An IOTA Workshop on „Introduction of online invoicing – Experiences of IOTA member tax authorities” was organised in Budapest in partnership with the Hungarian National Tax and Customs Administration, on 3-5 December 2019. Forty-eight participants from 28 IOTA member countries gathered to exchange practises and methodologies related to online invoicing. IT companies were also actively present at the workshop sharing their expertise on online invoicing systems.
The workshop brought together tax administration personnel involved in controlling taxpayers’ tax obligations as well as tax officials involved in auditing accounting systems and checking the tax declarations of taxpayers using electronic invoices.
The event sought to identify and promote best practices, effective operation and encouraged debate on potential shortfalls of online invoicing systems among participants.
The event’s objective was to familiarise participants with principles, engineering aspects, details of legal regulations, introductory processes, operational experiences, usage of data of different online invoicing systems implemented by IOTA member tax administrations. The usage of data was a particular focus of the workshop. An online invoicing system is also to enhance audit activities and risk analysis methods, therefore it offers new opportunities for tax administration in the fight against tax evasion.
An online invoice (or electronic invoice, e-invoice) can be considered as an invoice generated electronically, rather than being paper-based, which is sent online to the customer that can easily record and integrate it in its own accountancy. In this way, an online invoicing system represents a significant simplification of the way businesses manage and monitor their sales, generate invoices, and receive and track payments.
Different types of online invoicing systems have been developed by IOTA member tax administrations in the last few years. Some jurisdictions have already started to oblige economic operators to use such a system for exchanging transactional data with tax administrations. Others are issuing e-invoices directly using a centralized tax system to guarantee not only the availability of transactional data, but also to certify the validity and accuracy of the invoices.
The event facilitated presentations, plenary discussions, panel talks and sessions of group discussions. At the plenary sessions speakers gave presentations on
- Country experience and operational approaches;
- Future developments of online invoicing systems;
- Views and perspectives of IT companies, developing online invoicing systems.
During the three days of the event participants were not only listening to the speeches but were also participating in group discussions. They broke into groups and had motivated discussions on
- Challenges in the implementation of an online invoicing system (e.g. IT solutions, security protection and data privacy)
- Effective usage of data
- Impact on business community and future challenges and opportunities
In summary, the IOTA Workshop on „Introduction of online invoicing – Experiences of IOTA member tax authorities” was a successful event, delegates
- gained increased awareness and understanding of the challenges and opportunities that the online invoicing system can bring for tax administrations as well as for economic operators;
- were recommended best practices, effective operational tips and lessons learned from the shortfalls of online invoicing systems;
- gained enhanced understanding of principles, engineering aspects (storage, format, access, auditing, etc...), legal regulations, introductory processes, usage of data of online invoicing system and
- gained increased awareness about possible technological developments and challenges of these systems, particularly in a globally integrated economy.
More information on the Workshop, including all presentations, is available here for registered users of IOTA website.