Portugal: How to Prepare for 2022 E-Invoicing Changes

Gabriel Pezzato
August 24, 2021

Back in 2019, Portugal passed a mini e-invoicing reform consolidating the country’s framework around SAF-T reporting and certified billing software.

Since then, a lot has happened: non-resident companies were brought into the scope of e-invoicing requirements, deadlines have been postponed due to Covid, and new regulations were published. This blog summarises the latest and upcoming changes.

QR Code

Introduced in 2019, the de facto implementation of the QR code requirement was delayed, and is now expected to be fully implemented by taxpayers in January 2022. A QR code should be included in all invoices. Technical specifications about the content and placement of the code in the invoice are available on the tax authority’s website.

ATCUD – Unique ID and validation codes

The ATCUD is a unique ID number to be included in invoices and is part of the content of the QR code. The ATCUD is a number with the following format ‘ATCUD:Validation Code-Sequential number’.

To obtain the first part of the ATCUD – the so-called ‘validation code’ -, taxpayers must communicate the document series to the tax authority along with information such as type of document, first document number of the series, etc.

In return, the tax authority will deliver a validation code. The validation code will be valid for the whole document series for at least a fiscal year. The second part of the ATCUD – the ‘sequential number’ – is a sequential number within the document series.

This month, the Portuguese tax authority published technical specifications for obtaining the validation code, creating a new web service. To access this web service, a specific certificate obtained from the tax authority is required and can be assigned to taxpayers or software service providers.

In addition, the tax authority has created a standard list of document classes and types, enabling the communication of document types in a structured format.

An ATCUD will be required in all invoices from January 2022. To be ready for the deadline, taxpayers must get the series’ validation codes during the last half of 2021 to apply in invoices issued in the beginning of 2022.

Obligations for non-resident companies

In April this year, Portugal clarified that non-resident companies with a Portuguese VAT registration should comply with domestic VAT rules. This includes the use of certified billing software for invoice creation, among others. These companies must also ensure integrity and authenticity of e-invoices. In Portugal, integrity and authenticity of invoices are presumed with the use of a qualified electronic signature or seal, or use of EDI with contracted security measures.

Consequently, since 1 July 2021, non-established but VAT registered companies must adopt certified billing software to comply with the Portuguese law as required by Law-Decree 28/2019, Decision 404/2020-XXII, and Circular 30234/2021.

E-invoices in B2G scenarios

The Portuguese e-invoicing mandate for business-to-government transactions includes a format requirement attached to specific transmission methods. In other words, invoices to the public administration must be issued electronically in the CIUS-PT format and transmitted through one of the web services made available by the public administration.

Initially, a phased roll-out started in January 2021, obliging large companies to issue e-invoices to public buyers. In July, the subjective scope was enlarged to include small and medium-sized businesses. The last step is to include microenterprises by January 2022.

Due to the Covid pandemic, Portugal established a grace period that has been renewed several times, whereby PDF invoices would be accepted by the public administration. Currently, the grace period runs until 31 December 2021, meaning that, in practice, all suppliers of the public administration, regardless of their size, should comply with the e-invoicing rules in public procurement by 1 January 2022.

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Need to ensure compliance with the latest e-invoicing regulations? Get in touch with our tax experts at Sovos.

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Gabriel Pezzato

Gabriel Pezzato is a Senior Regulatory Counsel at Sovos. Based in Stockholm and originally from Brazil, Gabriel’s background is in tax, corporate and administrative law. Gabriel earned a Law degree and a specialization degree in Tax Law in his home country and has a master’s degree in International and European Tax Law from Uppsala University (Sweden).
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