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Who is obliged to e-Invoice in Germany?
All recipients of invoices in the public sector should be able to receive e-invoices from April 18, 2020.
From November 27, 2020, all suppliers of invoice recipients of the Federal Government will also be obliged to issue their invoices in the required electronic format.
Few clients at the State and Municipal levels require only a (genuine) e-invoice later from their suppliers. However, there are also regulations according to which the customer may, when entering into a contract, provide for an obligation to submit invoices in the form of an e-Invoice.
At present, these rules are available in 12 Federal States in the form of ERechV.
What are the implementation dates for the EU directive in Germany?
- 27. November 2018 – The central federal invoice receipt platform (ZRE) goes live;
- 27. November 2019 – All federal authorities MUST be able to receive and process e-invoices;
- 18. April 2020 – Federal States and Municipalities MUST be able to receive and process e-invoices;
- 27. November 2020 – Suppliers of the Federal Authorities and Public Institutions of the Federal Government MUST be able to submit e-invoices in accordance with the E-Rech-VO;
- 18. April 2021 – You MUST deliver invoices in accordance with the specific requirements of each respective State, Municipality, and Public Institution.
How do XRechnung and the German GoBD fit together?
The principles for the proper keeping and storage of books, records, and documents in electronic form as well as for data access (GoBD) contain, among other things, specifications as to which invoice contents are to be archived also in the case of electronic invoices (such as XRechnung).
What is the difference between XRechnung and ZUGFeRD 2.0?
The main difference between the two formats is obvious in the truest sense of the word: whereas an e-invoice in XRechnung standard is a pure data record, an invoice in ZUGFeRD 2.0 standard consists of a data record and a so-called visual document in the form of a PDF. However, both standards basically meet the European requirements.
Furthermore, ZUGFeRD version 2.1.1 also includes an XML file that is compliant with the XRechnung format.
For more information about ZUGFerD, read our ZUGFeRD invoices comprehensive guide.
For more information about XRechnung, read our XRechnung Explained article.
The Directive 2014/55/EU of April 2014 aims to promote digitisation in the public sector and thus simplify and accelerate processes. Estimates assume a possible cost saving of 60 to 80%.
The Directive requires all contracting authorities to receive and process electronic invoices. The Federal E-Invoicing Act passed in April 2017 implements these requirements in national law. For all public institutions of federal states and municipalities, the deadline for the introduction of e-invoicing is April 2020 at the latest. For federal authorities, the e-invoicing law has been in force since November 2018.
From November 2020, companies will also be required to submit invoices to the federal authorities electronically in accordance with certain format requirements (e.g. XRechnung). More precisely, this means that invoice issuers must issue and transmit invoices electronically.
To this end, the Federal Government, together with some of the Federal States, is developing an incoming invoice platform that can be used to transmit incoming invoices simply and efficiently to the advertised administrative authority.
There have been ongoing discussions at the EU level for some time about potential measures to combat the vulnerability of VAT systems in member states to fraud. Recently, a proposal to amend the VAT System Directive (MwStSystRL, Directive 2006/112/EC) and the associated implementing regulations was presented as part of the “VAT in the Digital Age” (“ViDA”) initiative, which forms the basis for the considerations of the Federal Ministry of Finance (BMF).
The ViDA Directive proposal serves as a basis for the gradual modernization of the VAT systems of the Member States and their strengthening against fraud attempts.
The proposed implementation package consists of three elements:
- Implementation of an electronic reporting system for individual transactions in real time, based on mandatory e-invoicing for companies,
- Changes in the VAT treatment of the platform economy, and
- A single VAT registration in the EU instead of the current multiple registrations.
Taxation and Customs Union: VAT in the Digital Age
On 8 December 2022, the European Commission proposed a series of measures to modernise the EU’s VAT system, making it work better for businesses and more resistant to fraud by embracing and promoting digitalisation.
The proposal also aims to address the VAT challenges posed by the development of the platform economy.
The three chnages we need to make VAT fit for the digital age:
- new real time digital reporting system based on e-Invoicing
- updated VAT rules for the platform economy
- single VAT registration for business selling to consumers across the EU