e-Invoicing Process in France
As in other EU countries, eInvoicing started with B2G in France. In September 2019, the French Government published a plan to fully extend the existing B2G e-invoicing obligation to B2B e-invoices. The government’s aim here is to directly combat tax evasion and thus reduce the resulting VAT deficit.
As shown in the image below;
- eInvoicing in France is going to start on 01/01/2024 for large companies.
- Medium-sized companies are going to issue from on 01/01/2025 eInvoices.
- From 01/01/2026 small enterprises will have to issue invoices in electronic format.
Continuous transaction control (CTC) consists of a control that imposes an obligation to declare the relevant VAT elements in real time — that is, simultaneously with the issuance of invoices. Due to variations of this model, key elements of an invoice sometimes need to be pre-verified by tax authorities before they are sent to customers. The national platform responsible for this can also ensure that invoices are forwarded to the end customer, as has been the case in Italy since 2019.
Starting from South America and Mexico, CTC has spread to Europe (Spain, Portugal, Greece, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Poland etc.) and many countries including Turkey, India, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Vietnam and soon Japan. France is preparing for this in accordance with the provisions of article 153 of the 2020 financial law and the relevant regulations ensuring the implementation of this practice from 2024.
Chorus Pro Portal
Chorus Pro is an electronic invoicing platform in France. This platform became mandatory through a phased approach from 2017–2020 for companies that maintain commercial relations with French public sector companies (B2G). Since the January 1st 2020, electronic invoicing is mandatory, regardless of the size of your company, for all invoices sent to public sector customers.
A technology solution called Chorus Pro receives your invoices and forwards them to the right recipient. Since these beginnings, Chorus Pro has grown into a multi-service portal. Chorus Pro will be the national platform responsible for:
- Collection of a subset of e-invoices or invoice data for tax audit purposes.
- Maintaining a national register of commercial parties from both the private and public sectors.
- Sending invoices to providers or recipients as required.
- Collection of electronic reports from endpoints such as certified specialized platforms or directly from invoice issuers and recipients.
- Provision of basic services for electronic invoicing such as web portal, conversion of pdf invoices to hybrid invoices and status monitoring.
Chorus Pro has provided different access ways for users. These ways:
- Web Portal Mode
- Service Mode –API
- EDI Mode (Private Structure)
- EDI Mode (Public Structure)
1. Web Portal Mode: Portal mode access is always available regardless of the functionality used and even if another access mode is selected. Portal mode requires an active user account in Chorus Pro for access.
2. Service Mode-API: The API (Application Programming Interface) is a set of queries provided by Chorus Pro that can be run from an Information System outside of Chorus Pro. The service mode (via APIs) allows partners to integrate the functionality offered by the Chorus Pro shared solution into their information systems or third-party value-added portals.
3. EDI Mode (Private Structure): It is possible to automate invoices in EDI mode. Only the following functions are available:
- Emission of invoices (from your information system to Chorus Pro)
- Daily intake of public structures directory in XML format
- Receive over the water integration or rejection reports of invoices and the progress status of invoices (“life cycle” status)
- Access to other functions (support, account management, etc.) must be in portal mode or API mode.
4. EDI Mode (Public Structure): It is possible in EDI mode to automate the sending and/or receipt of invoices and schedule regular exchanges (batch).
Only the following features are concerned:
- Receipt of invoices
- Sending invoice statuses (“invoice life cycle” returns) from your information system to Chorus Pro
- In some issuing invoices cases (from your information system to Chorus Pro)
The access to other features (support, account management, etc.) must be done in portal mode or in API mode. Access in EDI mode involves connection work beforehand. This connection must be done via a tele-transmission third party; the tele-transmission third party will connect via the SEIF system of the DGFIP (General Directorate of Public Finances).
Structure of France eInvoice and eReporting Process
The French model will combine customs clearance (e-invoice) and CTC (e-reporting) to have a pre-declaration of VAT resulting from the exchange of invoices. Therefore, companies are expected to submit to tax authorities data on international B2C and B2B sales, as well as receipt status of invoices with VAT collected and deducted at the time of collection. The system will be based on the Public Invoicing Portal (ChorusPro) and the Common Dematerialization Platforms (registered and audited) that are authorized to exchange invoices together, perform regulatory checks (disclosure) on mandatory information, and transmit required information. Therefore, on July 1, 2024, any company must have selected the Partner Dematerialization Platform(s) or the Public Invoicing Portal to receive their electronic invoices, then they should gradually organize themselves to issue electronic invoices.
There are three types of electronic invoices in the French eInvoicing system:
1. Invoices in “structured format” consist solely of data structured according to a standard agreed between the parties to meet EDI (electronic data exchange) requirements.
2. Invoices in an “unstructured form” whose presentation resembles paper invoices. The most common examples are invoices in PDF format, and more rarely invoices in image (JPEG) or HTML (a WEB page or email) format. It can be transmitted via messaging or deposited on portals (also with a possible manual entry).
3. Newer “mixed format” invoices that are a mix of the two previous invoices. These invoices consist of a PDF document associated with a file containing basic data in a structured format.
As can be seen from the image below, it is possible for companies to send B2B invoices between them directly to the public portal as well as through partner platforms. In other words, partner platforms act as intermediaries between companies’ B2B invoices. Invoices in EDI/PDF/HTML format sent to the portal are sent to DGFiP (Tax Authority) after the approval process and the process is complete.
All businesses subject to VAT based in France are engaged in eReporting of transaction data when conducting transactions with individual customers B2C or foreign companies or individuals.
Transactions that will lead to data transmission concern companies that are subject to VAT in France and do business with individuals and, more broadly, with non-taxable persons.
Non-French companies, or tax agents, if any, must also transmit transaction data relating to French-resident transactions with non-taxpayers (particularly individuals) or other taxable persons not resident in France.
In general (with the exception of some special cases related to international operations), data of e-reporting transactions, the list of which is determined by decree, is provided by the company performing the transaction, through the dematerialization platform partner of the administration or the general invoicing portal.
The operation of the eReporting process is similar to the eInvoice process in some respects. Invoicing transactions between companies or with customers can be transferred directly to the public portal Chorus Pro. As in the eInvoice process, partner platforms can be used for transferring to the portal in the eReporting process. Reporting data comes from logistics, accounting, vendor and buyer in EDI/PDF/HTML format sent to the portal are sent to DGFiP (Tax Authority) after the approval process and the process is complete.
Melasoft eInvoice and eReporting Solution for France
Melasoft eInvoice and eReporting Solution to France provides to customers in two ways invoice and reporting.
The invoice created in the ERP by the supplier/buyer is sent via the integrator or directly to the Melasoft inbound/outbound cockpit. After the invoice received/sent in the Melasoft cockpit is approved, it is sent to the Chorus Pro public portal.
Different kinds of data coming from buyer or seller companies, such as logistics data, accounting data, are dropped into the Melasoft eReporting Solution cockpit. Then, the processed data is sent to the Chorus Pro portal in accordance with the French Financial Law.
- Ömer Serkan YAĞLI — SAP FI Consultant