of the fastest developing in Eastern Europe, with the E-Factura system being available for B2G transactions since November 2021. Based on the Government Emergency Ordinance no. 41, published in the official gazette on 11 April 2022, the use of the system will become mandatory for transporting high fiscal risk goods domestically as of July 2022.

Moreover, Draft Law on the approval of the Government Emergency Ordinance no. 120/2021 on the administration, operation, and implementation of the national e-invoicing system (Draft Law) on 20 April 2022 was published by The Romanian Chamber of Deputies. According to the Draft Law, the National Agency for Fiscal Administration (ANAF) will issue an order in 30 days following the derogation decision from EU VAT Directive and establish the scope and the timeline of the B2B e-invoicing mandate. As derived from the proposed amendments, B2G e-invoicing will become mandatory as of 1 July 2022, and mandatory e-invoicing for all B2B transactions is in the pipeline.

Serbia

Serbia has introduced a CTC platform called Sistem E-Faktura (SEF) and an additional system to help taxpayers with the processing and storage of invoices called the Sistem za Upravljanje Fakturama (SUF).

To start using the CTC system Sistem E-Faktura (SEF) provided by the Serbian Ministry of Finance, a taxpayer must register through the dedicated portal: eID.gov.rs. SEF is a clearance portal for sending, receiving, capturing, processing and storing structured electronic invoices. The recipient must accept or reject an invoice within fifteen days from the day of receipt of the electronic invoice.

The CTC system became mandatory on 1 May 2022 for the B2G sector, where all suppliers in the public sector must send invoices electronically. The Serbian government must be able to receive and store them from 1 July 2022. Additionally, all taxpayers will be obliged to receive and store e-invoices, and from ​1 January 2023, all taxpayers must issue B2B e-invoices​.

Slovakia

The Slovakian government announced its CTC system called Electronic Invoice Information System (IS EFA, Informačný systém elektronickej fakturácie) in 2021 through draft legislation.

The CTC e-invoicing covers B2G, B2B and B2C transactions and will be conducted via the electronic invoicing information system (IS EFA).

The official legislation regulating the e-invoicing system has not been published yet although it is expected to be published soon. However, the Ministry of Finance has recently posted new dates concerning the implementation of the electronic solution:

The second phase will follow for B2B and B2C transactions.

Slovenia

Slovenia has not progressed in introducing its CTC system. Due to the national elections in April 2022, the CTC reform was not expected to gain much traction until at least the summer of 2022. Nevertheless, there are still ongoing discussions around the CTC reform, which intensified soon after the Slovenian parliamentary elections.

The fast pace of the developments happening within Eastern European countries brings challenges. The lack of clarity and last-minute changes makes it even harder for taxpayers to stay compliant in these jurisdictions.

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The global trend in the e-invoicing sphere for the past decade has shown that legislators and local tax authorities worldwide are rethinking the invoice creation process. By introducing technologically sophisticated continuous transaction control (CTC) platforms tax authorities get immediate and detailed control over VAT, which has proven a very efficient way to reduce the VAT gap.

However, many common law countries, that don’t have a VAT system, including the United States, Australia and New Zealand, haven’t followed the same path. They have stood out in international comparisons by providing little regulation in the field of e-invoicing. The reason why there is no need to have control over the invoices is the lack of a VAT tax regime. Recent developments, however, indicate that also common law countries try to spur e-invoicing, driven by the business process efficiencies rather than the need for tax control. Accordingly, the upcoming developments will be addressed in this blog, focusing on the Unites States e-invoicing pilot program and the Australian and New Zealand initiatives to promote e-invoicing.

United States

E-invoicing has been permitted for a very long time in the United States but is still not widespread business practice. According to some sources, e-invoicing currently only amounts to 25% of all invoices exchanged in the country. With the introduction of the Business Payments Coalition (BPC) e-invoicing pilot program in cooperation with the Federal Reserve, this may be about to change.

