For many years now, the French government has been committed to strengthening the competitiveness of businesses, simplifying administrative procedures and combating tax fraud. Against this backdrop, the introduction of electronic invoicing represents a significant milestone on the road to far-reaching digital transformation. This reform, motivated by ambitious objectives, aims to modernize and harmonize invoicing processes within companies of all sizes, while reinforcing transparency and security in commercial exchanges.
The obligation for companies to issue and receive electronic invoices is at the heart of this transformation. At a time when digital technology is permeating every aspect of our lives, it's only natural that businesses should embrace this evolution to gain in efficiency, speed and reliability. Docloop is part of one of the working groups that has been considering the introduction of e-invoicing. We explain the major changes to come as a result of this reform.
The introduction of e-invoicing reform in France is part of an overall context of modernizing administrative procedures and boosting business competitiveness. This reform has its roots in Article 153 of the Finance Law for 2020, which aims to combat VAT fraud and comply with international reforms on periodic and continuous transaction control, also known as Continuous Transaction Controls (CTCs).
The main aim of this reform is to generalize electronic invoicing between taxable persons. This measure is part of a worldwide trend to modernize invoicing processes and adopt digital solutions to combat tax fraud and improve transparency in commercial exchanges.
The introduction of electronic invoicing in France is to be phased in gradually according to company size, in accordance with the provisions of Ordinance no. 2021-1190 of September 15, 2021.
The old schedule by company size is as follows:
- 2024 : all taxable persons will be able to receive electronic invoices. All companies, whatever their size, will have to be ready to receive electronic invoices from this year onwards. In the same year, large companies will be required to send their invoices electronically.
- 2025 : the e-invoicing process is extended to mid-sized companies.
- 2026 : transmission of electronic invoices is extended to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and micro-businesses.
Prior to the general introduction of electronic invoicing, a pilot phase was to be implemented from January 2024 to June 2024. The aim of this phase was to test the system in real-life conditions, preparing companies for the full adoption of electronic invoicing.
However, in a press release dated July 28, 2023, the government announced the postponement of the rollout timetable for the generalization of electronic invoicing by businesses. The new timetable is to be communicated as part of the publication of the Finance Act for 2024.
Following the reform of electronic invoicing in France, a number of significant changes have been made, particularly with regard to obligations and deadlines for electronic invoicing between companies.
The reform of electronic invoicing means that companies established in France must issue and receive invoices electronically. This obligation applies to all transactions between companies subject to VAT.
Electronic transactions are transmitted via specific platforms, such as the Chorus Pro portal or tax-accredited dematerialization platforms (PDPs).
But e-invoicing is not limited to exchanges between VAT-registered companies. It also includes :
- Supply of goods and services
- Advance payments
- Auctions of second-hand goods, works of art, collectors' items and antiques
To ensure smooth implementation of this reform, an experimental phase, also known as the pilot phase, was planned. This phase was initially scheduled to start on January 3 and end on the date of implementation of the reform, giving companies the opportunity to test the process and identify any necessary adjustments. However, the press release from the Direction générale des finances publiques (DGFIP) does not specify whether this phase will also be postponed.
Specific e-invoicing platforms
The changes linked to the reform of electronic invoicing in France introduce the use of specific platforms to facilitate the transmission and reception of electronic invoices, as well as the transmission of transaction data to the administration. The working groups that have been working on this reform, of which Docloop is a member, have agreed on two main options that will be offered to companies to comply with this reform: the use of partner dematerialization platforms (PDP) or direct recourse to the Chorus Pro public invoicing portal.
Partner dematerialization platforms (PDPs) will play a central role in the process of electronic invoicing and transmission of information to the tax authorities, also known as "e-reporting". Taxable companies will have to use these platforms to transmit and receive their electronic invoices, as well as to send transaction and payment data to the tax authorities.
PDPs will have several key roles:
- Issuing, transmitting and receiving Invoices
- Data transfer to tax authorities
- Transaction data transmission
- Transmission of payment data
Partner dematerialization platforms will be registered with the tax authorities. To obtain this registration, service providers must submit an application file meeting the regulatory requirements.
Companies will also be able to send and receive electronic invoices using the Chorus Pro public invoicing portal. This portal will play a key role in the transmission of invoices and data between companies and the public authorities. Companies will be free to choose between using Chorus Pro and partner dematerialization platforms to comply with the e-invoicing obligation.
Docloop is involved in working groups aimed at changing legislation concerning the digitization of certain essential documents such as invoices. We are part of the PDP and eFTI working groups. This regulation on electronic information concerning the transport of goods is part of the same approach as the reform of electronic invoicing.
Docloop is a major player in dematerialization, thanks to its innovative solutions for intelligent document processing. Our data extraction and business process automation services give us the legitimacy to reflect on these essential issues.
We're already preparing our customers for the regulatory changes ahead. With Docloop, e-invoicing won't be a problem, and neither will the integration of eFTI standards.