Business baffled by new EU invoicing regulations

March 2004
Management Services;Mar2004, Vol. 48 Issue 3, p7
Academic Journal
This article reports on the confusion caused by the European Union (EU) Council electronic invoicing directive to businesses in 2004. The new rules are designed to help businesses to switch to electronic invoicing, which can reduce costs and speed cash flow. The directive simplifies, modernises and harmonises the conditions laid down for invoicing in respect to value added tax (VAT). As part of the objective, the directive also sets common standards for sending electronic invoices. The provisions of the directive established for all EU member states include the list of particulars that must appear on invoices for VAT purposes, the arrangements governing the use of electronic invoices, the arrangements of self-billing and the outsourcing of invoicing operations. One of the primary objectives of the directive is to remove from individual member states the ability to prohibit electronic invoices. This is an important step in encouraging the wider acceptance of electronic-commerce within the region. In addition, the directive lays down two options to guarantee authenticity. The invoice can either be secured by an advanced electronic signature or sent via electronic data interchange.


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