The BPC’s e-Invoice Exchange Market Pilot aims to promote faster B2B communication and provide an opportunity for all kinds of businesses to exchange e-invoices in the US.

The BPC e-Invoice Exchange Market Pilot

The pilot program is a standardised e-invoicing network across which structured e-invoices can be exchanged between counterparties using various interoperable invoicing systems to connect and exchange documents. It’s intended to drive efficiency and productivity while reducing data errors. A federated registry services model enables authorised administrators or registrars to register and onboard participants into the e-invoice exchange framework.

The e-invoice exchange framework operates similarly to the email ecosystem. Users can sign up with an email provider to send and receive emails. The provider serves as an access point to email exchanges for their users and delivers emails between them over the internet. It allows multiple registrars to register participants within the e-invoice exchange framework. This is reminiscent of the globally established PEPPOL model, which standardizes the structure of an invoice as well as provides a framework for interoperability.

Future vision

The US is following the European e-invoicing model based on open interoperability functionality. It enables parties using various invoicing systems to connect and exchange documents through the e-invoicing network easily. The digitization process in the e-invoicing sphere will enable large and small organisations in the US to save resources, promote sustainability and provide business efficiency.

Australia and New Zealand

Similarly, to the US, the move towards e-invoicing in Australia and New Zealand is not primarily driven by tax issues but process efficiency. Neither country has any plans concerning a traditional B2B e-invoicing mandate. However, the New Zealand and Australian governments have committed to a joint approach to e-invoicing, and the first steps are ensuring that all government entities can receive e-invoices.

Australia

In Australia, all commonwealth government agencies must be able to receive PEPPOL e-invoices from 1 July 2022. Moreover, the government also seeks to boost e-invoicing in the B2B space without the traditional mandate for businesses to invoice electronically. Instead, the proposal is to implement what is referred to as Business e-Invoicing Right (BER).

Under the government’s proposal, businesses would have the right to request that their trading parties send an e-invoice over the PEPPOL network instead of traditional paper invoices. Businesses need to set up their systems to be able to receive PEPPOL e-invoices. Once a business has this capability, it would be able to exercise its ‘right’ and request other companies to send them PEPPOL e-invoices.

This reform is expected to be introduced in July 2023, by which businesses will be able to request to receive PEPPOL e-invoices only from large businesses, followed by a staged roll-out to eventually cover all businesses by 1 July 2025.

New Zealand

Following the Australian e-invoicing reform from July 2022 for the B2G sector, the New Zealand Government is encouraging businesses and government agencies to adopt e-invoicing. One step in this direction is the possibility for all central government agencies to be able to receive e-invoices based on PEPPOL BIS Billing 3.0 since 31 March 2022.

Outside of these B2G requirements, there are currently no published plans to move the full economy to mandatory e-invoicing.

To find out more about what we believe the future holds, download Trends 13th Edition.

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Transition from voluntary to mandatory e-invoicing expected from 1 April 2023

From 1 January 2022, taxpayers have been able to issue structured invoices (e-invoices) using Poland’s National e-Invoicing System (KSeF) on a voluntary basis, meaning electronic and paper forms are still acceptable in parallel. Introduction of the KSeF system is part of the digital transformation happening in Poland following the establishment of continuous transaction control (CTC) mandates all around Europe, supporting faster and more effective identification of tax fraud.

The KSeF system enables taxpayers to issue and receive invoices electronically. It is one of the most technologically advanced tools in Europe for exchanging information on economic events. Structured invoices issued via the system are prepared in accordance with the invoice template developed by the Ministry of Finance. After issuance, the invoices are sent from the financial and accounting system via an interface (API) to the central database (KSeF). Afterwards they are available in the system and can be downloaded by the recipient.

Poland’s derogation requests

On 5 August 2021, the Republic of Poland requested authorisation to derogate from Articles 218, 226 and 232 of the VAT Directive to be able to implement an obligation to issue electronic invoices, processed through the National e-Invoicing System (KSeF), for all transactions that require the issuance of an invoice according to Polish VAT legislation.

