The Create and Grow Law: Electronic Invoice

The Create and Grow Law: Electronic Invoice

Although currently there are companies that use the Electronic Invoice in Spain, it is not compulsory except in specific occasions such as with relations with Public Administration, for Subcontractors or for companies providing Specially Important Services (SET) in their B2C relationships.

With the passing of the Create and Grow Law, the obligation to implement the Electronic Invoice is extended to the B2B area where all companies and freelancers must use them in their business relations. Below, we will explain all the details.

What is it?

The Create and Grow Business Law, better known as Create and Grow , is one of the actions forecasted within the framework of the Recovery Plan promoted by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation. This group of actions to which said Law is a part, hopes to boost digitalization of the economy and modernize business networks.

As for Create and Grow, the legislation focuses on four axes. These are to facilitate the creation of companies, favor the growth and expansion of SMEs, strengthen the financing of companies and fight for the eradication of late and non-payments.

Compulsory Electronic Invoice

In its fight against late payment, one of the star measures established by the Law in Article 12 is the mandatory implementation of the Electronic Invoice for commercial transactions between companies and professionals. The mandate has a twofold objective: on the one hand, to digitalize the business fabric and, on the other, to fight against double accounting and tax fraud. The imposition of e-invoicing aims to reduce transaction costs and facilitate transparency in commercial transactions.

Another pending issue is compliance with payment deadlines to resolve late payments in commercial transactions. The first sine qua non condition for achieving this milestone is to have reliable information on these deadlines. For this reason, the Law refers to the development of technical and information requirements to be included in electronic invoices and the systems that process them in order to be able to control the payment date and, thus, determine the average payment time by companies. It is reflected that those companies that comply with the deadlines will obtain incentives and priority in the access to public subsidies, while those that do not comply with them may be penalized in public procurement.

Another piece of data to take into account is that, as issuers of invoices, companies should facilitate access to repositories so receivers can manage their invoices during a minimum time frame of 4 years.

  • The Create and Grow Law was finally passed on September 15, 2022 by the Full Congress.
  • On September 29, 2022, it was published in the BOE 18/2022. However, the development of its technical regulation is still pending, which was established as a 6-month period.
  • At the beginning of June, 2023, the draft regulation was made public. Subsequently, in order to gather opinions and comments from interested parties to improve or modify any detail, the draft regulation was put into public hearing, which ended on July 10, 2023.
  • Currently, after having closed the public hearing, the final text is still awaited.

Deadlines for companies to adapt to the Law

Once the final version of the regulations are published, companies will have the following timelines to adapt to the Law and implement the Electronic Invoice:
  • Companies whose annual billing is higher than 8M: 1 year.
  • Companies whose annual billing is lower than 8M anuales: 2 years.

What do the bylaws say about the Electronic Invoice?

These are the main points that are highlighted in the draft regulation:
  • What is it and how should an Electronic Invoice be: an invoice issued and received in electronic format. It documents commercial transactions entered into between entrepreneurs and professionals. The invoice must meet the requirements established in Royal Decree 1619/2012 of November 30, which regulates invoicing obligations.
  • Formats accepted: CEFACT/ONU XML of invoice (XML 16B - SCRDM - CII schemas) applicable to all industry, UBL of invoice and credit note defined in ISO/IEC 19845-2015, EDIFACT of invoice according to ISO 9735 and Facturae.
  • Guarantee the interconnection between platforms: the Electronic Invoice platforms have the obligation to interconnect with any other e-invoice provider when clients so request.
  • Public solutions for the Electronic Invoice: refers to the group of solutions provided by the Spanish tax agency (AEAT) with the goal of acting as infrastructure for electronic invoicing. These act as a universal repository and allow the issue and receipt of e-invoices for those companies that want to use them.
  • Payment notifications: according to the provisions of paragraph 1 of article 2 bis of Law 56/2007 of December 28, 2007, the invoice recipients must inform the issuers of the acceptance or complete rejection of the invoice and its date, as well as of the effective payment of the invoice and its date. Furthermore, they may also inform additionally of the partial acceptance or rejection of the invoice, of the partial payment of the invoice with the amount paid in question and of the assignment of the invoice to a third party for collection or payment, identifying the assignee. In all cases the date must be indicated.
  • Requirements for suppliers: all suppliers of solutions for the interchange of electronic invoices should comply with the requirements stipulated related to e-invoices, ensuring security standards, interoperability and business continuity.
  • Entry into force: the Royal Decree will enter into force 12 months after its publication in the BOE. During this first 12-month period, those companies that are obliged to issue electronic invoices according to the provisions of the Law must accompany such e-invoices with a document in PDF format. This will ensure their legibility for the rest of the companies and professionals that have not yet entered the mandatory implementation period of the Electronic Invoice.