New version 2.0.0 of XRechnung standard applicable since 1 January 2021
Electronic invoices for the federal administration must be issued using the current version of the XRechnung standard format in accordance with section 4 (1) sentence 1 of the E-invoicing Ordinance (E-Rechnungsverordnung, ERechV). Version 2.0.0 of the XRechnung standard, which has been the current version since 1 january 2021, includes not just the XRechnung standard but also an XRechnung extension for transmitting electronic invoices to the ZRE and OZG-RE submission portals. The XRechnung extension allows invoice lines to be divided into several sub invoice lines. The extension also allows XML files to be embedded in the invocie as attachments. The XRechnung extension makes e-invoicing easier for the building sector, among other users.
Press release: Digitalisation of the administration is moving along – Federal Administration obliges its suppliers to use electronic invoicing
The Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community has published a press release regarding the cut-off date on 27/11/2020 for the supplier obligation to issue electronic invoices.
What is an e-invoice?
An e-invoice provides invoice content in a structured, machine-readable XML data set instead of on paper or in an image file such as a PDF. This ensures that information provided in this form by the biller can be transmitted and received electronically and seamlessly and can be processed and approved for payment automatically.
Find more information about the differences between paper, PDF and e-invoices here:
The basics of sending e-invoices to the Federal Administration
Two main platforms are available for submitting e-invoices to Federal Government invoice recipients: The Central Invoice Submission Portal (ZRE) , for suppliers to the direct Federal Administration, and the Online Access Act-Compliant Invoice Submission Portal (OZG-RE) , for suppliers to the indirect Federal Administration and the Federal States of Berlin, Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Saxony and Thuringia.
Billers, such as suppliers or service providers, can submit their e-invoices via these platforms. In addition to simply submitting e-invoices, there is also a self-service option to manually create e-invoices.
Indirect Federal Administration public contracting authorities are not obliged to use the OZG-RE, which is why in-house solutions are also possible in individual cases in addition to ZRE and OZG-RE. The contracting authority will inform its billers about the invoice submission method to be used.
Find out more about the ZRE and OZG-RE here:
When does this apply from?
An overview of the key dates and deadlines:
27 November 2020
Entry into force of supplier obligation at federal level
18 April 2020
End of implementation period for states to accept electronic invoices
27 November 2019
Implementation period for all other federal authorities
27 November 2018
Implementation period for all supreme federal authorities
(At the moment the document is only available in German language)