Only two more months until the start of the full implementation of e-invoices in business

Businesses have only two months left to prepare for the electronic invoice system (SEF). From January 1, 2023, the use of e-invoices will be mandatory in transactions within the private sector, which will complete the process of transition to a new modern way of working, which began in May of this year.

The public sector entered the system first with the obligation to issue and receive electronic invoices in mutual transactions, and to the part of the private sector. Entities that do business with the public sector also had to issue invoices through SEF from May 1, and from July 1 to receive them, not only from public sector entities but also from private individuals who choose to have their invoices delivered through the electronic system. Thus, by the beginning of July, more than 46,000 businesses had registered in SEF.

- From January 1, we will have the full implementation of the eInvoice system in Serbia. Slightly more than 10,000 users of public funds and about 173,000 businesses have already registered in SEF, and we expect that number to be even higher, because entities like lump sum entrepreneurs, can also register with SEF as voluntary beneficiaries. Although, if they do business with the public sector, they will certainly have to send electronic invoices through SEF to charge for the work - points out Marko Danon, head of the Competitiveness Unit at NALED.

Novelties in the eInvoice system and the legal framework planned for 2023 will be presented at the conference in the Ministry of Finance in mid-November, supported by the National Initiative for Cashless Payment - Better Way, bearing in mind that the introduction of eFiscalization and eInvoices, as well as further development infrastructure for the acceptance of non-cash payments, brings us closer towards the full digitization of business and the efficiency of the economy and the public sector.

The eFiscalization and eInvoicing systems will provide large amounts of data that will enable relevant institutions to effectively monitor compliance with the law, especially for businesses that operate with both invoices and fiscal accounts. Also, the possibility for businesses to provide all-in-one devices for issuing invoices and accepting non-cash payments, given through the eFiscalization,  will further improve the visibility of financial flows, attract new customers and develop business.

According to Danon, the digitization of the circulation of invoices and bills, especially those paid electronically, greatly narrows the space for shadow economy. With the introduction of the eFiscalization, the transparency of transactions in retail was greatly improved, and with the full implementation of eInvoices, it will also be achieved in wholesale. In addition to safer and more transparent collection of receivables, eInvoices will bring great administrative relief, as paper invoices become a thing of the past.

- The introduction of the eInvoice system is one of NALED's long-term priorities, and through the Gray Book and the National Program for Suppression of Shadow Economy, the solution to the administrative challenges created by paper invoicing was initiated. This system is expected to improve the VAT refund process, which is one of the important demands of the economy. Also, invoices will be stored in electronic form, which is an additional reduction of costs, bearing in mind that public sector invoices are stored permanently, and private sector invoices for at least 10 years. These documents will be archived in the SEF or with the information intermediary through which they are sent - adds Danon.

The national initiative for cashless payments is a joint project of Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and the companies Mastercard and Visa, and is implemented under the auspices of the develoPPP program of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) in cooperation with NALED and the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Serbia.

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