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Electronic Invoicing in Mexico is now mandatory, effective immediately

On January 1, 2011, Mexico began requiring companies to integrate with the Mexico Tax Authority (SAT) for real-time issuance and approval of electronic invoices.

However, as from now all invoices in Mexico must be electronic for companies with an annual income of 4 million Pesos, US $325.000, EUR 300.000. Soon all Mexican companies must follow the new e-invoicing rules.

So companies operating in Mexico need to be aware that invoices and the way they are presented can have an effect on their business in Mexico, particularly with the Mexican tax authorities.

Changes in Mexican Electronic Invoicing Legislation

Until now, Mexican companies only had to concern themselves with paper invoices. Even so these paper invoices are subject to rules on where and by whom they can be printed. Can you imagine that?

Under the new rules:

  • the electronic invoice in Mexico is a digital tax receipt called a “Comprobante Fiscal Digital” (CFDI) or “factura electrónica”.
  • This digital tax receipt documents and confirms that a business transaction is in accordance with the standards defined by the Mexican Tax legislation (For the experts: Annex 20 of the Miscellaneous Tax Resolution).
  • And it must be generated, transmitted and protected by electronic means.
  • Companies issuing electronic invoices must keep track of the invoices issued, by storage or backup of digital vouchers, so as to have on hand any clarification required by SAT in the future.
  • Paper invoices printed before January 1, 2011, by an authorized printer may continue to be used until the expiration date established on the invoice (normally two years).
  • Where required, new paper invoices need to be bar-coded (Código de Barras Bidimensional or CBB).

Background on the “Comprobante Fiscal Digital” (CFDI)

There are multiple purposes and benefits of the new electronic invoicing.

  1. To achieve savings in the cost of issuing factura by eliminating the requirement to have them printed on special stationary (letter head) only by certain licensed printers.
  2. The electronic invoicing process also will streamline administration, including shipping and receiving.
  3. It is also anticipated that the electronic invoices will help reduce the risk of fraud since the documents will be subject to certain security measures (discussed below).
  4. The new approach on electronic invoices also establishes a means to immediately verify the identity and tax eligibility of the person signing the electronic invoice.

Getting started with the new Mexican e-invoicing system

In order to be able to issue electronic invoices under the new Mexican electronic invoicing law, each Mexican company must take these steps:

  • Obtain a federal registration for taxpayers (Registro Federal de Contribuyentes or RFC) and register with SAT to issue electronic invoices.
  • Obtain an Electronic Signature (Firma Electrónica Avanzada or FIEL) from SAT.
  • Obtain a Certificate of Digital Stamp (Certificado de Sello Digital or CSD) from SAT.
  • Use an Authorized Certification Provider (Proveedor Autorizado de Certificación or PAC) for the validation, folio and digital stamp.

Sanctions

Not complying with the new electronic invoicing regulations is the same as tax fraud. That means that issuing or using electronic invoices that do not comply with the new regulations can lead to imprisonment from six months to 9 years depending on the amount involved.

However as this is a financial felony, most of the times the sentence will be transitioned into paying a financial penalty.


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5 Comments


  1. Hello,

    all this is confirmed. For companies, like Alcatel-Lucent, which owns its own paperless / electronic invoice platform, we will investigate on the possibility to be our own PAC in order to minimize impact.

    Target Go-Live for us in Mexico is Mid 2012 as we are already in the CFD model.

    any questions or investigation, please contact me.

    Guillaume Hatt
    Fiscal Paperless, electronic document mngt and B2B Program Manager

  2. Great news now along with USA Greece and several other European Countries Governments are realizing that we are in the 21st Century and that EIPP is here to stay!

  3. Excellent executive summary and statements about e-billing in Mexico. Furthermore, new adjustments to the e-bilkling regulations will be published shortly. Congress approved a series of changes including:
    . Tax Id will be required for issuing and receiving party. name and address are no longer mandatory (effective January 1st 2012).
    . Tax income group will also be another required field (had not been in the past)
    . Adjustments to the XML scheme to comply with the new release (expected to be 3.1).

    Changes have not been made official and still subject to change, however, have in mind that if your company already issues electronic invoicing, will have to make adjustments to comply with the new regulations.

    Luis F. Sanchez

  4. An interesting story. Although pushed by local requirements, it seems that electronic invoicing not only in Mexico, but also in other LATAM countries like Brazil, Chile etc. is a save way to invoice your customers.

    Frank Lodewijks

  5. Hello Luis Sanchez,

    Thank you for your feedback and additional information

    The E-invoicing Platform