Electronic invoicing between companies soon to be mandatory

Through the Finance Law of 2020 and 2021, France has begun to modernize the economic life of companies with the generalization of electronic invoicing (e-voicing) and the transmission of additional data (e-reporting).
This generalization will be applied according to a very specific schedule and will concern French companies subject to VAT. The objective is to reduce administrative burdens and simplify the management of VAT.
Companies will therefore have to use certified online platforms to be able to issue invoices.

Electronic invoicing, what changes are planned?

e-voicing

To be valid, an invoice transmitted electronically must be able to be authenticated by its origin, that is to say via an identified issuer, be non-modifiable and its readability must be guaranteed. Since 2020, all companies have had the obligation to provide invoices for the public sector in electronic format.
Electronic invoicing (e-voicing) will then concern all transactions for the purchase and sale of goods and/or services between companies subject to VAT from the moment it concerns national territory, ie so-called domestic transactions.
Taxable persons not liable for VAT, such as micro-entrepreneurs and franchised legal persons, will also be affected by this obligation in order to control the overruns of the turnover thresholds.

Note that there are several exclusions to this obligation such as:

  • international or intra-community transactions,
  • services from certain sectors (health, education, training, transactions with non-profit associations, real estate transactions, banking, insurance and financial transactions),
  • transactions with individuals (BtoC).

e-reporting

Companies not affected by electronic invoicing (the exclusions mentioned above) will be subject to an e-reporting obligation, ie an obligation to transmit certain information to the tax authorities.
These two obligations (e-voicing and e-reporting) will come into force definitively between 2024 and 2026, first applying to large companies, then to SMEs and micro-enterprises.

A disruption for businesses

The implementation of these new obligations is necessarily an upheaval for companies and in particular small businesses and craftsmen. However, these obligations aim to reduce the costs of processing invoices, to strengthen the competitiveness of companies, but also to simplify the procedures thanks, for example, to the pre-filling of VAT declarations.
It is strongly advised to use state-certified CRM software and tools such as Jlogiciels.fr, creator of management and invoicing solutions, to be able to remain in compliance.
Companies subject to the issuance obligation will send their invoices to their professional customers (BtoB) via a partner dematerialization platform which will, in turn, send electronic invoices to the customer’s dematerialization platform.
Receipt of invoices from suppliers will take place in the same way, on the chosen platform. It can be the same as the supplier, a different platform or the public billing portal. Each company is free to choose the platform(s) of its choice.
The usual mandatory information appearing on invoices remains the same, however new information will be added for management purposes.

Electronic invoicing, the implementation schedule

The obligation of electronic invoicing as well as e-reporting will be implemented according to a very specific schedule:

  • July 1, 2024 for large companies.
  • As of July 1, 2025 for ETIs (intermediate-sized companies).
  • As of July 1, 2026 for SMEs and micro-enterprises.

The receipt of invoices in electronic format will be mandatory on July 1, 2024 for all companies, regardless of their size, from the moment their supplier is required to issue in electronic format.

Future invoicing tools

Partner dematerialization platforms (PDP)

To be able to send and receive electronic invoices, but also to send payment and transaction data, companies can use platforms registered by the tax authorities called partner dematerialization platforms (PDP).
Each company is free to choose one or more dematerialization platforms. This could be the same as a supplier or a separate one.
The PDP registration service will open from September 2023. The list of officials will then be published on the impot.gouv.fr website.

The public billing portal

The other possibility is to go through the public invoicing portal, called Chorus Pro, for the entire management of invoicing and exchanges.
The public portal takes care of sending the data directly to the tax authorities. If there is use of another dematerialization platform (PDP), the latter will transmit the information and data to the public portal which will, in turn, take care of the transmission to the tax administration.
Note that the e-reporting information of each company must also be transmitted to the tax authorities via the chosen dematerialization platform or via Chorus Pro.

Ultimately, companies will have to prepare for this big change as soon as possible by choosing one of these platforms to manage their billing. They can find information from certified software publishers such as Jlogiciel.fr as well as from their accountant or on the government website.