There are still many doubts about the forthcoming obligation for companies to use electronic invoicing. In this article we explain all the details, deadlines and penalties for non-compliance with this new regulation.

What is an electronic invoice

Just like the traditional invoice, the electronic invoice is a commercial document that records a sale or purchase of goods or services and the corresponding taxes applied, such as VAT or personal income tax. The only difference is that it is issued electronically and in digital format.

The mandatory data that the electronic invoice must include are identical to those of the traditional invoice. That is to say: sequential numbering, date of issue, details identifying the issuer and recipient, concept, taxable base, etc.

For the rest, we are still awaiting the approval of an official regulation on e-invoicing and possible additional conditions that this may include. For example, it is likely that the identification of invoices with a QR code will also be mandatory.

Progressive regulation 

The first time electronic invoicing was regulated in Spain was in Law 56/2007, on Measures to Promote the Information Society, which promoted the use of this type of invoice in public administrations.

Five years later, Law 25/2013, of 27 December, extended mandatory electronic invoicing to all corporate transactions with the public sector that do not exceed 5,000 euros.

The most recent regulation is the Business Creation and Growth Act of 2022, which extends the obligation to use electronic invoicing to the entire private sector. Thus, Article 12 specifies that all companies “shall issue and send electronic invoices in their commercial relations with other companies”. It should be noted here that invoices addressed to consumers or end users are excluded from this obligation.

Main objectives of e-invoicing implementation

  • Fighting late payment, because electronic invoicing makes it easier to monitor payment deadlines.
  • Reduce costs in commercial transactions.
  • Driving digital transformation in companies.
  • Encourage the use of electronic means for business transfers.

What are the deadlines for companies to use electronic invoicing

Companies with an annual turnover of more than €8 million have until September 2023 to fully adapt to e-invoicing. In the case of companies with a lower annual turnover, the deadlines are considerably longer, until September 2025.

Penalties for companies that fail to adapt to e-invoicing may face fines of up to 10,000 euros.

Technology requirements

Law 11/2021 on measures to prevent and combat tax fraud establishes “the obligation for producers, marketers and users to ensure that the computer or electronic systems and programmes that support the accounting, invoicing or management processes of those who carry out economic activities guarantee the integrity, conservation, accessibility, legibility, traceability and unalterability of the records, without interpolations, omissions or alterations that are not duly noted in the systems themselves.

In short, these are a series of technical requirements that management, accounting and invoicing software must meet. We therefore recommend preparing now with the implementation of a solvent software that offers guarantees and complies with current and future regulations.


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