African countries are following e-invoicing and continuous transaction control trends implemented rapidly by many countries around the globe.
Each country in the continent is developing their variation of a tax digitization system. This means there is currently no standardisation with compliance requirements differing in each jurisdiction.
A common transaction reporting feature among African countries is the use of electronic or virtual fiscal devices. Electronic fiscal devices are cash registers with software and direct communication to the tax authority. Virtual fiscal devices serve the same purpose but without the hardware component.
However, reporting transactions is one of many fiscal digitization processes applied by African countries. E-invoicing is on the agenda for several authorities, including Nigeria, Kenya and Uganda. In this blog we explain the key features of these systems.
Taxpayers report their transactions electronically to the tax authority through the Automated Tax Administration System (ATAS), established for electronic VAT compliance purposes.
In addition to this e-reporting function, as of February 2022, all import and export operations need an authenticated e-invoice issued according to the format specified by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The CBN has introduced the Cross-Border e-Invoicing program, where suppliers and buyers operating in imports and exports register on the dedicated electronic platform. There are exemptions to obligatory e-invoices based on operations and taxpayers, such as the transaction value within the invoice.
Businesses subject to VAT must report their e-invoices to the Tax Invoice Management System (TIMS), which requires taxpayers to install, and use approved electronic tax register machines. These tax register machines connect to the tax authority’s online system. There is a mandatory format for submitting e-invoices to the tax authority.
Regarding the full implementation, the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) announced additional time to comply with the TIMS after the grace period, and taxpayers are expected to be fully prepared by the end of November 2022.
The Electronic Fiscal Receipting and Invoicing System (EFRIS) covers invoices and receipts of B2B, B2G and B2C transactions. Taxpayers must send e-invoices to EFRIS through electronic fiscal devices or via an API connection between the taxpayer and EFRIS. When initiating a transaction, transaction details are transmitted in real time to EFRIS to generate an e-receipt or e-invoice.
Given the growth in jurisdictions applying mandatory e-invoicing and e-reporting and the common agenda set by African Union that also refers to tax control and traceability, we can expect more African countries to introduce similar e-invoicing systems in the near future. The countries that follow will likely learn from the pioneers, leading to a more uniform development of tax digitization in Africa.
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