The Official State Gazette (BOE) of 6 December 2023 includes the provision of Royal Decree, 1007/2023 of 5 December, which approves the Regulation that establishes the requirements to be adopted by computer or electronic systems and programmes that support the invoicing processes of entrepreneurs and professionals, and the standardisation of formats of invoicing records.

The main objective of the rule is to promote the combat against tax non-compliance resulting from the use of ‘sales suppression software’ (called ‘dual-use software’).

Specifically, this regulation is approved to develop the points contemplated in Law 11/2021 on measures for the prevention and combat of tax fraud in relation to invoicing processes, to ensure the standardisation of invoicing processes systems and software, and to avoid the alteration of invoices and simplified invoices after they have been issued.

The purpose of this regulation is on the one hand, to ensure the interconnection of such computer systems and their compatibility with the IT systems of customers, suppliers, and public administrations; on the other hand, to guarantee the quality of information, the reliance on the inalterability of data, their traceability, and the elimination of the use of the so-called suppression and sales manipulation software (‘dual-use software’).

The intention of the legislator, as expressed in the general provisions, is to cover the urgent adaptation needs of the Spanish business sector, and especially of SMEs, micro-enterprises, and self-employed workers, to the demands of digitalization, while improving tax compliance and combating non-compliance.

The Royal Decree establishes in the regulatory text the requirements that must be met by the computer invoicing systems used by entrepreneurs and professionals in the exercise of their activity, with the purpose described. The aim is to align such computer systems with tax regulations to ensure that every commercial transaction generates an invoice and an entry in the taxpayer’s computer system and to prevent further alteration of such entries.

New paragraphs are introduced in the Articles of the Regulation governing invoicing obligations. The main modification is the content that must be included in the invoices issued by the software as follows:

a) The graphical representation of the partial content of the invoice by means of a “QR” code. If the invoice is electronic, the graphic representation may be replaced by the content that represents the “QR” code.

b) These invoices, whether electronic or not, must also include the phrase “Verifiable invoice at the website of AEAT” or “VERI*FACTU” only in those cases in which the computer system performs the submission of all the invoicing records to the Spanish Tax Authorities (AEAT), in accordance with Articles 15 and 16 of that Regulation.

Furthermore, the regulation provides the possibility of integrating invoicing records into VAT registration books through a system called “verifiable invoices issuance”. The users may voluntarily send their invoicing records, simultaneously with the issuance of the invoice or subsequently to the Tax Authority and the latter will provide the required tools to complete the maintenance of the records at their website. In addition, users will be able to check the invoices received and download the information to be integrated into their books at the Tax Authorities’ website.

All of this is part of a longer-term plan to reform tax information management, which ultimately aims at the administrative simplification of tax returns.

The operational obligations of the electronic invoicing systems included in the regulation affect all invoices or equivalent supporting documents, including simplified invoices, and all entrepreneurs and professionals.

The authenticity of the origin and the integrity of the contents of the invoice shall be presumed to be established when it has been issued using a system or software in accordance with the requirements of this Regulation.

The rule will not apply to those required to provide Immediate Supply of Information (SII), nor to certain cases of the agriculture, livestock, and fisheries regime, nor to a series of transactions excluded from the obligation to invoice.

The regulation enters into force the day after its publication in the BOE, i.e., on 7 December 2023. Nevertheless, entrepreneurs will have until 1 July 2025 to adapt their systems to the new regulations.

Taxpayers, in relation with their activities of production and commercialisation of computer systems, must offer their products fully adapted to the regulation within a maximum period of nine months from the entry into force of the ministerial order referred to in the third final provision of this royal decree. Regardless, in relation to computer systems included in multi-annual maintenance contracts signed before this last period must be adapted to the content of the regulation prior 1 July 2025.

[1] AEAT: Spanish Tax Authorities