B2B e-invoicing obligation starting 2025

Introduction

From January 1, 2025, important changes to invoicing between businesses (B2B) will come into force. These changes affect all entrepreneurs in Germany, regardless of whether they are large corporations or freelancers. From January 1, 2025, all companies must be able to receive electronic invoices (e-invoices). From January 1, 2028 at the latest, only electronic invoices may be exchanged between companies.

The introduction of electronic invoicing in Germany is a preparatory step towards the introduction of electronic VAT reporting, which is intended to replace the current advance VAT return.

Exceptions

According to the new regulations, invoices with an amount of less than EUR 250, public transport tickets and certain services exempt from VAT are exempt from the obligation to send electronic invoices.

Format

Electronic invoices must be EN16931-compliant and use formats such as XRechnung or ZUGFeRD. Other electronic formats are also permitted if they are interoperable with EN16931.

Transition periods

Until December 31, 2026, invoices on paper or PDF, as well as other structured formats such as iDOC or inHouse, are still permitted, but only with the consent of the recipient. From January 1, 2025, the recipient’s consent will continue to be required for electronic formats, unless the invoice is issued in a permissible format. There is an obligation to receive these.

Conclusion

The new regulations aim to standardize and simplify the processes surrounding electronic invoicing. Companies should prepare for the changes at an early stage in order to meet the requirements.

Overview of the introduction of B2B e-invoicing in Germany
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