Portugal: Mandatory QR code on e-invoices from January 1st, valid digital signature required from July

Although e-invoicing was scheduled to be made mandatory for Business to Government transactions in Portugal at the beginning of 2019, administrative delays led to e-invoicing finally being rolled out in July 2019.

In addition, the COVID-19 crisis significantly delayed further developments in Portugal's e-invoicing, but several new initiatives have been released starting this month.

First, let's briefly recap the current e-invoicing operations in Portugal. 

Till now, businesses in Portugal had to submit their invoice series numbers to tax authorities for prior clearance. A tax officer was then assigned to every invoice serial number, and details of that officer had to be included on the invoice. This step makes for easy identification and clarification in the case of a future audit. 

E-invoicing was made mandatory for the business to government transactions with an invoice amount exceeding €75,000. This threshold amount was brought down to €50,000 in 2020.

In 2021, e-invoicing was extended from business to government transactions to business to business transactions in Portugal. Taxpayers were instructed to apply a unique series of government-issued invoice serial numbers to the invoices. They were then required to use government-authorized software to produce a QR code on each invoice. This QR code would include a unique document code for easy identification and authentication.

Additionally, taxpayers, both those issuing and those receiving the e-invoice, are required to maintain records of invoices for ten years. 

Taxpayers are required to submit information of their invoices through a special online portal called, Entidade de Serviços Partilhados da Administração Públic (eSPap).

The invoices submitted to the portal are required to contain the following details - 

  • Date of invoice
  • Supplier details and VAT identification
  • Details of Government contractor (in case of B2G transaction) 
  • Contract and delivery term details
  • Payment instructions
  • Details of goods or services supplied 
  • Net value, applicable VAT, and gross value of the invoice

Starting January 1st, 2022, certain new obligations have been rolled out, and taxpayers are now required to comply with Portugal's new electronic tax requirements. Here is a summary of the latest changes. 

From January 1st, 2022 onwards, all relevant tax invoices and documents need to include the QR code containing all the details mentioned above mandatorily.

Also, from July 1st, 2022, all PDF invoices will be valid only if a digital signature is present. Therefore, companies opting for e-invoicing will be required to include a system ensuring authentication of documents with a digital signature. Additionally, from January 2023, businesses will be required to have the document code ATCUD in their invoices and tax documents for easy authentication. 

Starting this month, it will become mandatory for businesses to report the SAF-T accounting document - a standard audit file for tax format. This is an international standard used to exchange tax and accounting information for external audits. All businesses falling under the category of commercial, agricultural and industrial will be required to comply with this requirement. This would mean all tax and accounting systems will be required to register the information to generate the SAFT-PT electronic accounting file. 

Only large companies were required to issue e-invoices while conducting business with Portuguese public entities. But from January 1st, 2022 onwards, even small companies must comply with the new tax requirements. 

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