Skip to content
Home » News » Electronic invoicing: “VAT in the digital age”

Electronic invoicing: “VAT in the digital age”

    The 2020 finance law announced to us through article 153 of the 2020 finance law, the state wishes to generalize electronic invoicing between taxable persons. Electronic invoicing is well and truly underway and we should be ready for January 1, 2023. Well, that was before, the official journal dated September 16, 2021 announces a respite until July 1, 2024 for obligation to accept incoming invoices in electronic format and from January 1, 2026 for the obligation to issue invoices in the same format. The entry into force of this new provision is still being examined by the Council of the European Union, but let us have no doubt that it is only a formality before its deployment.

    So electronic invoicing, only a device to strengthen the fight against VAT fraud, or a real breakthrough in the era of digitalization?

    To answer this question, it is important to distinguish not only the tax weapon, but also the real contributions in organizational terms that this reform can bring.

    In this regard we can cite:

    • Contraction of payment terms
    • Reduction in administrative burdens on invoice processing and therefore gain in productivity: The state foresees a saving of 4.5 billion Euros
    • Simplification of declarative procedures
    • Simplification of VAT reporting obligations thanks to pre-filling
    • Improving the detection of the fight against fraud for the benefit of economic operators in good faith
    • Real-time knowledge of business activity to enable policy management as close as possible to economic realities

    This reform would therefore make it possible to offer a complete vision of the situation of a company, both with regard to the VAT collected and the deductible VAT. This vision is more complete for companies but also for the State.

    A quick look back at this tax adventure which saw the birth of the ultimate weapon against VAT fraud, the exchange of electronic invoices.

    The state, through the order of June 26, 2014, requires all suppliers in the public ecosystem to send their invoices in electronic format via the Chorus Pro platform operated by the AIFE (Agence pour l’Informatique Financière de l’AIFE). ‘State). This revolution spread from 2017 to 2020 depending on the size of the suppliers.

    B2G having been covered, it is now appropriate to tackle the subject of B2B. This is done with the 2020 finance law, from now on all invoicing flows must be in digital format following a schedule established by the government and depending on the size of the companies: July 2024 for large accounts, January 2025 for ETI and finally January 2026 for SMEs and VSEs.

    The electronic invoice alone is not sufficient for a company’s complete fiscal understanding of VAT, this new regulation is therefore structured around a triple obligation:

    • Send and receive electronic invoices: e-invoicing
    • Transmission of the invoice processing status to recipients: the life cycle
    • All transaction information excluded from the scope of electronic invoicing, we find B2C transactions with person not subject to VAT, between non-domestic taxable persons and services: e-reporting.

    First of all, let’s be reassured, the main ERPs on the market did not wait to comply with the main exchange standards. In addition, the DGFIP (General Directorate of Public Finances) recommends the implementation of the “Mexican model”, or even Y model, which should offer great freedom of maneuver in the implementation of the directive.

    This Y model leaves an important place for private platforms which will be involved in B2B exchanges but also with the tax administration. These certified platforms, called partner platforms, will be an alternative to Chorus Pro and will allow you to choose from 3 options for dematerialized exchanges.

    • The supplier will have the possibility of sending its flows directly to the national platform (Chorus Pro or a derivative), and this platform will be responsible for collecting the declarative information then sending the invoice to the end customer.
    • The supplier will also be able to send its flows to a partner platform which will be responsible for transmitting the declarative information and the electronic invoice to the end customer.
    • Finally, this Y model offers a third option consisting of using a partner platform which will transmit the invoicing information to the national platform which itself will be responsible for transmitting the invoice to the end customer.

    It should be added that the platform can be perfectly internalized, as long as it is certified in accordance with the rules established by the DGFIP.

    This model has the advantage of not disrupting the existing system. Indeed, a company already working with a platform will be able to keep it, within the limits of its certification, and will transfer the burden of compliance to the platform candidate for partnership.

    Dematerialization operators wishing to become a partner platform will have to register with the administration for a renewable period of three years. It is understood that only registered operators as well as the public invoicing portal will be authorized to transmit invoices to their recipients and invoicing or transaction data to the tax administration.

    For this network to work, the partner platforms as well as that of the state must know where to transmit the electronic invoice. To do this, a shared directory will be made available to all platforms.

    The purpose of the platforms (private or national) will not be limited to concentrating declarative flows towards the DGFIP and transmitting the electronic invoice to the end customer, but they will carry out a certain number of surface checks in order to ensure the completeness of the metadata, as well as consistency checks between the required data (we are talking about around 50 mandatory metadata). These controls will of course involve risks of rejections on invoices submitted on the platforms. Companies will have the possibility from the national platform to enter their invoices, but also to consult them with their processing status and archive them online.

    So yes, many questions remain: invoice format (Factur-X, UBL, EDIFACT, etc.), mandatory invoicing data, platform costs, proposed functionalities, platform certification rules, control rules, place of archiving , management of the company directory etc… So many questions which perhaps explain the postponement of deadlines. The main players in the sector, bringing together companies subject to this obligation, associations, publishers and dematerialization operators always meet within the framework of workshops in order to address these questions with the hope of enlightening us for this year.

    Lionel Herry

    Stay tuned,

    take another step towards digital preservation by subscribing to our newsletter!