On July 16th, the Official Gazette of the Courts published the Bill on the promotion of electronic invoicing and creation of the accounting record for invoices in the Public Sector. The aim of this initiative, framed within the Public Administration reform plan, is to improve the competitive edge and efficiency of businesses while reducing administrative burdens.
According to government forecasts, the rollout of electronic billing could mean a net annual benefit for the General State Administration of 51 million euros. Moreover, it would save 2.3 million on paper, to which should be added the positive environmental impact entailed.
Once the law is approved, as of 1st January next year, the Public Sector should already be operating with a new invoice processing procedure. All Administrations will have an accounting record of receipts, whose managers will forward the information on invoices received to the Tax Authority. This will allow immediate knowledge of the real economic situation, making it possible to set budgets more in line with the actual situation, and public accounts would consequently be more reliable.
For suppliers, the changes will not come into force until January 15th 2015, according to forecasts. As of that date, the electronic invoice becomes mandatory for all those individuals who must file returns electronically under the tax regulations, although the Administration may waive this requirement for documents representing amounts below 5000 euros.
With the new law, suppliers must submit and transact their receipts electronically via a general entry point for electronic invoices to be used by all Administrations. This will leave a record of the delivery date and means greater protection, since in the event of delayed payment by the Administration, the corresponding interests would need to be paid.
Another change in the wake of approval of this new law will be more streamlined invoice processing, thanks to the new technologies, while the use of instruments such as the digital seal and signature will enhance procedural security.