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Chile, benchmark country for e-invoicing in Latin America with almost 100,000 companies

24/04/2015

Chile has become a country of reference for e-invoicing use in Latin America. The report emphasizes Chile’s leadership in e-invoicing uptake, which in August 2014 had reached a figure of 93,007 SMEs now applying this new billing method. Growth in Chile has been spectacular, and in the period from 2005 to 2014, the number of companies soared from 2,200 to over 93,000, a figure that may have risen exponentially in the second half of 2014 and the first few months of 2015 to pass the 100,000 barrier.

These electronic invoices or merely legal digital documents regulate purchasing and sale transactions for goods or services, where the vendor issues an electronic invoice to the buyer through a digital platform designed for this purpose.  Everything takes place in the regulatory context of the tax authorities and state, which play a vital role in fiscal control thanks to this new tool.

The ANIF report highlights the important benefits of this system in terms of its application in other Latin American countries, in clear imitation of Chile as reference country. These include greater funding facilities for what are known as MSMEs - micro, small and medium-sized businesses - thanks to factoring, cost-cutting on invoice printing and invoice storage tasks as well as their distribution, tighter fiscal control, less tax evasion, increased tax revenues with money to be channeled into improvements to society, much more efficient negotiating processes between businesses and between companies and individuals and the state, and faster business transactions.

ANIF points to Chile as a pioneering country in the rollout of e-invoicing over a decade ago, when in 2003, under Law 19.799, e-invoicing in Chile was a purely optional service and promoted from two sides. By the Internal Revenue System or SII and the Mime portal, with free access for this type of businesses, and private companies supplying electronic billing software and which are authorized by the government.  However, in 2014 Law 20.727 modified this optional service, making it a mandatory obligation for all taxpayers, something that does not happen in all other countries in Latin America. The measure is being applied gradually, by company size, until the start of 2017, with special attention to those taxpayers located in special geographic areas, without electrical power or data networks.

Countries such as Brazil and Mexico have moved forward on the basis of the Chilean model, notably with the recent obligation for natural persons to use electronic invoices (particularly in Mexico).  In conclusion: there are now more than a million e-invoicing users both in Mexico and Brazil, countries with far greater geographical spreads than Chile.

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