E-invoicing in Guatemala

Andres Landerretche
December 6, 2022

With the entry into force of resolutions SAT-DSI-1240-2021 and SAT-DSI-1350-2022, most taxpayers in the country are now obliged to issue electronic invoices under the Online Electronic Invoice System (Regimen de Factura Electronica en Linea – FEL).

The latest taxpayers to join the mandatory electronic billing system are include taxpayers incorporated into the General Value Added Tax (VAT) Regime and the group of natural and legal persons registered in the Small Taxpayer Regime.

With the addition of these last two groups, the Superintendence of Tax Administration of Guatemala (SAT) has practically completed the gradual process of incorporation into the country’s electronic invoicing regime.

Today, the general population should only accept FEL documents from obligated taxpayers. Paper invoices (preprinted) are no longer valid, making them unusable for transactions such as tax credit, among others.

The operating model and the rules applicable to the online electronic invoice of the Republic of Guatemala includes the issuance, transmission, certification, and preservation by electronic means of invoices, credit and debit notes, receipts, and other documents authorised by the Superintendence of Tax Administration, known as Electronic Tax Documents (DTE).

Electronic documents

The following tax documents are available for issuance under the Regimen de Factura Electronica en Linea – FEL:

  • Sales Invoice
  • Exchange Bill
  • Small Taxpayer Invoice
  • Small Taxpayer Exchange Invoice
  • Special Invoice
  • Agricultural Taxpayer Invoice
  • Agricultural Taxpayer Exchange Invoice
  • Small Taxpayer Invoice Electronic Regime
  • Exchange Invoice Small Taxpayer Electronic Regime
  • Agricultural Taxpayer Invoice Special Electronic Regime
  • Agricultural Taxpayer Exchange Invoice Special Electronic Regime
  • Credit Note
  • Debit Note
  • Credit Note
  • Donation Receipt
  • Receipt

Guatemala e-invoice issuance process

The Guatemalan system follows e-invoice clearance system, the well-established trend in LatAm countries. The clearance system means that the tax authority must authorise the electronic documents before the issuer is able to send them to the recipient.

The issuance process goes through the following mandatory steps:

  1. The taxpayer issues the document with an electronic signature, and it is sent to the certifier automatically.
  2. The certifier receives, validates, and authorises each document, which is automatically sent to the issuer and to the SAT.
  3. The issuer delivers the document to the receiver or client.
  4. The SAT verifies each electronic tax document and makes it available to the issuer and receiver for consultation and verification.

Archiving

The SAT store all invoices. This does not exempt senders and receivers from keeping the XML file for the period of four years, established in the Tax Code. The certifiers are also obliged to keep the certified DTE files in XML format, as well as the respective acknowledgments of receipt from the SAT.

Implementation

Now 98.23% of the total billing of the General VAT Regime is using FEL, with only around 20,000 businesses needing to migrate to the system since it was first launched in 2020.

Online e-invoices for all remaining VAT registered business will be mandatory from 1 April 2023 via the FEL.

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Author

Andres Landerretche

Andrés is the Director of Regulatory Analysis and Design in Latin-America. He graduated with a degree in Law from the University of Chile and has an LLM in International Law from Kings College, London. Andres has over 20 years of international experience working in the Chilean diplomatic service with assignments in South Africa and the United Nations in New York. He has significant experience in external affairs, compliance, communications and community relations in Chile, Brazil, Colombia, Peru, South Africa and Australia.
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