Law on Electronic Invoicing
The Law on Electronic Invoicing (hereinafter the “Law”), adopted by the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia on 28 April 2021, regulates issuing, transmitting, receiving, processing, and storing electronic invoices; core elements of an electronic invoice; and other issues that are of importance for electronic invoicing. The intention of the legislator is to provide greater legal certainty in the areas of transmitting, receiving and storing electronic invoices (e-invoices), and at the same time speed up the operation and business processes. The introduction of e-invoices in the legislative framework, as a chosen option, is necessary in order to align the legislation of the Republic of Serbia with the EU acquis.
What is an electronic invoice or e-invoice?
In accordance with the Law, e-Invoice is any request for payment based on a for a transaction with consideration, any other document that affects payment or the amount of payment, and which is issued free of charge, as well as received advance payments, if issued, sent and received in a structured format that enables fully automated electronic data processing via an electronic invoicing system.
The introduction of electronic invoicing is planned in several phases. In public sector, certain provisions will be applied starting from 01 January 2022, while the provisions of importance for the private sector will be applied starting from 01 July 2023. However, private sector entities are required to start issuing electronic invoices to public sector entities as early as of 01 January 2022.
As of 01 July 2022:
– Public sector entities are required to issue e-invoices to private sector entities.
– Private sector entities are required to receive and store e-invoices issued by public sector entities, as well as e-invoices issued by private sector entities.
As of 01 January 2023:
– Private sector entities are required to issue and store e-invoices arising out of commercial transactions with other private sector entities.
– The application of electronic recording of VAT calculation begins, except for transactions in which one of the parties to the transaction is in public sector.
Electronic invoice as a credible document
It is important to note that an electronic invoice is in all respects equivalent to the “paper” invoice, and therefore it is acceptable in enforcement proceedings and deemed a credible evidentiary document, if it is sent by an issuer or information intermediary on behalf of the issuer to the recipient of the electronic invoice through the electronic invoicing system.
The obligation of electronic invoicing exists in all transactions between private and public sector entities, involving legal entities and/or entrepreneurs that are VAT payers, on one side, and a public sector entity, on the other side, and in transactions between legal entities and/or entrepreneurs when both the issuer and the recipient of the electronic invoice are VAT payers. There is no mandatory issuance of electronic invoices in retail sales.
Therefore, in the domain of the private sector, the obligation of electronic invoicing is prescribed only for VAT payers.
For other legal entities (which are not in the VAT system), as well as for taxpayers that are self-employed, the electronic invoicing system is only an option, not an obligation; therefore, the introduction of the term “voluntary user of electronic invoicing system” in the Law. If these entities apply for the use of the electronic invoicing system, then the provisions of this Law shall apply to them accordingly.
Use of e-invoices will be free of charge.