A quick overview
What is an e-invoice?
An e-invoice transmits invoice data electronically and can be received and processed in an automated manner. The process is fully digital, from the creation of an invoice to its payment.
Unlike a paper invoice or invoice in a fixed-layout format such as a PDF file, an e-invoice presents invoice information in a structured, machine-readable data file. Invoices issued in this form can be
- transmitted electronically,
- received electronically,
- further processed and presented for payment in an automated manner – electronically from start to finish.
Establishing e-invoicing in Germany
Digital and automated processes are becoming commonplace in today’s business settings. E-invoicing is a key feature of this transformation. Since 27 November 2020, suppliers of Germany’s federal administration have been required to issue invoices in electronic form for goods and services provided under public procurement contracts. But regardless of this legal requirement, it is worth taking a closer look at how e-invoicing can benefit your company.
The following laws provide the legal basis for establishing e-invoicing in Germany:
- Council Directive 2010/45/EU amending Directive 2006/112/EC
- The Tax Simplification Act of 2011 (Steuervereinfachungsgesetz 2011, StVereinfG, in German only)
- Directive 2014/55/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council on electronic invoicing in public procurement
- Act to Implement Directive 2014/55/EU in Germany (E-Rechnungsgesetz, in German only)
- Ordinance on Electronic Invoicing in Federal Public Procurement (E-Rechnungsverordnung, E-RechV, in German only)
The following timeline provides an overview of standards and implementation dates in connection with the above legislation:
PDF, 3.070 KB
The following timeline provides an overview of standards and implementation dates in connection with the above legislation.
Reaching a high level of acceptance for e-invoicing was an important milestone in making the public procurement process automated and electronic from start to finish. Sending and receiving e-invoices via the European Peppol network is the best way to ensure automated processing. Germany’s federal administration already receives e-invoices via this transmission method. Switching to e-invoicing is therefore a worthwhile investment in a digitised and automated public procurement process that is transparent, fast and secure.
Five steps to sending an electronic invoice
Please note: This information video has been provided as part of the project “Introduction of E-Invoicing in the Federal Administration”. The same information in text form can be found on the homepage: https://en.e-rechnung-bund.de/
On the other pages of our website, including the “library”, you will find further information on e-invoicing in general and extensive content that will help you make the switch to e-invoicing. The website is continually updated with new content and formats, so we advise you to check it regularly.