Subsequently, on 9 February 2022, Poland modified its request, asking for the authorisation to derogate only from Articles 218 and 232 of the VAT Directive and specified that mandatory electronic invoicing would only apply to taxable persons established in the territory of Poland.

Poland considers the introduction of a generalised obligation to issue electronic invoices would bring significant benefits in terms of combating VAT fraud and evasion while simplifying tax collection. Moreover, the implementation of the measure will accelerate the digitalization of the public sector.

 The European Commission derogatory decision

As derived from Article 218 of the VAT Directive, Member States are obliged to accept all documents or messages in paper or electronic form as invoices. Poland strived to obtain a derogation from the above-mentioned Article of the VAT Directive so that only documents in electronic form could be considered as invoices by the Polish tax administration.

Additionally, based on Article 232 of the VAT Directive the use of an electronic invoice is subject to acceptance by the recipient. Therefore, the introduction of an electronic invoicing obligation in Poland requires a derogation from this Article, so that the issuer no longer has to obtain the consent of the recipient to send an invoice in a paperless format. Currently, under Article 106n of the Polish VAT law, the use of electronic invoices requires the approval of the invoice recipient, which hinders the possibility to impose mandatory electronic invoicing.

As announced by the European Commission on 30 March 2022, Poland has been granted the derogatory decision both from the Article 218 and Article 232 of Directive 2006/112/EC. The decision will apply from 1 April 2023 until 31 March 2026, after receiving the last approval from the EU Council. The mandatory phase of the mandate is expected to begin on 1 April 2023.

The KSeF taxpayer application – on the horizon

To allow taxpayers to issue and make electronic invoices available using KSeF, the Polish Ministry of Finance will offer several tools free of charge:

On 31 March 2022 the Ministry of Finance announced that the test version of the KSeF Taxpayer application will be made available on 7 April 2022. It will enable management of authorisations, issuing and receiving invoices from the KSeF.

Next steps

With the published decision of the European Commission Poland has entered into the next implementing stage of mandatory e-invoicing. The next steps will follow after receiving the approval from the EU Council (which is now a formality and should take place within a few weeks). Subsequently, the Ministry of Finance will implement universal electronic invoicing in Poland giving adequate time for the businesses to adapt to new solutions.

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In November 2021, a Draft Royal Decree was published by the Chancery of the Prime Minister of Belgium, aiming to expand the scope of the existing e-invoicing mandate for certain business to government (B2G) transactions by implementing mandatory e-invoicing for all transactions with public administrations in Belgium. This obligation was already in place for suppliers of the centralised public entities of certain regions (Brussels, Flanders, Wallonia). However, going forward, it will include all public entities in all Belgian regions.

A phased approach

More specifically, the roll-out for mandatory issuance of e-invoices by the suppliers of public institutions in Belgium will be carried out in the following phased approach:

As a result of the transposition of the Directive 2014/55/EU, all Belgian government bodies are already obliged to be able to receive and process e-invoices within public procurement. This new national legislation expands the Directive’s scope and mandates the issuance of e-invoices by all suppliers to the federal government.

The journey continues towards a B2B e-invoicing mandate

These B2G developments are not the end of the story. They are just the beginning. The Belgian Minister of Finance, Vincent Van Peteghem, announced in October 2021 that the government intends to extend the existing B2G e-invoicing obligation to also cover B2B transactions. Nevertheless, official sources have not yet communicated formal information specifying details of the mandate and its following implementation. Rumour has it that a legislative proposal for the B2B e-invoicing mandate was going to be published during 2022 with the implementation process happening in 2023.

However, considering the European Parliament Resolution last week which strongly favours harmonised and mandatory e-invoicing in the EU, Belgium will likely hold its horses at least until the Commission produces a proposal for how to manage e-invoicing and reporting in the Union.

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