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Eastern Europe: The Rise of CTCs

Enis Gencer
January 6, 2022

In a blog post earlier this year, we wrote about how several Eastern European countries have started implementing continuous transaction controls (CTC) to combat tax fraud and reduce the VAT gap. However, it’s been an eventful year with many new developments in the region, so let’s take a closer look at some of the changes on the horizon.

Latvia

Latvia has recently revealed its new CTC regime plans. The Latvian government approved a report prepared by the Ministry of Finance to implement an electronic invoicing system in the country. The concept described in the report envisages the introduction of electronic invoicing as mandatory for B2B and B2G transactions from 2025 under the PEPPOL framework. The details about the system, including the legislation and technical documentation, are expected in due course.

Serbia

Serbia is another country moving rapidly towards a CTC framework, and apparently, various stakeholders find this movement rather quick. The Ministry of Finance recently announced that upon the request for a transition period to adapt to the new system of e-invoices, they have decided to postpone the date for entry into force of CTC clearance for B2G transactions until the end of April 2022. It must be noted that there has been no delay concerning B2B transactions. 

According to the revised calendar:

  • From 1 May 2022: B2G e-invoicing through a CTC portal will become mandatory
  • From 1 July 2022: All taxpayers will be obliged to receive and store e-invoices
  • From 1 January 2023: All taxpayers will be obliged to issue B2B e-invoices through the CTC system.

Slovenia

Slovenia is also looking to introduce CTCs. In June 2021, the Ministry of Finance submitted a draft law to the Slovenian parliament, aimed at introducing mandatory B2B e-invoicing in the country. According to the draft regulation, all business entities would be obliged to exchange e-invoices exclusively in their mutual transactions (B2B). In the case of B2C transactions, consumers could opt to receive their invoices in electronic or paper form. However, the Ministry of Finance withdrew the draft law due to disagreement with various stakeholders but intends to review it by simplifying the process and reducing the administrative burden on businesses. 

Discussions around the introduction of CTCs in the country continue among various stakeholders, e.g., the local Chamber of Commerce. However, seeing as national elections are expected in Slovenia in April 2022, the CTC reform is not expected to gain much traction until summer 2022 at the earliest.

Slovakia

Earlier this year, we reported that the Slovakian Ministry of Finance had prepared draft legislation to introduce a CTC scheme. The aim was to lower Slovakia’s VAT gap to the EU average and obtain real-time information about underlying business transactions. Public consultation for the draft law was completed in March 2021. However, no roll-out timeline was published at the time.

Over the past months, the Slovakian government has launched the CTC system and published new documentation. The CTC system is called Electronic Invoice Information Systems (IS EFA, Informačný systém elektronickej fakturácie) and is a unified process of electronic circulation of invoices and sending structured data from invoices to the financial administration. The timeline for the gradual roll-out of entry into force looks as follows: 

  • Phase 1: From January 2022, CTC e-invoicing will be introduced for B2G, G2G, and G2B transactions; and 
  • Phase 2: From January 2023, CTC e-invoicing will be introduced for B2B, B2C, and G2C transactions. 

Poland 

There have been serious developments regarding Poland’s CTC framework and system, the Krajowy System e-Faktur (KSeF). The CTC legislation was finally adopted and published in the Official Gazette on 18 November 2021. Starting from January 2022, KSeF goes live as a voluntary system, meaning there is no obligation to use this e-invoicing system in B2B transactions. It is expected that the system will be mandatory in 2023, but no date has been set yet for the mandate. 

Romania

With the largest VAT gap in the EU (34.9% in 2019), Romania has also been moving towards introducing a CTC regime to streamline the collection of taxes to improve and strengthen VAT collection while combating tax evasion. In October 2021, 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 basic technical specifications of the CTC e-invoicing system. While the Romanian e-Factura went live as a voluntary system on 6 November 2021, no timeline has yet been published for a mandate. 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.

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Author

Enis Gencer

Enis Gencer is Regulatory Counsel at Sovos and is based in Istanbul, Turkey. With experience in compliance and legal consultancy he currently undertakes the legal monitoring and analysis of the regulations regarding electronic documents. Enis graduated from Istanbul University Faculty of Law.
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