Public Germany Author: Kristina Dosen
Germany's Ministry of Finance has unveiled a draft guidance on the introduction of e-invoices. The guidance outlines the implementation of an e-invoicing mandate for all domestic business-to-business (B2B) transactions.

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Content accuracy validation date: 20.06.2024
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The mandate is scheduled for a gradual rollout, with the initial phase kicking off on January 1, 2025. At the heart of this initiative is the requirement for e-invoices to be transmitted and received in a specific electronic format. This format is not arbitrary; it must either adhere to the European standard, known as EN 16931, or be mutually agreed upon by the parties involved in the transaction.

Each e-invoice must be genuine, its content unaltered, and it must be machine-readable to ensure seamless electronic processing. In contrast, paper invoices or electronic formats that fail to meet these stringent criteria will be relegated to the status of "other invoices."

For businesses operating within Germany's borders, the mandate necessitates the issuance of e-invoices for all domestic b2b transactions. Notably, this can be done without the need to obtain consent from the recipient, provided they possess the capability to receive e-invoices.

However, the mandate exhibits flexibility for international business owners. If one of the business owners is not based in Germany, the obligation to issue an e-invoice is lifted.

The scope of the mandate is comprehensive, encompassing credit notes, small businesses, and transactions related to agriculture, forestry, travel services, and differential taxation. Yet, it also recognizes the need for exceptions. Transactions directed to non-taxpayer legal entities or property-related services to non-taxpayers are exempt, allowing for the issuance of paper invoices. Moreover, the mandate accommodates smaller transactions. Invoices amounting to less than €250, as well as tickets for transportation services, retain the option to be issued and sent in paper form or another electronic format, contingent on the recipient's consent.

Effective January 1, 2028, all businesses in Germany must issue e-invoices.

You can find the text of the e-Invoicing Guide in our Fiscal Portal:Draft Guide e-Invoicing Letter



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