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e-Invoicing rollout set for second semester in Colombia

03/06/2015

e-Invoicing is about to become a reality in Colombia. As announced by Directorate of National Taxes and Customs (DIAN) CEO Santiago Rojas, the target is widespread use of e-billing in 2016. Meanwhile, the latest news indicates that the system could be up and running as of June, with its use becoming generalized over the coming year. The goal set by the DIAN is to make use of the new billing model mandatory for 830 companies.

Taxpayers are currently awaiting the issue of a bill to regulate the e-Invoicing System (SIFEL), which is expected to be published early in the second half of the year. This legislation is inspired by the initiatives already launched by Brazil, Mexico and Chile. For now, however, the recently approved National Development Plan announces the creation of a Registry of Electronic Invoices, administered by the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, allowing users to check up on their invoices and ensuring their traceability.

The main aim of implementing this system is to cut down on tax evasion. Colombia is the fourth most powerful economy in South America, and yet, it is estimated that 12 billion pesos are defrauded each year on VAT tax payments alone. That is, more than one-ninth of what the DIAN raised in 2014. To this should be added the hundreds of thousands of Colombian taxpayers hiding from the Treasury. With e-invoicing and automatic statement of operations, the authorities expect to reduce financial delinquency by half in the case of VAT and reach 300,000 subjects currently dodging tax.

The rollout of SIFEL will also improve savings, competitiveness and productivity in business, as well as opening up to international trade. This new system can slash costs by up to 90% compared to traditional billing processes. Moreover, the use of e-invoicing will facilitate access to financial instruments such as factoring, which have great benefits for small and medium-sized enterprises.

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