Verifactu expected to go “live” by July 2024
The Spanish tax agency Agencia Tributaria has announced a tentative future release date for their electronic invoicing system, Verifactu. All in all, the plan is to release the system in the summer of 2024.
The implementation of the project depends on the approval of the regulations for the invoicing system by the Spanish law authorities. The system is ready to launch.
The estimated release date is expected somewhere during July 2024. The IT department of Agencia Tributaria has published a technical draft of its working methodology.
What is Verifactu?
In its fight against the gray economy, the Spanish tax agency has devised a system capable of allowing taxpayers to exchange fiscal and tributary information. This will be done in real-time with the Tax Authority.
Besides Veri*factu, Spain is working on three other similar systems:
- TicketBai which is limited only to the Basque region.
- The Immediate Supply of Information commonly referred to as SII (Suministro Inmediato de Información). This system is mandatory for certain groups of taxpayers (B2G) since the year 2017.
- A model based on “Crea y Crece” law regarding electronic invoicing. This is still not mandatory and includes B2B transactions.
When consumers see “Veri*factu” on their invoices, it means that the Tax Authority has verified and received all the information contained in that receipt. This is achieved in an automated fashion.
The invoice service providers or suppliers of already existing invoicing programs need to adapt to new regulations and be fully compliant with their new fiscal obligations. Taxpayers need to adapt to these new regulations to continue supplying taxpayers with their software or hardware devices.
What are the technical specifications contained in this new draft?
The spirit of the text in the draft goes in line with procuring a simple working procedure for the whole system. Taxpayers who use the program need to be able to seamlessly and securely transmit the data by electronic means to the Tax Authorities’ premises. Data will be sent by web services which allow invoicing registries to be sent in real time. The chosen format will be XML and a different message will be used for the registration of the invoice and for its cancellation.
If a taxpayer issues an invoice and it is canceled afterward, the tax agency will be able to verify the reason for its cancellation. Another aspect they will have to check is when it was canceled, and the effects of its cancellation. The Tax Authority sees this on the business’s accountability and tax obligations.
Invoices generated by the computer systems or electronic systems and programs that support the billing processes of businesses and professionals must include an alphanumeric identification code and a QR code, generated per the technical and functional specifications established by the Ministry of Finance.
The verified invoices will then be sent to the customer who will, in turn, be able to read on top of the receipt a message stating “Veri*factu”, signaling that the invoice has been sent to the Tax Authority and that the business is compliant.
The computer system must be able to send all the billing records generated to the State Tax Administration Agency (AEAT) in a continuous, secure, correct, complete, automatic, consecutive, instantaneous, and in a reliable manner.
Benefits for an early adoption
In addition, at the end of each trimester, taxpayers will find their VAT declarations filled out with all their incomes and expenses which they had already incorporated into their invoicing system. This could potentially be added to other models such as the personal income statement or withholding statements.
The registry of verifiable receipts will NOT have to include an electronic signature upon registration or cancellation. In the future, taxpayers who voluntarily adopt this system will have their self-liquidations or tax returns partially or completely filled in by the Agencia Tributaria.
On a tax inspection, The AEAT may appear in person where the computer system is located or used and may require full and immediate access to the data record, obtaining, where appropriate, the username, password, and any other relevant information.
Also on a tax inspection, The AEAT may request a copy of the billing records, which companies may provide in electronic format through physical support or by electronic means.
Three electronic invoicing systems, one country?
For the time being, it seems very likely that the three systems: Verifactu, TicketBai, and SII will coexist in Spain. In this regard, SII and Verifactu will most surely share the same territory in the application of their fiscal measures. As for TicketBai, its jurisdiction area is limited to the three provinces forming the Basque Country region.
This situation can potentially lead to a certain degree of confusion, as taxpayers and suppliers will have to abide by different rules if they want to continue to operate and be compliant in the whole country.
For now, we will have to wait and see what are the next steps and the additional technical guidelines that may be published, concerning the implementation of Spain’s fiscalization system, we will keep you posted.