VSEs and SMEs must speed up the electronic invoicing process

From July 1, 2024, electronic invoices will become mandatory for business-to-business transactions. Initially, from 2024 onwards, VSEs and SMEs will receive digital invoices. They will then have until January 1, 2026 to issue their own invoices. Let's take a closer look at how this project will be implemented.

Why reform electronic invoicing?

In theory, digitizing the invoicing process should reduce processing costs by eliminating paper versions. The correct receipt of documents will also be verifiable and guaranteed. Payment times will be shortened.

But for this to happen, both parties - supplier and customer - need to be equipped with the right tools to issue and receive invoices in electronic format. Invoices in Excel or PDF format will no longer meet the requirements of the Public Finance Department.

The government, for its part, hopes to use these measures to combat VAT fraud, facilitate VAT declarations and keep abreast of business activity in real time.

Who's concerned?

Electronic invoicing or e-invoicing concerns French taxable persons established in France. All companies are concerned in their relations with other companies (B2B). However, VAT-exempt transactions (mentioned in articles 261 to 261 E of the CGI) are exempt from these obligations.

The reform also includes the obligation to transmit invoicing data to the tax authorities for all transactions that include VAT, including sales to private individuals or international sales, for example, in order to produce pre-filled VAT returns.

What is the procedure to follow?

With the rollout of the scheme scheduled for January 1, 2024, it is essential to prepare for the digital transformation now by parameterizing IT systems and modifying impacted internal procedures.

To issue and receive invoices, companies can either use private partner platforms that have obtained certification and work in collaboration with the public Chorus Pro platform to transmit tax data, or go directly through the public portal.

The public platform will enable small businesses in particular to enter, submit, transmit and receive their invoices online, free of charge.

Companies are already advised to check the accuracy of their data (identification of each customer, up-to-date VAT number and SIREN number, etc.) when choosing their platform.

Following this reform, January 1, 2026 will mark the end of paper invoices and their transmission between suppliers and customers.