Electronic invoicing

Draft law On Electronic Invoicing in Serbia

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The current Law on Deadlines for Settlement of Monetary Obligations in Commercial Transactions is not fully in line with Directive 2014/559 / EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 April 2014 on electronic invoicing in public procurement (hereinafter “EU Directive”) with regard to the requirements to be met by an electronic invoice, as well as with regard to the introduction of an obligation for contracting authorities and contracting entities to receive electronic invoices issued in accordance with the requirements provided for in this Directive.

In view of the above, the Ministry of Finance drafted a Draft law on electronic invoicing (hereinafter “Draft Law“), and the public debate ended on 25 February 2021.

Draft law states that improvement of transparency, legal certainty and consistency of the national legal framework governing the field of electronic invoicing are the main reasons for regulating this area.

Contents of the e-invoice

Draft law defines an electronic invoice as an invoice or other request for payment that is issued, sent and received in a structured electronic format, through the Electronic Invoice System. (hereinafter “E-invoice“). It is a fully digital invoice that is transferred from one application (issuer) to another (recipient) without a physical form (print). The system of electronic invoices is an information-technological solution managed by a central information intermediary and through which electronic invoices are sent, received, recorded, processed and stored.

E-invoice has all the data fields that the invoice usually contains: issuer, recipient, invoice numbers, dates, invoice items and VAT values ​​until the electronic signature is a necessary part of it.

E-invoice as a credible document

As it is known, the issuance of electronic invoices has been the possibility of economic entities until today. However, the Draft Law now stipulates that an electronic invoice, in accordance with the law governing the enforcement procedure, is now a credible document if sent by the issuer of the electronic invoice or information intermediary on his behalf to the recipient of the electronic invoice via the electronic invoice system.

Thus, in this way, forced collection is facilitated and accelerated for economic entities, considering that the electronic invoice has not been a credible document so far, so the creditor had to first file a lawsuit for issuing a payment order and only then go for forced execution.

Mandatory or optional application of the system

The draft law distinguishes between the mandatory and optional regime of issuing electronic invoices, as well as the introduction of a mandatory regime of electronic recording of value added tax calculations in the electronic invoicing system.

The obligation of electronic invoicing refers to all transactions between public sector entities, private and public sector entities, when on the one hand there are commercial entities and entrepreneurs who are VAT payers, and on the other hand public sector entities, as well as transactions between commercial entities i.e., entrepreneurs, in the case when both the issuer and the recipient of the electronic invoice are VAT payers.

Exceptions

Various exceptions from the mandatory electronic invoicing regime have been introduced in the Draft Law.

In the first place, the obligation of electronic invoicing in the private sector applies only to VAT payers, while other private sector entities that have the obligation to issue invoices in accordance with special laws (such as flat rate entrepreneurs) have the opportunity but not the obligation to use electronic invoicing and issue or receive electronic invoices.

On the other hand, exceptions also apply to certain legal transactions. Thus, the obligation to issue electronic invoices does not exist for trade in goods and services at retail, trade in goods and services financed from international framework agreements and procurement, modernization and overhaul of weapons and military equipment, procurement of security-sensitive equipment and related procurement of goods, services or works.

Electronic recording of VAT calculations

The obligation to electronically record the calculation of value added tax in the electronic invoicing system is prescribed both in transactions with a fee and in transactions without a fee. The introduction of the obligation to electronically record the calculation of value added tax aims to make visible in the system of electronic invoices, any obligation to calculate VAT that exists in accordance with the law governing value added tax, when it comes to transactions for which electronic invoicing is not already prescribed.

The obligation of electronic registration also exists in the case when the recipient of the electronic invoice is considered a tax debtor in the sense of the law governing value added tax, in transactions in which a foreign person appears as the issuer of the electronic invoice. In this way, through the obligation of electronic recording in the system of electronic invoices, any obligation to calculate VAT in real time will be visible, which will enable learn control and insight into those transactions in respect of which there is no obligation of electronic invoicing.

Improving the way of storing electronic invoices

The introduction of electronic invoicing systems should also contribute to easier keeping and storage of invoices compared to those in paper form.

Electronic invoices issued or applied by a public sector entity are stored in the electronic invoice system permanently. On the other hand, electronic invoices issued or received by a private sector entity shall be kept for 10 years from the end of the year in which the electronic invoice was issued in the electronic invoice system or in the information intermediary system. In the event of bankruptcy, liquidation or compulsory liquidation of the information intermediary, electronic invoices kept by the information intermediary on behalf of private sector entities shall be transferred to the Central Information Mediator.

Silence as acceptance or rejection

The draft law also regulates the consequences in case the recipient of the electronic invoice does not accept or does not reject it within eight days of receiving the electronic invoice. In this respect, a distinction is made between public and private entities.

If the public sector entity does not accept or reject the received electronic invoice within eight days, the electronic invoice is considered accepted.

In the case of private sector entities, if the recipient of the electronic invoice does not accept or reject the electronic invoice issued by another private sector entity within eight days, the electronic invoice system notifies the recipient of the electronic invoice again, and if within three days not accepted or rejected, shall be deemed as rejected.

Central information system

The establishment of the Central Information Mediator is also envisaged, as a competent organizational unit within the Ministry of Finance, which will be in charge of managing the system of electronic invoices and answers for its functioning. In addition, he is in charge of keeping the Register of Information mediators, which have received the consent of the ministry in charge of finance.

For private sector entities, as well as other legal entities and entrepreneurs who choose to use the system of electronic invoices, the possibility is provided that the activities related to the issuance, sending, receiving and storage of electronic invoices, as well as electronic recording, the contract of trust to the information intermediary. which has the consent of the ministry responsible for finance.

Deadlines for establishing the system

The conditions for the phased introduction of the electronic invoicing regime are defined. There are prescribed deadlines within which certain persons are obliged to start issuing or receiving electronic invoices.

Electronic invoices in transactions in which one of the parties is a public sector entity shall apply from 1 July 2021.

The obligation to issue and electronically record electronic invoices in transactions between private sector entities shall apply from 1 January 2023.

Regarding the use of the system of electronic invoices for all entities for which there is no obligation in terms of issuing or receiving electronic invoices, or electronic recording of VAT calculations, the possibility of using this system after the establishment of technical and technological conditions.

It is envisaged that on 30 June 2021, the provisions of the Law on Deadlines for Settlement of Financial Obligations in Commercial Transactions Relating to Electronic Invoicing will cease to apply.

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. If you need additional information regarding the subject, feel free to contact us by email office@ncrlawyers.com or by phone +381677049551.