E-invoicing in France: what does it mean for your company?
Since early 2021, companies have to send their invoices to public agencies electronically through Chorus Pro.
Originally scheduled to take effect for all companies from July 2024, this transition has been delayed until 1 September 2026, the date set out in the 2024 Finance Act.
Receiving electronic invoices will be mandatory for all VAT-registered companies based in France.
The move to electronic invoicing in France aims to modernize and simplify administrative processes. However, various reasons led to the postponement of this transition. The French authorities have taken this decision to enable companies to prepare for this major change.
This postponement also gives companies time to adapt to the new technical and legal requirements related to electronic invoicing, but it does not change the executive’s objective.
Why is the government forcing companies to use electronic invoicing?
- To fight tax fraud
- To lower expenses through automating the monitoring of VAT returns.To motivate businesses to improve productivity
- To improve knowledge of the business environment
- To fulfil a demand of the European Commission and standardise procedures in member nations.
What are a company’s responsibilities?
E-invoicing – Issue and receive electronic invoices:
Businesses must issue electronic invoices that meet industry standards and be able to receive electronic invoices from other companies.
The Finance Act 2024 has released a revised schedule for companies subject to this
- requirement: large companies must comply by 1 September 2026 (instead of 1 July 2024),
- medium-sized businesses by 1 September 2026 (instead of 1 January 2025),
- and SMEs as well as micro-enterprises by 1 September 2027 (instead of 1 January 2026).
SMEs and small businesses must be capable of receiving electronic invoices by 1st September 2026.
e-reporting – Sending Invoicing Data:
Companies must send the tax authorities data about sales within the EU, transactions with individuals, and payment data.
E-reporting will follow the e-invoicing schedule.
Choice of certified platform:
Businesses that are subject to VAT will be able to choose whether to issue and receive their electronic invoices directly through the French government’s Public Invoicing Platform, or alternatively on certified Partner Dematerialisation Platforms that are approved by the French government.
New requirements for e-invoices:
Electronic invoices must now contain extra information, including the customer’s SIREN number, delivery or service address, nature of the transaction, and VAT payment option on debits, alongside the standard information.
How is the reform implemented?
Businesses won’t be able to send invoices to each other anymore. Instead, they will have to make use of one or more platforms dedicated to invoice transmission.
All the required data must be sent exclusively to the Public Billing Portal, which serves as the sole point of contact for the Public Finance Department. The assorted platforms will still be able to communicate with one another.
Companies can select one of two options to send or receive electronic invoices: a Partner Dematerialisation Platform, which is an approved government online service. This online platform could be the same as the one used by suppliers or a distinct platform. Firms will be required to pay for these services to deliver invoices from their clients to the receiver companies.
The Chorus Pro Public Invoicing Portal, also known as PPF, is the government-approved platform that collets and sends invoice data to tax authorities at no cost.
Dematerialisation Operators, are not certified by the government but offer electronic invoicing services that rely on PPF to issue and receive invoices.
What are the impacts for French automotive repairer?
IT systems: Garages will need to invest in IT systems (DMS) capable of generating electronic invoices in compliance with the standards set by the French tax authorities. This will require software upgrades or the acquisition of a compliant DMS.
Staff training: employees will need to be trained to use the new DMS functionalities linked to electronic invoicing, as well as the various platforms (PDP, PPF, OD).
Data management : Garages will need to ensure that the solutions they offer are based on secure platforms to guarantee the protection of the data of the electronic invoices. This will require appropriate means of protection, and choosing the right partners to avoid any risk of data breach.
Environment protection: electronic invoicing helps to preserve the environment by reducing the use of paper. This is part of an ecological approach that is becoming increasingly important for businesses and consumers alike.
What are the advantages for French companies?
- Administrative simplification: Electronic invoicing will considerably reduce the use of paper, which simplifies administrative processes by digitizing them.
- Improved cash flow: Faster processing and shorter payment times will improve garages’ cash flow.
- Facilitating commercial exchanges: Faster, more secure invoice transmission will facilitate commercial exchanges with customers and suppliers.
- Transaction traceability and security: Electronic invoicing will offer improved transaction traceability and security, which guarantees the authenticity and integrity of invoices.
- Cost reduction: By eliminating the printing, mailing and archiving of paper, garages can reduce the recurring costs associated with invoices management.