Electronic invoices to public authorities.
23 Sep

Electronic invoices to authorities

More and more electronic invoices are being sent worldwide. Numerous different formats have emerged in the process. This is where the problem lies. For a long time there were no standards, or at least only a few. Within the EU, binding standards for electronic invoices have been introduced. The permissible formats need to be clarified.

The XInvoice format

XInvoice is a data format that is intended to optimise processes such as the transmission, verification, approval and payment of invoices in German authorities. The contents of an invoice, which are transported via this format, can therefore be automatically electronic processed. The whole thing is thus in line with EU Directive 2014/55/EU, after which member states will be obliged to make the receipt of electronic invoices possible in their authorities in the future.

The ZUGFeRD format for electronic invoices

That ZUGFeRD - format was developed by FERD (Forum elektronische Rechnung Deutschland) in cooperation with authorities, associations and companies. The invoice data format for electronic invoice exchange is based on the ?Cross Industry Invoice? (CII) and the ?Message User Guides? (MUG) of the CEN (European Committee for Standardisation). ZUGFeRD thus fulfilled the requirements as a uniform European format right from the start. The latest version ZUGFeRD 2.1 also complies with the European standard EN16931 for electronic invoices. This means that the format can be used for invoices to public authorities in Germany and internationally.

The difference between XInvoice and ZUGFeRD

The XInvoice uses a format of structured data that is intended for further machine processing. A human being can therefore create a Invoice cannot be read easily in this format. ZUGFeRD 2.1, on the other hand, provides both: a readable and printable invoice in PDF format with structured data "built into" it.
However, both formats correspond to the same data structure and the EN 16931 standard.

Transmit e-invoices

E-bills can be transmitted to authorities using different methods. For this purpose, the federal government has Zentral Invoice Receipt of the Confederation (ZRE) set up. However, registration is necessary before the first transmission. In addition, you need a routing ID of the authority to which the invoice is sent. The latter can either be obtained at the time of commissioning or can be requested separately. Such an invoice can then be transmitted by e-mail, upload or web service.

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