In 2018, Australia took steps towards its e-Invoicing project with New Zealand through the Australia and New Zealand Government Electronic Invoicing Arrangement. It was announced that the PEPPOL interoperability framework had been chosen for the implementation of e-Invoicing in the country. Since February 2019, public and private entities have been able to send or receive e-Invoices via PEPPOL. To create messages in line with the requirements of the PEPPOL network, users must have an accredited PEPPOL access point. The ATO oversees the registry of accredited service providers who have completed the Australian PEPPOL Authority’s accreditation process, as the PEPPOL authority for Australia.
- When will the mandate become effective?
The mandate on B2G transactions will come into effect on 1 July 2022, and the B2B mandate will probably be closely matched with this timeline as well.
2. Will the e-Invoicing mandate come into effect for all taxpayers at the same time or will there be a gradual implementation?
There are three possible ways of implementing e-Invoicing, according to the Australian Treasury;
- Option 1: Implementing a gradual approach requiring all businesses to use PEPPOL e-Invoicing (without prohibiting paper invoices)
- Option 2: A mandate that includes only large businesses
- Option 3: Non-regulatory options, such as a voluntary code of e-Invoicing or promotion of PEPPOL e-Invoicing by enabled organizations.
3. Is an electronic signature requested before the transmission of the invoices and what is the format?
No. There is no obligation to sign electronic invoices before submission to the tax authorities.
The format is PEPPOL BIS Billing 3.0.
4. Will there be an archiving period for the invoices?
Yes, e-Invoices will be archived for a period of 5 years.
5. What are the expected benefits for taxpayers of implementing e-Invoices?
The primary motivation for the adoption of e-Invoicing in Australia is to digitalize the Australian business community. This is aimed at increasing the efficiency of Australia’s economy and aligning it with foreign markets. There are various advantages to implementing electronic invoicing:
- Electronic invoicing is secure and reliable. Suppliers can be confident that the buyer has received their invoices. This eliminates the need for manual follow-ups to ascertain that the invoice was received correctly.
- E-invoicing can reduce invoice fraud, which is common in today’s paper-based or email-based systems.
- Electronic invoicing will help to reduce processing costs. When compared to manual PDF invoice processing, it is estimated that businesses can save up to 70% on processing costs by utilizing e-Invoicing.
- Electronic invoicing reduces the risk of manual processing errors since the invoice data moves from system to system.