Getting back to basics: Why are there different electronic invoicing models?
Across the globe there are a range of electronic invoicing and tax compliance models. Why? Because tax authorities all have different requirements. Each tax authority requires specific business invoicing information in order to prove the VAT expected and VAT declared. All for one global reason - to reduce each country’s VAT gap.
Even though the tax authorities have one main goal in mind, the tax and e-invoicing model they use varies. Marcus explains how the current models favour the tax authorities but don’t favour the average business. Businesses are still sending PDF or paper supply chain documents between one another, while at the same time creating a separate process flow for the tax authority’s needs.
Mandating electronic invoicing is not enough for businesses to transition and benefit from full business automation. Marcus explains that full business automation isn’t taking place because the current models put the tax authority in the center.
So what is the solution?
The Decentralised CTC and Exchange model
Marcus states that the solution is the Decentralised CTC and Exchange model (DCTCE). The DCTCE model is a combined effort of key e-invoicing stakeholders around the globe who seek for 100% interoperability and full business automation. The new model will provide business automation, while still allowing the tax authority to obtain the VAT information they need.
Marcus says this is perfectly achievable. Businesses need to be encouraged to automate their processes in order to cut costs, streamline tasks and increase supply chain efficiency.
So how does the DCTCE model work?
- Businesses choose their service provider. A service provider which is certified by the tax authority but still exists within a decentralised model.
- The business uses their service provider to automate their full supply chain document process.
- Supply chain documents are sent electronically, via structured formats, to and from businesses.
- The tax authority has a connection with the service provider to extract their VAT information.
Essentially, the DCTCE model automates the process between supplier and buyer through the use of service providers, while the tax authority “sits on top” and extracts the relevant information they need.
Understanding the benefits for all parties
The tax authority
The main benefit for the tax authority is that they still get their VAT information. They can prove the VAT expected and the VAT declared, all to help close their VAT gap.
But why would a tax authority switch to a new model if their current model is already closing the VAT gap? Many of the current models involve a central government platform where businesses must send and extract invoices. These platforms require upkeep, development and support staff. The DCTCE model takes away these tasks and simply lets the government get the information they need without the extra platform work.
The DCTCE model establishes one single interface for the taxpayer. One interface, and also one connection, to connect to any business and their tax authority.
But the most important business benefit is full digital automation without the hassle. Businesses can streamline their processes, get paid quicker and reduce the steps they currently take to provide tax authorities with the information they need.
The DCTCE model allows service providers to freely exchange on the market and have a fair chance of obtaining electronic supply chain business. They can connect with other providers, supply tax authorities their VAT information and provide their customers with an automated supply chain process.
Moving forward with the DCTCE model
Many countries have different processes, models and timelines. Countries such as Italy have almost 100% of mandatory e-invoicing, whereas some countries only have e-invoicing mandates on their roadmap. The creators of the DCTCE model have to “sell” the concept to the various tax authorities. A task which may be challenging to those who already have a successful model in place.
When asking Marcus if he thinks it will be a challenge to convince the tax authorities he is optimistic.
Stay up to date with the DCTCE progress
At Unifiedpost Group, we want to ensure that you have the information you need to stay on top of global tax compliance and e-invoicing regulations. Whether you need to be aware of a changing mandate or a new model coming into place, we are here to help.