It has been over eleven years since Chile launched the Electronic Tax Document (DTE). In 2003, the Internal Revenue Service (SII) defined the format and standards for the system, making it the first Latin American Administration to implement e-invoicing. Since then, this model has served as an example to many states, among them Brazil.
Exemption Resolution nº 45, approved in September 2003, laid down the operating standards and procedures for working with DTE. Legislation on electronic signature and digital certificates, two mechanisms to ensure the integrity of electronic invoices and identify their authors, had been approved previously.
Throughout this decade, the electronic billing Project in Chile has been marked by its optional nature. To sign up to use the DTE, taxpayers must apply to the IRS (SII) and wait for permission before starting to operate with this system. However, the fact that adherence to the DTE has been taking place on a voluntary basis has not hindered its mass uptake.
According to data from the IRS (SII) , last year some 24,153 companies decided to join the system, 36 % more than in 2012. Moreover, 247 million DTEs were processed, representing more than half of the bills issued in the country. This gradual increase is due to the potential of electronic invoicing to improve the admin process in businesses and comply with tax obligations.
In January 2014, the approval of Law nº 20727 marked a fundamental change in the Chilean model. The regulation stipulates the obligation to issue DTE by November 1 for all companies with an annual turnover of more than 100,000 UF. SMEs and micro businesses will also have to switch over to the new regime, so that the rollout of electronic billing will finally be completed in 2018. Given the current figures of DTE penetration among Chilean taxpayers, migration to the new system looks likely to go particularly smoothly.