The new timetable for the widespread introduction of electronic invoicing

The minutes of the Council of Ministers meeting of September 15, 2021 specify that the reform on the generalization of electronic invoicing will indeed take place, but with a staggered timetable. In fact, the generalized reception obligation will apply from 2024 and the obligation to issue for VSEs/SMEs from January 1, 2026. We take a closer look at the postponement and the new timetable for the roll-out of electronic invoicing.


Reminder of the reform on the generalization of electronic invoicing

The reform concerns transactions between taxable persons, or between a taxable person and a non-taxable legal entity established in France, involving the supply of goods, services and related advance payments, and the supply at public auction of second-hand goods, works of art, collectors' items or antiques. For all these transactions, French companies will be required to issue and receive electronic invoices, and to transmit additional data to the tax authorities.

This reform follows on from initiatives undertaken in the public sphere and has 4 main objectives:

  1. Simplify the lives of businesses and strengthen their competitiveness by reducing the administrative burden;
  2. Simplify VAT reporting obligations;
  3. Improving fraud detection ;
  4. Improve real-time knowledge of business activity.

To help achieve these objectives, the reform introduces penalties for non-compliance. Companies failing to comply with the e-invoicing obligation are liable to a fine of 15 euros per invoice, with a ceiling of 15,000 euros per calendar year. As for the obligation to transmit payment transaction data, the applicable fine is 250 euros per transmission, up to a maximum of 15,000 euros per calendar year.

New timetable for receiving and issuing electronic invoices

Theordinance of September 15, 2021 on the generalization of electronic invoicing specifies the new deployment schedule for the reform.

The obligation to receive electronic invoices will apply from July 1, 2024 for all French companies.

As for the obligation toissue electronic invoices, this will come into effect on :

  • July 1, 2024 for large companies,
  • January 1, 2025 for medium-sized companies,
  • January 1, 2026 for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and micro-businesses.

From January 1, 2026, all French companies will be affected by the reform.

A change of invoice to anticipate

Companies have every interest in anticipating the reform in order to avoid any problems associated with its implementation. For example, they need to check that invoice templates are supported by the platforms. NF203 certification will make it possible to anticipate requirements concerning the legibility of invoices by platforms.

The entry into force of the reform on the generalization of electronic invoicing marks an important turning point for companies. To reap the benefits, they need to start preparing now.