Mandatory B2B e-invoicing – a shift in EU policy

Trustweaver published some additional thoughts on the move by the Italian government to make B2B e-invoicing mandatory too – in an effort to combat VAT fraud and closing the VTA gap.

In its post Trustweaver notices that “from a global perspective, this makes complete sense – when taking  a look at the success story that is Mexico. However, seen from a European Union perspective, the idea is problematic to say the least. The EU VAT Directive (2010/45) clearly states that a buyer must agree to exchanging e-invoices and for Italy to by law force buyers to agree is in violation of that principle. The Italian government has acknowledged this, but at the same time has declared its intent to negotiate with Brussels, thereby hoping to become the first EU Member State to get an exception from this principle. We’ve already seen how this legal inhibitor in France has driven a similar well-intended legal change into the wall – although the fact that the proposed law was called ‘loi Macron’ may give it a second chance after the recent elections.

Mandatory B2B e-invoicing – a shift in EU policy

A successful outcome of the negotiation for the Italian government would constitute a significant shift in EU policy. It’s not going to be an easy negotiation, but an Italian victory could have some significant side benefits. Allowing mandatory B2B e-invoicing could be the start of a solution to some of the worrying trends we’re seeing right now. Bit by bit, countries such as Portugal, Spain and Hungary are regulating the VAT reporting process in a very fragmented way simply because they can get away with it without EU approval. If B2B e-invoicing started becoming mandatory throughout the EU, it would be hard for Brussels to continue its ostrich politics on the cacophony created by this uncoordinated introduction of automated reporting.”

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