France – The generalization of mandatory electronic invoicing from 2023 – 2025

As per the current trend and the development of Continuous Transactions Controls around the world, French Government intend to implement, through article 153 of the 2020 Finance Law, B2B e-Invoicing mandate and could also consider to pre-complete VAT reports.

The emergence of electronic invoice is nothing new in France as electronic invoice is in fact, under Directive 2014/55/EU, already mandatory in case of relations between a taxable person and the public sector.

Moreover, in 2015, through Law No. 2015-990 of August 6, 2015 (known as the “Macron Law”), the Government already tried to introduce an obligation for companies to accept electronic invoice. However, deemed to be contrary to Article 232 of the VAT Directive, these provisions have been dropped.

Indeed, in order to be able to apply B2B e-Invoicing mandate, France should request, and obtain, an exemption from article 232 of the VAT Directive, which provides that “the use of an electronic invoice shall be subject to acceptance by the recipient”.

However, with Article 153 of the 2020 Finance Law, the Government has taken another step further, but the modalities still remain unclear and have yet to be defined.

The text adopted last year provides that B2B e-Envoicing should become mandatory at the earliest from January 1, 2023 and at the latest from January 1, 2025.

During the second half of October, a report on the target model from the French Tax Authority will be submitted to the Parliament on the conditions for implementing B2B e-Invoicing mandate, which will have to identify and assess the most appropriate technical, legal and operational solutions (“target” model), in particular in terms of data transmission to the tax authority, taking into account the operational constraints of the parties.

Given the challenges and constraints that may result, B2B e-Invoicing mandate should be followed very closely in order to be able to anticipate the new obligations for a better adaptation by 2023/2025 and to strengthen existing or future business projects.

For further information or in case of any questions please contact Zuzana Jandova, zuzana.jandova@avocats.pwc.com, Laurent Poigt, laurent.poigt@avocats.pwc.com or Marvin Doose, marvin.doose@avocats.pwc.com.

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