European e-Invoicing

Status of B2B Electronic Invoicing in France

29.03.2021
france b2b einvocing

France is moving forward with its new electronic tax system for private companies. It is in the process of finalizing the details of the B2B e-invoicing and e-VAT reporting model. The French tax authority, Direction Générale des Finances Publiques (DGFiP), along with the state agency Agence pour l'Informatique Financière de l'Etat (L'AIFE), have organized a series of working groups with companies and technology providers, including EDICOM.

We analyze the characteristics of France’s new electronic invoicing model and the latest developments announced by the government.

Table of Contents

- New e-Invoicing and e-VAT Reporting System

- Chorus Pro: National B2B2G e-Invoicing Portal

- e-Reporting

- Goals of the New System

- Which Companies will be Affected?

- Implementation Schedule

- Evolution of B2B e-Invoicing in France

- Moving Toward a B2B2G e-Invoicing Model 

- Awaiting the Technical Standard

New e-Invoicing and e-VAT Reporting System

The Direction Générale des Finances Publiques (DGFiP) has announced the framework for the new tax model. These guidelines are based on the results of the pilot phase and evaluation carried out with stakeholders (companies, technology providers, and government).

The new tax scheme includes mandatory electronic invoicing between private companies, as well as electronic reporting of accounting data.

Proposed Model: Y-Scheme

In the report, the government evaluated two possible schemes, labeled "V" and "Y". The V-Scheme was based on the system in place in Italy, while the Y-Scheme was closer to electronic invoicing systems in Latin America.

The French government has decided to opt for the Y-Scheme. In this model, electronic invoices are validated by a Certified Provider prior to being reported to the government. One of the countries that served as a reference of this model is Mexico. The success of its CFDI tax system has become an example for many other countries.

The DGFiP announced that companies will have to contract a "Certified Private Platform" (Plateforme Privée Certifiée), which will act as a trusted third party. The CPP will validate the invoices and send them to the French tax authority. Once accepted by the DGFiP, they will be delivered to the final recipient.

The government plans to leverage the infrastructure of Chorus Pro, the current portal for e-invoicing with public administrations. It will be adapted to the new B2B e-invoicing system.

Chorus Pro: National B2B2G e-Invoicing Portal

Chorus Pro is to become the national portal for B2B2G invoicing. In addition to its existing functions for the declaration, transmission, and delivery of electronic invoices in the B2G area, new features will be added to adapt to the Y-Scheme.

New Chorus Pro

  • The DGFiP middleware will centralize the tax declaration flows sent by the Certified Private Platforms, transmitting them to the DGFiP's information service.
  • Annuaire B2B Management: Directory allowing companies to publish their invoice exchange methods.
  • Demat Operator: Small companies can use Chorus Pro as a manual platform for exchanging electronic invoices.

e-Invoicing Information Flow

In the Y-Scheme, companies create electronic invoices and accounting documents, sending them to the Certified Private Platform for validation. The CPP performs all relevant controls required by the DGFiP and, after the invoices are verified, delivers them to their recipients. The CPP will also report the necessary tax information to the DGFiP through Chorus Pro.

If one of the trading partners does not have a Certified Private Platform for receiving or sending invoices, they will have to report or consult the documents manually on the government platform.

The Y-Scheme contemplates several information flows depending on whether the companies have a Certified Private Platform.

The DGFiP has also created the Annuaire, a registry where companies will specify whether they have a CPP for sending and/or receiving invoices.

To speed up the process, EDICOM is preparing to offer a centralized and integrated e-invoicing solution to generate, receive, send, and store electronic invoices in line with the French government’s requirements.

e-Reporting

In addition to electronic invoices, companies will be required to electronically transmit additional accounting information, including:

  • Payment data
  • B2C transaction data
  • Export sales data (including intra-community deliveries)

Goals of the New System

Some objectives pursued by the government with the implementation of e-invoicing include:

  • Prevent and combat tax fraud.
  • Reduce the costs of tax control.
  • Streamline tax returns.
  • Increase competitiveness by reducing costs.
  • Improve understanding of the economic situation with real-time reporting on business activity.

Which Companies will be Affected?

All businesses subject to value added tax.

Implementation Schedule

All companies must be able to receive electronic invoices by 2023. The government has established a timetable for issuing invoices and e-reporting according to company size:

  • January 1, 2023 for large companies
  • January 1, 2024 for medium-sized companies
  • January 1, 2025 for SMEs and small companies

Evolution of B2B e-Invoicing in France

  • 1990: Article 27 of law n° 90-1169 grants the same legal validity to electronic invoices as to paper invoices.
  • 2010: The European Union publishes Directive 2010/45/EU regulating the use of electronic invoicing in the private sector of the Member States.
  • 2012: Transposition of the European Directive into French law n° 90-1169 De Finances Rectificatives.
  • 2019: Law N° 2019-1479 De Finances for 2020 announces the intention to make e-invoicing between companies mandatory.
  • 2020: e-Invoicing pilot project is conducted with 50 companies.
  • 2020: French tax authority Direction Générale des Finances Publiques (DGFiP) publishes a report with general guidelines for the B2B e-invoicing system.
  • 2021: September - Finance law imposing the mandatory use of e-invoicing between private companies enters into force.

 

Moving Toward a B2B2G e-Invoicing Model 

Electronic invoicing has existed in France since 1990. The culture of document dematerialization is deeply rooted in French companies, putting them ahead of European Union directives. France was among the first European countries to adopt electronic invoicing for public administrations.

Since 2020, both public administrations and their suppliers are required to exchange electronic invoices through the French state platform, Chorus Pro.

Given the positive results of B2G e-invoicing, the government decided to extend its mandatory use to private companies. However, unlike the Italian model, France has decided to delegate the validation of invoices to CPPs in their B2B e-invoicing model.

Awaiting the Technical Standard

The technical and legal requirements to adapt to the new model are expected to be published in September, according to article 46 of amendment N°II-3211 of the draft Finance Law of 2021. Requirements will include the format of the various tax documents, the conditions of the Plateformes Privées Certifiées (CPPs), and the periodicity of e-reporting declarations.

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