New e-Invoicing and e-VAT features in the European Union in 2018
Digital transformation through e-Invoicing is making headway throughout the European Union. 2018 is the key date set by Directive 2014/55/EU, which requires mandatory use of this technology in public procurement processes by member states as of November of that year. Member States have been gearing up for this for years, transposing the directive to their requirements. But that’s not all. Systems such as electronic VAT returns or e-accounting through SAF-T have also been on the rise in recent years among European businesses.
Let's review the obligatory changes to be faced in the main European Union countries.
In Spain, the SII real-time electronic VAT system comes into force in the Basque Country and Navarra Regional Communities on January 1, 2018. It has been up and running in the rest of Spain since July 1, 2017 for approximately 62,000 companies.
Within its phased adoption schedule, Francewill require intermediate companies to bill the public sector electronically from January 1, 2018. The inclusion of SMEs is foreseen for the year 2019. The platform used in France is called Chorus Pro.
Italyis at the cutting edge in B2G and B2B electronic data interchange systems. The government plans to require all public health sector suppliers to be able to receive orders electronically through the NSO platform by 2018. The NSO platform is designed to be the hub channel through which all orders are passed and forwarded to the respective suppliers. This way, MEF will be able to verify the relation between orders and invoices. In the B2B area, it is also foreseen that from next year the use of e-Invoicing will be mandatory for companies in the oil sector and their suppliers. The aim is to extend the system to all Italian businesses in their B2G and B2B exchanges in the years to come.
The United Kingdom continues with the digitalization of its NHS national health service. 2018 is the year for companies supplying medicines, laboratories or pharmacies, to take up e-Invoicing. To this end, companies must comply with product data synchronization requirements through GDSN and engage the services of an accredited PEPPOL Access Point.
Germany is preparing its e-Invoicing legislation and defining the system whereby the electronic exchange of invoices will take place. The reception point for e-invoices from suppliers to federal ministries and central constitutional bodies in Germany will be a central portal where suppliers will be required to create user accounts. This way, any supplier with a single user account will be able to send invoices to any federal ministry or public agency at the highest level.
In Belgium, the Flemish government states that as of January 1, 2018, e-Invoicing will be required for companies taking part in a tender worth more than 135,000 euros.
In Sweden, e-Invoicing has been mandatory since 2008 for the central agencies of Government. In 2014, all organizations with more than 50 employees began using electronic orders. Starting in 2018, government agencies must use the PEPPOL network for sending orders and receiving invoices.
Hungary is working towards a real-time e-VAT declaration system (24 hours) scheduled for July 2018, through its KOBAK platform. This regulation would apply to companies registered in Hungary with a VAT turnover equal to or greater than 100,000 HUF.
Poland is carrying out a progressive adaptation of the VAT book declaration system through SAF-T. Bigger companies have been adapted since July 2016 and in January 2018 it will be the turn of micro businesses. The obligation affects all companies registered in Poland for tax purposes, even though they may have no physical office in the country.