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Choo-choo to compliance

E-invoicing is a hot topic we’ve been hearing about for a while now; from whispers to legally binding regulation.

For those who have been under a rock or on the moon, e-invoicing is the new regulatory requirement imposed by governments or a governing body that mandates electronic invoicing systems for businesses.

It specifies that businesses must generate, transmit, and/or receive invoices in electronic format instead of traditional paper-based invoices and PDFs.

For those thinking that was facetiousness, you will understand the intent as you read on.

But before that, a quick story. As I rode into work last week on our great railway system (thankfully it was running on time) and watched trains slide and park into place to collect the people who had been patiently waiting on the platform I had an idea.

I looked around and saw so many people using the same service and all those people had a different journey to the station this morning. Some have children they must get ready which is no small feat, some almost slept through their alarm and barely made it, and some people had to make a quick U-turn home because they forgot something.

But we are all on the same train. We all made it here together. The fact is we are all here.

We can extrapolate that to our field of tax. There are a lot of trains now on e-invoicing mandates, all of which are slightly different. They’ve got different sized carriages, different seats, different times, and we need to be prepared to get to the station ready. That is where Innovate Tax comes in.

No matter what your back story is, how many pets you’ve got, how many exes you have, how many sports fixtures you must think about in the morning, your visit to the gym or even forgetting your lunch, we will help you get to that station on time to be ready for your e-invoicing train to leave.

Did you know that an average UK train heading out of London travels at up to 93mph? It only slows down to collect its cargo and then zooms off into the wind again.

I say all this to reinforce the idea that e-invoicing is that train. Whether we like it or not, it’s coming. Will you be safely on the train, prepared for the future?

Today, the European Union, the US, and the UK mandate using e-invoices in dealings with the public sector, aiming to enhance taxpayer savings and streamline agency operations.

While the primary objective is to improve the efficiency of tax authorities and facilitate VAT recovery, private enterprises also benefit from the improved efficiency of invoicing processes.

And non-compliance can be costly. Every tax professional should have this at the top of their list because if not, you will be left behind and it will cost you more money and require more of your time and other resources to resolve.

Take the time to understand what your next steps should be. The different rules in different jurisdictions, the channels and formats, supplier and customer data and the dictating parties such as authorities (HMRC), accountants and auditors.

France, Italy, Germany, Spain, and Ireland are already in the first few carriages and there’s no doubt that the UK is taking its first step off the platform.

Don’t be late…Innovate.