Portugal - E-invoices system won the Innovation in Public Administration award

Ms. Simoes Viegas Maria Isabel's picture
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 The Portuguese Tax and Customs Authority (AT) has won the "Innovation in Public Administration" award, given by the Association for Digital Economy (ACEPI). The prize has been awarded for the implementation of the e-invoice system and highlights the innovative character of this system, its fully dematerialized and electronic functioning, as well as the relevance of citizenship to combat the underground economy.
The e-invoice system, created on January 1, 2013, is already an international reference, and the Portuguese tax administration has been requested by most of the EU countries to share this experience.

With the e-invoice system, AT has been performing a new role in supporting taxpayers and promoting voluntary compliance. That function basically uses the information, collaboration and pedagogy, leaving the classical functions of authority (inspective, punitive and coercive) for cases of persistent non-compliance.

About 172 thousand companies with divergences have already been detected, but most of them have proceeded to a voluntary settlement. The e-invoice is also an important tool for early detection and effective fight against tax fraud.

Last but not least, e-invoice system is also based on fiscal citizenship and enhancement of the role of citizens and consumers in the fight against the underground economy and tax evasion. This role is irreplaceable, alongside the role of the state.

Today, more than 8.6 million Portuguese receive invoices with their TIN and in 2014 the number of invoices issued with TIN grew by more than 43% compared with previous year, which clearly demonstrates the success of the e-invoice program.

A study recently published by the European Commission shows that the underground economy in Portugal represents 8%, the fifth lowest rate in the entire EU, alongside with Denmark and only the Nordic countries are ahead of Portugal.