In this article, we will address the following questions:
What is the relationship between telematic invoices, digital invoices and electronic invoices?
What are the obligations of companies that issue and receive electronic invoices through a telematic billing process?
Are there special considerations for modified invoices?
What are the main Spanish laws that regulate telematic invoicing and electronic invoicing?
What is an electronic invoice in this context?
First of all, we want to point out that there are many synonyms for telematic invoicing: telematic invoicing, digital invoicing, digital invoicing, electronic invoicing, electronic invoicing, electronic invoicing, electronic invoicing, etc. Although they appear to be similar, there may be subtle differences between them. For more information on this topic, you can refer to the following articles: “Digital invoices” and “Electronic invoices (electronic invoices”).
How are telematic invoices related to digital invoices and electronic invoices?
When we refer to a telematic invoice, we are simply describing the process of sending invoices remotely through electronic means (telematic remittances), without the invoice itself necessarily having a telematic nature. An electronic invoice, on the other hand, is one that complies with the provisions of Spanish Directive number 115/2001 (or other national regulations that replace it, such as Royal Decree number 1496/2003) and as such, meets specific integrity criteria. and authenticity. Finally, a digital invoice is one that includes a digital signature, one of the most effective ways to ensure the authenticity and integrity required by the regulations. For this reason, we can conclude that a digital invoice is a particular type of electronic invoice.
We could talk about telematic invoicing without mentioning telematic invoices; however, in the case of the terms “invoice” and “billing”, it is typical to use them together with the adjectives “digital” and “electronic”. Regarding the factors that must be taken into account in the electronic invoicing process, it is convenient to distinguish whether the main function of the company is to issue or receive invoices.
What are the obligations of companies that issue electronic invoices through a telematic billing process?
Keep the original data of the invoices (either a copy or a matrix); It is not necessary to keep the invoices as such, but rather the “matrix” or the data used to generate them;
Ensure its readability in its original format;
To ensure full access to invoices: viewing, selective search, copying or downloading and printing online;
Have software that allows verifying the signature and identity of the sender, as well as the validity of the certificate;
Electronically sign the invoice or delegate this action to an external agency (third-party billing) or to the Recipient (self-billing); and finally,
Have the full consent of the recipient to use this billing method.
What are the obligations of companies that receive electronic invoices?
The main obligation is to keep the invoices received in their original electronic format, even if internal data conversion was previously required. This role can also be delegated to a third party.
Invoices can be kept in hard copy with the required PDF-417 graphic markings or they can be stored on another medium. The paper transcription of an invoice is also a valid option, as long as it contains a reference to some means to access the electronic original online.
In 2007, the Tax Agency published Mandate number EHA / 962/2007, which defines the approved method to perform Certified Digitization, among other considerations. Paper invoices that have been digitized in accordance with the procedures described in this mandate may later be destroyed.
How are modified invoices handled in the electronic billing process?
In general, billing regulations (whether electronic or otherwise) must be taken into account to resolve issues related to amended or corrected invoices:
Amended invoices must directly reflect the correction that is being made, even when they are generated using all the data from an invoice that already takes the correction into account, which is no longer mandatory. Returned merchandise or packaging is allowed to be indicated on an invoice (unchanged) with a minus sign, which means that regular invoices can show negative totals.
In the case of returned merchandise or changes in the tax base in relation to the original invoice, the modified invoice must specify this difference in the tax base, showing negative or positive amounts, as appropriate. It is allowed to include corrections for more than one invoice in a single modified invoice, as long as all original invoice numbers are indicated.
In Article 70 of the Regulation on Value Added Tax, the most recent draft clarifies the method of compiling modified invoices in the invoice and VAT records of a company.
what is an electronic invoice?
In 2007, the Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Commerce and the Tax Agency published Mandate number PRE / 2971/2007, which defines the mandatory format for the encryption of electronic invoices when they are issued to the General State Administration bodies. This format, based on XML and called electronic invoice (or eBill), is rapidly becoming the norm in Spain.
The implementation of electronic invoicing requires the collaboration of experts, who can solve any existing problem quickly and efficiently. This need is reinforced by the fact that many companies continue to offer outdated or non-compliant electronic invoicing services, especially with regard to the most appropriate method of electronic signature management.
Among other software, Pixelware has created various Business Solutions for Electronic Document Management, which facilitate compliance with the regulations that regulate electronic and telematic invoicing.