For companies operating in Turkey, 2019 was an eventful year for tax regulatory change and in particular, e-invoicing reform. Since it was first introduced in 2012, the e-invoicing mandate has grown, and companies are having to adapt in order to comply with requirements in 2020 and beyond. Turkey’s digital transformation and e-invoicing landscape continues to evolve.

According to the General Communique on the Tax Procedure Law (General Communique), more taxpayers now need to comply with the mandatory e-invoicing framework. The General Communique published on 19 October 2019 covers other e-documents such as e-arşiv, e-delivery note, e-self-employment receipts, e-producer receipts, e-tickets, e-note of expenses, e-Insurance Commission Expense Documents, e-Insurance Policies, eDocument of Currency Exchange, and e-Bank Receipts.

The scope of e-invoicing

From 1 July 2020, taxpayers with a gross sales revenue of TL 5 million or above in fiscal years 2018 or 2019 must switch to the e-invoice system. Taxpayers who meet these requirements in 2020 or later, should switch to the e-invoice system at the beginning of the seventh month of the following accounting year.

Mandatory e-invoicing is not only based on the threshold

Turkey’s tax authority has set some sector-based parameters for businesses operating in Turkey. Companies licensed by the Turkish Energy Market Regulatory Authority, middlemen or fruits or vegetable traders, online service providers facilitating online trade, importers and dealers are some of the taxpayers also required to switch to e-invoices, irrespective of their turnover.

The scope of E-Arşiv invoice

E-arsiv fatura documents B2C transactions. But also in case the transacting counterparty is not registered with the TRA for e-invoicing. Similar to e-invoice, the e-arşiv invoice, became mandatory for intermediary service providers; online advertisers; and intermediary online advertisers who switched to the system from 1 January 2020.

Taxpayers not in scope for e-invoice and e-arşiv must issue e-arşiv invoices through the Turkish Revenue Administration´s portal. That is if the total amount of an invoice issued, including taxes, exceeds:

Turkey’s Government continues to tackle its VAT gap through digital transformation. By taking greater control of reporting and requiring more granular tax detail.  So, businesses operating in Turkey need powerful e-invoicing strategies to comply with the growing demands for digital tax transformation.

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Sovos has more than a decade of experience keeping clients up to date with e-invoicing mandates all over the world.

As more and more countries across the world depend on VAT, GST or other indirect taxes as the single most significant source of public revenue, governments are increasingly asking themselves what technical means they can use to ensure that they maximise the collection of the taxes due under the new tax regimes. India is the most recent such example.

GST was introduced in India in July 2017, following many years of discussions and negotiations between different stakeholders in the country. The reform has entailed significant simplifications and streamlining of taxation in India. While the road to roll-out of the tax was bumpy, it was by international comparison very quick. Nearly two years down the road, the roll-out is widely viewed as a success, and it appears as if the government is ready to take the GST success story one step further by introducing real-time tax controls to the B2B e-invoicing process.

India on the road to real-time tax enforcement

Earlier this spring, the Indian GST Council announced the formation of a special committee with the purpose of investigating a potential Indian implementation of a mandatory B2B e-invoicing system: the “Committee of Officers on generation of electronic invoice through GST Portal” (CoO).

More specifically, the CoO has been tasked with analysing and comparing the South Korean clearance system to similar systems in Latin America in order to understand global best practices and also to assess to what extent the existing Indian state-controlled platform – the GST Network – can serve as the central hub in a clearance-style e-invoicing process.

In late May, the CoO formed two sub-committees to continue working on parallel tracks: one on legal and policy matters and the other on the development of technical requirements. During the past few weeks, work has progressed in these working groups as well as in public-private consultations.

The committee is getting close to concluding the initial deliberations, but its closing recommendations have not yet been published in a final report. As a result, no draft laws, draft invoice schemas or draft process frameworks have yet been made public; however, results are expected to be published this summer.

What would the system look like?

While it’s still too early to describe what the Indian e-invoicing system will look like with any real certainty, speculation has naturally already begun. The CoO was specifically asked to investigate how the current eWaybill system could be recycled into a mandatory e-invoicing system, and it is therefore very likely that the new framework will bear strong similarities to the eWaybill process.

Such similarities include the principle of real-time or near-real-time generation of invoice number ranges by a central platform, which must then be included on the invoice document in order for it to constitute a fiscally valid invoice. In other words, this type of system would not entail issuance of the invoice on a clearance portal, such as in Italy, but constitute a somewhat softer version of a clearance e-invoicing system.

What’s next?

E-invoicing has been a legal possibility and practical reality in India for a number of years now, and as a result many companies are up and running with PDF-based e-invoicing in the country. Given the size of the Indian economy and the role it plays in global manufacturing, any major e-invoicing reform will have significant impact, not just on local businesses but on international commerce as a whole.

On 21 June, the GST Council is set to discuss the general topic of tax controls and how to increase tax collection through modernised compliance requirements. It remains to be seen if the GST Council is ready to formally decide on the introduction of mandatory e-invoicing in the country, or if it is ready to publish a high-level framework for basic considerations such as scope, dates for entry force and high-level technical principles.

If not, there’s still no reason to worry that a decision will be delayed; if anything, it would be wise to expect the opposite: the government has repeatedly displayed the ability to get things done with remarkable speed. Strengthened as the prime minister is after the recent elections not even a month ago, there’s every reason to believe that this project won’t be an exception.

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Learn how Sovos helps companies handle e-invoicing and other mandates all over the world. To find out more about what we believe the future holds, download the Sovos eBook on trends: e-invoicing compliance