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European VAT News

European VAT News – June 2022

By June 21, 2022No Comments

Belgium

In May 2022, the Belgium Chamber of Representatives published a draft law that could oblige electronic invoicing between VAT registered companies in the country.

If adopted, the new law will make it mandatory for all VAT registered companies to issue their invoices in an electronic format and will be implemented in a phased approach with large businesses expected to be the first impacted as early as July 2023.

Belgium follows a growing list of EU countries, including France, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia who have or will be introducing e-invoice systems.

These systems typically require taxpayers to validate their B2B invoices with the relevant country’s tax authorities before issuing them to their customers. It’s thought that introducing e-invoicing will prevent common errors on invoices and help prevent VAT fraud within the EU.

France

Reverse charge on import tax is automatic in France since January 2022. However, a transition period is granted by French tax authorities for those foreign companies that still do not have a French VAT number and are making imports in France: i) they will have to initiate the VAT registration no later than 1 March, 2022, ii) VAT number must be provided when making imports at Customs no later than 30 June 2022 – end of transition period.

In case your business is making imports in France but still does not have a French VAT number, you will be able to import goods and pay import VAT using your customs declarations provided you can prove that your company has initiated the VAT registration process before 1 March 2022. From a practical perspective, in order to make the import without a VAT number benefiting from this transition period, as an exception, the company shall include in the customs declaration a new special mention G0008 «redevable non identifié à la TVA en France» (taxpayer not identified for VAT in France).

Possibility of using special mention G0008 (taxpayer not identified for VAT in France) at the customs declaration, as part of the transition period, will only be available until 30 June, 2022. After this deadline, if a taxpayer does not have a French VAT number when making imports in France, this will be considered a reporting irregularity and penalties will apply – 5% of the deductible VAT pursuant to Article 1788 A of the French General Tax Code.

Hungary

SAF-T introduction in Hungary is expected to be mandatory in the short term, although the exact date is yet to be confirmed. Unofficial information indicates that SAF-T shall be mandatory by the end of 2022 or the beginning of 2023.

The SAF-T (that stands for Standard audit file for tax) is an internationally standardized file in XML format used to facilitate the treatment and exchange of tax information.

SAF-T reporting allows an easier communication of transactions performed to tax authorities, making it simpler to carry out tax audit procedures. The ultimate purpose when tax authorities introduce the SAF-T requirement is to reduce the VAT gap and fraud in the country.

Hungarian SAF-T is expected to be similar to the Polish SAF-T – JPK files, adding some additional structured sections.

The 3 sections of the Hungarian SAF-T are i) master data – general information about suppliers, customers, products, etc., ii) transactional data – detailed information about transactions, and iii) reporting data section – information concerning reporting obligations.

Hungarian real-time reporting obligation already requires businesses to have their systems ready to send standard audit files (SAF) when required by the tax authority. This information will include (i) general accounting, customers, suppliers and VAT, (ii) accounts receivable and (iii) accounts payable data.

The idea is that Hungarian SAF-T will be submitted to the tax authority (NAV) in XML format, however, there is still plenty of information to be confirmed.

Poland

Polish tax authorities are gradually introducing the electronic invoicing requirement in Poland. The National e-Invoicing System (KSeF) will be available for use on a voluntary basis since 1 January 2022. This means that during 2022 paper invoices, non-structured electronic invoices and invoices issued via KSeF will be accepted.

This introduction follows the pilot test that tax authorities are conducting at the moment with taxpayers – available from October to December 2021. This pilot is used to allow taxpayers to adapt their IT systems for the National e-Invoicing System, and the information environment uses anonymous data. Invoices issued during the test period do not have any legal effects and will be deleted after some time from the system.

As announced on their website, it is expected that the National e-Invoicing System (KSeF) becomes mandatory by 2023.

Electronic invoicing are already introduced or planned for the near future by a number of countries in the European Union, such as ItalyPortugal or France.

Romania

The Romanian tax authorities have confirmed that businesses that sell to government departments will be required to issue e-invoices from 1 July 2022.

Since January 2022, Romanian businesses have been able to register for live VAT e-invoice (the RO e-Factura) reporting on a voluntary basis and this new regime allows businesses to declare sales to the Romanian tax authorities via a new e-invoicing platform instead of sending invoices directly to their customers. The Romanian tax authorities then digitally verify these invoices and send them to the customer via its platform.

The Ministry of Finance hopes this new invoice-reporting regime will help to prevent VAT fraud in the country as Romania joins a growing list of EU countries, including France, Hungary, Italy, Poland, and Slovakia, which have or will introduce e-invoices soon.

The above information was kindly provided by 

Marosa (Spain); contact:  Pedro Pestana da Silva at pps@marosavat.com