Portugal | Set to Implement Mandatory e-Invoicing to Public Bodies from 2019

Following our previous story on Spain, Portugal has recently enacted legislation introducing mandatory electronic invoicing as of 1st January 2019, for all taxpayers performing business-to-government (B2G) transactions.

From this date, affected taxpayers will have to create and transmit electronic invoices automatically through the tax administration’s e-invoicing in public procurement platform (eSPap).

These changes are being implemented to comply with the e-invoicing in public procurement Directive 2014/55/EU. The directive requires that as of 18th April 2019, central public authorities must be able to receive and process EU-standardised electronic invoices. All Member States must transpose the rules into their national legislation by this date. The deadline can be extended for regional and local authorities, until 18th April 2020.

What is the purpose of the new legislation?

The European Commission views these rules as a useful simplification measure because public authorities will be able to receive and process standardised e-invoices from anywhere in the EU, facilitating cross-border trade as well as encouraging competitivity and lowering public sector costs.

State of play in Europe

Many countries including Austria, France, the Netherlands and Norway already require electronic invoicing within the public sector to a greater or lesser degree. Germany has also recently enacted legislation bringing the requirement, under the directive, into effect from 27th November 2018 in relation to central governmental bodies.

Currently, e-invoicing isn’t mandatory in the UK and there is no legislation in place to enforce this requirement.

Outlook

This is an interesting development since B2G electronic invoicing tends to be a precursor to the rolling-out of real-time electronic invoice reporting to the private sector (Italy is a prime example where mandatory electronic invoicing has applied to B2G transactions since 2015).

If you are affected by these changes, please do contact us, to discuss how we may help you.