The challenges and obligations of electronic invoicing

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The finance law introduced the obligation to issue and receive electronic invoices for companies subject to VAT and established in France. They will have to submit to it according to a progressive deployment schedule between 2024 and 2026.

E-invoice, dematerialized invoice or electronic invoice, the terms vary but all refer to an invoice created, sent and received electronically. Scanning an invoice is not the same as creating an e-invoice: this must be created digitally from the outset.

Remember that in France, two billion invoices are issued each year. Initially scheduled for 2023, the obligation to digitize invoices has been postponed to July 1, 2024. From this date, all companies must be able to receive an electronic invoice and large companies will be required to issue them. This obligation will be effective from January 1, 2025 for ETIs and from January 1, 2026 for VSEs and SMEs.

The issue, transmission and receipt of electronic invoices will be carried out, at the option of the companies, by using a public invoicing portal directly (like the current ChorusPro portal) or through a dematerialization platform certified partner (who will be responsible for dumping in the public portal). Concretely, domestic B2B invoices can no longer be sent directly by a taxable person to his customer. This reform also includes the electronic transmission of data (e-reporting) which will have a wider scope than that of electronic invoicing. The goal is to create pre-filled VAT returns. Thus, it will also be necessary to transmit data relating to payment, to the payment of VAT, to transactions with persons not subject to VAT (B2C) and to international and intra-Community transactions (intra-Community acquisitions and deliveries exempt from VAT, sales distance, services, etc.).

BENEFITS FOR THE STATE

AND COMPANIES

The State intends to fight against VAT fraud through automated cross-checks. A gain in productivity and a reduction in costs are expected. Note that this new flow system should halve the total cost of processing invoices.

The General Directorate of Public Finances (DGFiP) also aims to automate and speed up collections. However, cash management is a vital issue for VSEs/SMEs. This should contribute to streamlining the economy while benefiting each actor.

On the other hand, the dematerialization of invoices makes it possible to secure and make the process more reliable from start to finish. The traceability and processing of invoices are thus guaranteed.

The implementation of the electronic invoice also has immediate benefits by reducing printing needs and thus the consumption of ink and paper. This places companies a little more in an eco-responsible approach.

If the benefits of electronic invoicing are numerous, the challenges that this transition represents for the company are also numerous. Indeed, the law provides for letting companies freely choose the platform they will use to support the dematerialization of invoices.

This choice will be strategic and it will be a question of positioning themselves as soon as possible so that they adapt their work environment.

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The challenges and obligations of electronic invoicing


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