At the IPT annual conference earlier this month we talked about invoices as the backbone of any VAT system, and also about the efforts of many authorities to address VAT fraud through specific invoicing rules. I highlighted the popularity of the lottery system on restaurant receipts – the scratch “fa piao” that China has had since 2002 – which is now also considered in EU countries.
Where a fa piao works great for forcefully documenting business-to-consumer sales, for business-to-business supplies China uses the so-called Golden Tax system, where VAT sales invoices are pre-certified online by the government. On the buyer’s side, only VAT on these invoices can be considered in the calculation of the input tax recovery.
The EU has struggled for decades to get their arm around the VAT and legal aspects of e-invoicing. I vividly remember that some countries accepted e-invoicing – as long as “an ‘original’ hardcopy of the invoice would be presented at the local post office for certification”.
E-invoicing in the EU has been harmonized since January 1, 2013, so all we need to deal with is the various exceptions and interpretations of the 28 member-states. Although the EU Commission claimed that business would save 18 billion Euro under the new e-invoicing rules, concerns of fraud have muffled that initial enthusiasm. Don’t ever think of implementing multi-country e-invoicing without first speaking to a multinational VAT specialist!
In an effort to fight VAT fraud, Argentina has now mandated electronic invoicing. Starting with specific industry sectors, the expectation is that most Argentinian businesses (and even some individuals) will be required to apply electronic invoicing. There is a currently existing system for e-invoicing in Argentina, but that will be abandoned in favor of the new one.
Edicom has a good summary here: http://www.edicomgroup.com/en_ES/news/5532, and if your Spanish is up to scratch you can find the official text of General Resolution 3749 here, on page 12: http://www.us-vat.com/blog/3749.pdf (Note that this is a 7MB pdf file)