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Juan José Cigarrán Magán.  

Electronic Invoicing in Spain

Times change, we never tire of repeating it.

Many of us remember the revolution brought about by the advent of computers, the first PCs and the first accounting software that revolutionized the world of consulting firms. In our family office, we remember the transition from the old Olivetti to the first PCs.

Many things have changed since then, not so long ago we were pioneers in computerization, we were pioneers in the use of accounting software, payroll and social security management, even the first text editors or spreadsheets. That has changed, today any company has the same computer resources as any office, if not better.

The arrival of teleworking (despite its incipient withdrawal) has transformed the way of working not only for companies, but also for professionals. And this is only the beginning.

Electronic invoicing has arrived, through the back door, but at a steady pace.

And it is going to mean a very important change.

The process of implementing the electronic invoice is not having enough impact, which, combined with the extension of the SII system (currently mandatory only for companies with an annual turnover of more than 6 million euros) is going to revolutionize the way companies work, not only consulting firms, but all companies.

The aim is to oblige all businessmen and professionals to issue an invoice in electronic format (not in PDF, in XML format) and that this invoice is sent electronically, at the moment to the Tax Agency.

The system already exists in Spain, the SII system, Public Administrations, TicketBai in the Basque Country and in other European Union countries.

It is not science fiction, it is not so strange, it already exists and is applied in Spain and in other countries around us.

Companies with a turnover of more than 6 million euros a year, which for tax purposes are considered Large Companies, have been obliged for years to join the SII system (Immediate Supply of Information) and send the most relevant information of their invoices issued and received, almost daily to the Tax Agency.

The Public Administrations require their suppliers to send electronic invoices in XML format, which is intended to be implemented for all businessmen and professionals, including small businesses.

In the Basque Country the TicketBAI system was implemented and at present, with the peculiarities of the regional system, certain businessmen and professionals are obliged to issue electronic invoices, in XML format, to sign them digitally, to produce an image of them and to send them immediately to the Regional Tax Office.

Italy was the first country in the European Union to make massive use of electronic invoicing, both in the public administration and in the private sector.

When is it expected to be introduced in Spain?

It will become mandatory for companies with an annual turnover of more than 8 million euros, and subsequently for all other businessmen and professionals, for whom a target date of 2025 has been set.

Its introduction is pending the approval of a regulation which has been submitted for public information and which has not yet been submitted to the Council of State, but which is expected to be approved and published in the first quarter of 2024.

What about the IT systems needed to implement it?

Therein lies the crux of the matter, the software required for this.

Although it has gone unnoticed, the BOE of December 6, 2023 made public a long-awaited Royal Decree regarding the requirements to be adopted by the accounting and invoicing computer systems and software, as well as the procedure for standardization of formats in the invoicing records.

This is the prelude to the new system, since it requires the integrity of the invoicing and accounting computer system, which must keep a record of the alterations and modifications that may be made to the invoices issued as well as the accounting records.

However, it is necessary to determine what software the companies will have to comply with this obligation.

And how long it will take them to adapt to it, which is another issue that we will refer to later.

What to do in the face of what is coming?

It seems clear that it is necessary to start preparing the necessary preparations to incorporate electronic invoicing into the daily life of any company, not only those that will be obliged to issue it in the shortest period of time, i.e. if they invoice more than 8 million euros, but probably all of them.

Many of the companies that are not yet legally obliged will be commercially obliged to anticipate its use.

We would like to think of companies and professionals whose invoicing is far from 8 million per year, but whose clients include large companies that will be obliged to implement it also for their own suppliers’ invoices.

It may not be required by law, but it is required by my client.

It will not be the first time that customers are the ones who impose on their suppliers the adoption of systems or procedures that are not generally mandatory for market operators.

And if our customer demands that we send him the invoice in electronic format, we will not be the ones to say no, that we will send it by post or in PDF at the most.

We fear that the commercial reality will prevail, even before the legal obligation.

Can or should we prepare ourselves?

Yes, it is definitely time to anticipate and prevent the reality of events from causing serious operational and economic problems for our companies.

Yes, it is time to change the way we work, in case the Pandemic and teleworking had not changed everything enough, it is time to digitize our business.

Let’s face it, our sales invoices and our suppliers’ expense invoices are the backbone of our treasury and treasury is the backbone of any business activity.

The time has come to adopt digital management solutions that allow us to meet the obligations we anticipate and, in addition, to improve the management of our companies, from all points of view, including the financial and accounting information that we need as entrepreneurs.

In Cigarrán Abogados we have specialized in the digitalization of our clients’ activity, in the implementation of digital solutions, particularly Holded with whom we have reached a Partner agreement.

Today we digitize the activity of our clients, with ERP solutions, electronic payment, Fintech platforms such as Stripe, Wise and Paypal, which allow us to prepare ourselves for the new economic cycle that, perhaps, has already begun.

Do you need help? At Cigarrán Abogados we can help you (+34) 91.355.85.15

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