E-Invoicing: EU calls for a harmonised system by 2022
E-Invoicing

EU Parliament Calls On EU Commission to Implement a Common E-Invoicing Standard in the EU by 2022

| | Product Manager software applications/services electronic business data exchange, SEEBURGER
There’s a call for standardised EU-wide e-invoicing standard by 2022

Against the current background of the ongoing Covid pandemic and the war in Ukraine, EU member states are under increasing pressure to quickly close their significant tax gap. In 2019, this was valued at €134 billion[1]. One beacon of hope is e-invoicing as long as this is standardised throughout the EU and makes provision for tax reporting in real time (known as continuous transaction controls (CTC)).

This trend was started in the EU some years ago by countries such as Italy, Spain and Hungary . A number of other EU countries have announced their own e-invoicing plans, including Belgium, Germany, France, Poland, Romania and Serbia. Much to the chagrin of multinational companies, each country has so far defined its own scope, process, standards and transmission method for e-invoicing and e-reporting, “copying” something here and there and “refining” it for their domestic needs.

The European Parliament’s appeal to the EU Commission, with its extraordinarily short deadline, therefore comes as little surprise.

In a plenary session on 10th March 2022, the European parliament voted on a resolution for the EU Commission’s action plan for fair and simpler taxation supporting the recovery strategy (2020/2254(INL)).

The EU Parliament calls on the EU Commission to follow the detailed recommendations. These include “Recommendation C1 – e-Invoicing”.

This recommendation calls for the immediate implementation of a harmonised EU-wide e-invoicing standard by 2022, with a defined role in real-time e-reporting, and the gradual introduction of mandatory e-invoicing by 2023. Companies’ compliance costs should be significantly reduced through government-operated or certified systems.

 “The European Parliament calls on the European Commission to:

— Set-up a harmonised common standard for e-invoicing across the Union without delay and by 2022 to reduce the cost of the creation of fragmented, different system across the Member States.

— Establish the role of e-invoicing in real-time reporting.

— Explore the possibility of a gradual introduction of obligatory e-invoicing across the Union by 2023, focusing on a significant reduction of costs of compliance, especially for SMEs. Issuing invoices should be administered only via state-operated/certified “system(s)” with full data protection ensured.

— By 2023, examine the possibility that the system will provide a part (or full) tax compliance data/documents for eligible taxpayers, including the responsibility for the compliance of these returns (or parts of them), especially from the point of view of reducing compliance costs and risk for SMEs.”[2]

We are watching eagerly to see how these recommendations will be implemented across the EU in the short time period – by countries and companies that already have a comparable system, by those who are currently implementing e-invoicing, and by the newcomers to electronic invoices.

How can SEEBURGER help you adopt e-invoicing?

An experienced provider of e-invoicing services and e-invoicing cloud services, SEEBURGER helps you comply with global and local e-invoicing regulations in Europe and beyond. In addition to our own Peppol Access Point, we offer deep process integration with any ERP system to let you automate the processing of your incoming and outgoing invoices. This includes seamless integration with SAP S/4HANA.

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[1] Cf. VAT Gap (europa.eu) (accessed 30th March 2022)

[2] Source: Texts adopted – Fair and simple taxation supporting the recovery strategy – Thursday, 10 March 2022 (europa.eu) (accessed 30th March 2022)

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Gerrit Onken

Written by:

Gerrit Onken has been at SEEBURGER AG since 2010 as a product manager for software applications and for electronic data exchange services for the business sector. He focuses on solutions for SAP, electronic invoicing (e-invoicing) and innovations for digitalizing business and technical processes for globally-active customers. Originally a banker, Gerrit Onken went on to graduate in business administration, majoring in industrial management and business informatics. After working in the financial sector, he worked as a manager and project manager from 2004 to 2010 for one of the top five corporate consultancies, working with international BPOs in the banking and automotive industries.