Today, e-invoicing is already mandatory in Belgium in the Business-to-Government (B2G) context, i.e. when invoicing to local and federal governments. The Flemish government was the first to introduce this obligation in 2017. But what about the B2B obligation?
An electronic invoice (also known as an e-invoice) is an invoice that is created, sent, received and stored digitally. This is automated between different software systems without manual intervention.
The electronic invoice must comply with a standard so that it can be processed automatically by different software systems on the side of sender and receiver. Within Europe, agreements are laid down in a framework called Peppol. This framework describes a standardised format for invoices (UBL format), rules, network and legal aspects.
Mandatory e-invoicing for public tenders
All contracting governments should accept e-invoices
No longer accepts PDF or Word invoices. Only e-invoices or paper
Mandatory e-invoicing for public tenders > European threshold
Mandatory e-invoicing for public tenders > 30K€
Mandatory e-invoicing for all public tenders
Start preparing on time!
Minister of Finance Vincent Van Peteghem has drawn up a proposal for mandatory e-invoices between companies in the fight against fraud and administrative burdens.
The step towards e-invoicing is important to reduce the VAT gap, the difference between expected and actual VAT revenues.
The European Commission has announced that the VAT gap in Belgium in 2020 amounts to 4.8 billion euros or 14%. This means that Belgium is doing noticeably worse than its neighbouring countries, the Netherlands (2.8%, Germany 4.8% and France 8%).
On 29/09/2023 an agreement was reached in the Council of Ministers on mandatory e-invoicing.
In the first proposal, the obligation would be introduced from July 2024 for larger companies and in later phases for all companies.
Due to the late approval, the deadline has been pushed back. The new implementation date is January 1, 2026.
What do we know for now:
Our expectation is not. Some arguments for this are:
Our advice is to prepare for the new legislation now and take the necessary steps to be ready by the end of 2025.
Every organisation deals with different business systems that consume or generate incoming or outgoing invoices. The transition from paper/email invoices to e-invoices can have a big impact.
You will suddenly have to deal with e-invoices in addition to the current paper and PDF invoices. You cannot print or save e-invoices on paper because they are not readable by humans. Reviewing or approving invoices without any visualization in PDF will pose major challenges to many organisations.
Because the impact on each company is different, you must calculate reserve time. You have to assess the impact, adjust processes and onboard on Peppol. If you are not working digitally yet, you must count at least six months.
Amista offers with RecoMatics Document Suite a standard solution for invoice processing, regardless of the source format (paper, PDF or e-invoice).
Don’t wait until the end of 2025 or you won’t be on time. Start now.
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