Portugal e-invoicing deadline extension offers excellent opportunity to switch securely
Portugal is moving back the dates for mandatory e-invoicing between government entities and their suppliers. The Portuguese government’s decision is meant to help mitigate the negative economic impact of the Covid-19 crisis. Businesses are supposed to take advantage of the extension to ensure a smooth transition to the new invoicing system. Being prepared to meet the requirement will surely be a deciding factor in increasing competitiveness.
The extension offers major companies as well as SMEs and micro-enterprises more time to begin using the e-invoicing system.
On 7th April, the Portuguese government adopted a series of exceptional and temporary measures in Decree-Law no. 14-A/2020 of 7 April that aim to ease adoption of e-invoicing and ensure a smooth transition. The decision to do so was based on the understanding that the process is complex and its implementation in the midst of a health crisis presents challenges for businesses.
The law establishes new deadlines for adopting B2G e-invoicing in Portugal:
- Large companies must begin invoicing electronically by 31st December 2020 instead of 1st April 2020.
- Small- and medium-sized enterprises are required to start e-invoicing by 1st June 2021 instead of 31st December 2020.
- Micro-enterprises will begin e-invoicing on 31st December 2021, one year later than previously planned.
E-invoicing, a step closer to a paperless Portugal
In April 2020, Portugal began the process of adopting e-invoicing for public procurement. It has now been delayed. This is yet another step towards paperless e-government, a process that was initiated with the requirement of electronic VAT declarations.
E-invoicing in Portugal is regulated by Decree-Law no. 111-B/2017, approved 31st August 2017 and amended by Decree 123/2018, published on 28th December 2018, which defines the characteristics of the system and new deadlines.
All public entities in Portugal, including hospitals, were expected to begin invoicing electronically, specifically to be prepared to receive and process e-invoices, on the date initially planned.
How does e-invoicing work in Portugal?
The entity responsible for coordinating and implementing e-invoicing in Portugal is the Government Shared Services Entity (Entidade de Serviços Partilhados da Administração Pública, or eSPap).
E-invoices addressed to the public contractors listed below are sent via the eSPap’s platform, Electronic Invoice in Public Administration (Fatura Eletrónica na Administração Pública, or FE-AP):
- Direct state bodies
- Public entities (for example, IAPMEI, INEM, IPDJ, ISS, eSPap, etc.)
Use of the platform is voluntary for other public entities, such as the following:
- Presidency of the Republic
- Assembly of the Republic
- Attorney General’s Office of the Republic
- Independent administrative entities
- Public business sector entities (hospitals)
Public entities that are not required to use the eSPap platform may choose to contract their own e-invoicing solution to communicate directly with their suppliers.
The specifications stipulate that e-invoices must be in CIUS-PT format, which is based on UBL2.1 format.
Users connect to the platform via AS2 or Web Services.
Another facet of Portuguese e-invoicing is that issuers as well as recipients are required to keep documents for 10 years.
EDICOM, a supplier specialized in e-invoicing services and electronic data exchange solutions, has developed a platform to facilitate issuing and receiving e-invoices in accordance with eSPap standards for public entities and their suppliers.
EDICOM’s global platform provides electronic data interchange (EDI), compliant e-invoicing and international VAT compliance worldwide. The platform is certified by the Portuguese tax authority as an e-invoicing application and complies with all eSPap standards.
EDICOM is also a Trusted Service Provider in accordance with eIDAS regulation, which guarantees the security and reliability of signature services. Certified preservation of qualified electronic seals guarantees the integrity and evidentiary value of documents.
The system integrates with your company's ERP and automatically collects tax and invoice data.
EDICOM’s platform is designed to handle electronic VAT declarations as well as e-invoicing and all other commercial and tax-related communications. It’s a completely scalable solution to satisfy the needs of your company and prepare you for the challenges posed by the paperless transition in Portugal.