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Electronic Invoice: What It Is, How It Works

From many perspectives, the electronic invoice is an essential computerized likeness to the paper invoice. Simultaneously, the standards connecting with its issuance are somewhat not quite the same as those numerous clients are acclimated with. The outcome is that numerous experts don’t have the foggiest idea of how the electronic receipt functions :

  1. Who should give it?
  2. What information is expected to fill it ready?
  3. How long is it accessible to send it, and how its preservation works?
  4. Disarray isn’t excessively the same as disturbing electronic, computerized, and handwritten hand marks.

The electronic invoice can be ready, sent, and put away utilizing a straightforward PC. The significant thing is to use the product intended for overseeing XML records and, most importantly, to regard the laid out procedural techniques. Starting from here, the Income Organization is a great perspective, yet different administrations permit you to make an electronic invoice, send them and store them free of charge.

What Is The Electronic Invoice, And How It Works

The term ” electronic invoice ” indicates a digital equivalent of the traditional invoice. So from a content point of view, there is no difference between an electronic invoice and a paper invoice. The electronic invoice was born and developed to pursue different objectives. The first is that of dematerialization: specifically the reduction of paper consumption, with obvious benefits in terms of eco-sustainability. Digital preservation of a billing document also ensures a much higher level of integrity than the traditional approach. 

Not to mention the safeguarding of contents within the relationship between customer and supplier. From a technical point of view, the electronic invoice is usually produced in XML format. XML ( eXtensible Markup Language ) is a metalanguage used to define markup languages. Excel and the main spreadsheet programs allow you to import XML files created from external databases. The electronic invoice does not present substantial differences in content compared to the paper invoice. It’s a digital version of it.

What Data Are Used To Issue An Electronic Invoice

To be able to issue an electronic invoice, it is necessary to provide specific mandatory contents: regardless of the type of billing preferred (immediate, deferred, or advance electronic invoice). This is sufficient information to identify the tax entity that issues, the customer who receives it, and the type of goods or services involved in the transaction. The first necessary field is the one relating to the issue date, the day the electronic invoice is issued and sent to the customer. The document must then be provided with a unique progressive number. Tax subjects are required by law to number invoices; from this point of view, the indications of the Legislator have changed in recent years. In the past, the numbering provided for starting over from the number 1 year after year. 

It is necessary today to continue with the progressive numbering, indicating the calendar year of reference in the margin. A subject that issues ten electronic invoices in 2021 will have to number them in this way: 1/2021, 2/2021, etc. Once 2022 is reached, it will have to carry on the progressive numbering but change the reference year: therefore, we will have new invoices numbered 11/2022, 12/2022, etc. The mandatory contents of the electronic invoice include the date of issue, the unique progressive number, the VAT rate, and the taxable amount. The last date to be indicated on the electronic invoice relates to the moment in which the payment is paid: but only if this date differs from that of the invoice issue. 

Then we move on to the contents identifying the subjects involved and the transaction in question. From this point of view, it is necessary to enter the name and surname, the name or company name, the address, and the VAT number of both the tax entity issuing the electronic invoice and the customer who purchases the goods or services. Then it is necessary to describe the type, quantity, and price of the good or service subject of the transaction entirely. Finally, it is required to indicate the VAT rate, the taxable amount, and the so-called ” recipient code “: a set of 7 characters (which can be both letters and numbers) that uniquely identifies the recipient of the electronic invoice. 

How To Prepare An Electronic Invoice

Having clarified what data is needed to issue an electronic invoice, it is possible to begin to enter into the merits of its preparation. From the hardware point of view, a user can use any device of their choice: a PC is good, just as a tablet or smartphone is good. As for the software, on the other hand, it is necessary to use specific programs capable of creating files in the XML format mentioned in the previous paragraphs: the format is considered mandatory starting from 20 April 2018. Several solutions allow you to prepare electronic invoices. Three of these are free and are made available by the Revenue Agency through its official channels. The first is an Invoices and Remuneration portal, which can be visited on the Revenue Agency website. 

The second solution is a program that can be downloaded on a PC, allowing the user to prepare an electronic invoice even if there is no network connection. The third solution is an app called Fatturae, available for both tablets and smartphones and downloadable from both the Play Store (Android) and the App Store (iOS). However, the Fatturae app needs an Internet connection to work correctly. The Revenue Agency offers users three free solutions for preparing electronic invoices: a web portal, PC software, and an app for tablets and smartphones. If you decide to prepare an electronic invoice through the Revenue Agency website, it will not be possible to edit the field relating to your VAT number. 

The other areas, however, will be editable to your liking and can be saved. In this way, the system will automatically propose them again in all subsequent electronic invoices. The data to be entered to fill in the electronic invoice are the same already analyzed in the previous paragraphs: those relating to the tax subject, those relating to the customer, those relating to the goods or service sold, and those relating to the issue and payment dates. An important aspect to underline concerns the Recipient Code, if the customer communicates his intention to receive the electronic invoice at a PEC (Certified Electronic Mail) address. In this case, the ” Recipient Code ” field must be filled in by inserting the value ” 0000000 “. Then the PEC address must be entered in the ” recipient PEC “area. 

How E-Invoices Are Stored

By law, tax subjects are obliged to keep all electronic invoices issued. But be careful: keeping an electronic invoice does not simply mean storing a file on your PC, tablet, or smartphone. The CAD (Digital Administration Code) regulates the electronic invoice storage procedure. A system designed to guarantee the conservation of electronic invoices and to allow the user to retrieve them at any time he needs them quickly. The Revenue Agency provides a free electronic invoice storage service. A possibility that integrates with the three software for the preparation already described in the previous paragraphs. 

The process of storing an electronic invoice must be completed within three months from the expiry date linked to the presentation of one ‘s annual tax return. Storage can be carried out either by the taxpayer, by the depositary of accounting records, or by a third party: the Revenue Agency, rather than a registrar chosen by the single depositary. The conservation of electronic invoices is regulated by the CAD and provides specific procedural procedures according to the individual’s choices. The conservation process presupposes a specific procedural procedure, which varies according to the decisions of the tax subject: to keep electronic invoices on their own or to entrust their conservation to third parties. 

Even from a technical point of view, storage can take place within different digital spaces: in the organizational structure of the document producer ( in-house solution ); with other public or private entities ( outsourced solution ). Having said this, the important thing is that the conservation system ensures: the specific identification of the subject or administration that formed the document; the integrity, legibility, and availability of the paper. The manufacturer sends all stored electronic invoices to the system via the payment package. The acquisition of the deposit package by the storage system leads to the creation and sending of a deposit report. The payment report contains fundamental elements, including a UTC reference or Coordinated Universal Time. 

Free Services To Prepare, Send, And Store Electronic Invoices

The administrations made accessible by the Income Organization are, by all accounts, not the only ones that permit you to get ready, send, and keep an electronic receipt for nothing. There are a few elective arrangements viable with the main working frameworks. Spec is a free program for Windows that permits you to send and get B2B, B2C, and Policy management electronic invoices. The product will empower you to import commodity records in XML design and oversee items, providers, or clients. 

Asos Invoice is another free program accessible for Windows, macOS, and Linux. A device that doesn’t permit you to make electronic solicitations. All things being equal, it is an XML document watcher. With Assoinvoice, the client can view, print, or change a computerized record. It can likewise check the legitimacy of the advanced marks fastened. At long last, Yume Forfettario Effortless Light: is an internet-based arrangement that permits you to make both a proforma and an electronic invoice. This product’s eccentricity is that it empowers the archive to be sent straightforwardly to the Income Organization and its Trade Framework.


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