E-Invoices bring millions in savings and incomes to the economy and the state

The introduction of electronic invoices will save companies in Serbia millions in administrative and operational costs, and provide more efficient control and collection of taxes for the state, show the experiences of European countries presented at the round table "E-invoices for a more competitive economy" at the Palace of Serbia, organized by the Ministry of Finance and NALED.

Every year, the Central Registry records more than four million invoices received by users of budget funds from the public sector, and when the Law on Electronic Invoicing is fully implemented, the tax authorities will also have a better insight into the millions of invoices exchanged within the private sector. Paper invoices are becoming history and their delivery, processing and archiving will have to be done exclusively electronically.

The Minister of Finance, Siniša Mali, pointed out that the implementation of the law will go in phases and that this is a systemic law that fundamentally changes the way our economy functions. From 1 January 2022, e-invoices will have to be used by businesses when delivering them to the public sector (B2G) or when they are exchanged by two entities within the public sector (G2G). From July 2022, e-invoices will also be applied when the public sector submits an invoice to the private sector (G2B), and starting from this date, private sector entities will be obliged to receive and store electronic invoices. Finally, from 1 January 2023, the issuance of electronic invoices will become mandatory for the private sector in mutual transactions (B2B).

- The exchange of invoices will take place through a centralized information system and will be free of charge. Thanks to this reform, everyone who comes from the private sector will be able to collect receivables faster and more securely, will spend less time searching for old invoices, and at the same time we will contribute to the preservation of the environment by reducing the use of paper - said Minister Mali.

The importance of e-invoices for increasing the competitiveness of the economy was also pointed out by the president of Serbian Chamber of Commerce Marko Čadež, and he added that e-invoices also solve another important issue of VAT refunds. The experiences of European countries were presented by Markus Laube from the European E-Invoicing Service Providers Association. More than 530 billion invoices are processed worldwide, of which 60 billion are electronic and more and more countries are introducing this system. Greece has estimated that with e-invoices, it will increase tax collection by three billion euros and reduce the costs for businesses by another billion. In Croatia, the costs of companies are lower by 350 million euros a year. The invoice processing time in Poland has been shortened from 30 to three minutes.

With the new law, Serbia additionally harmonizes its regulations with the European legislations, and in order to create a fair business environment and reduce the space for misuse of paper invoices, the adoption of the Law on e-invoicing was one of the key measures of the National Program for countering shadow economy, developed by NALED and the Fair Competition Alliance together with the Government of Serbia. Support for the introduction of e-invoices also came through the StarTech project.

- For us, businesses gathered in the Fair Competition Alliance who pay more than a billion euros in taxes annually, the implementation of the National Program helps reduce unfair competition and the introduction of e-invoicing is a major reform that protects the responsible businesses operating in accordance with the law. It opens space for the development of innovative businesses and export-oriented economy and is fully in line with the StarTech program implemented by Philip Morris International and NALED and aimed at the digital transformation of the economy - said Ivan Miletić, President of the Fair Competition Alliance and External Affairs Director in PMI for SEE region.

During this year, the Ministry of Finance and NALED will organize a series of round tables and trainings for all users of the e-invoicing system throughout Serbia.

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