The Digital Transformation of Invoicing: Exploring the e-Invoicing Revolution in Latin American Countries

In recent years, Latin America has witnessed a remarkable shift in the way businesses manage their financial transactions. The adoption of electronic invoicing, commonly known as e-Invoicing, has emerged as a transformative force in streamlining financial operations, reducing fraud, and increasing tax compliance in countries such as Mexico, Peru, Bolivia, and Chile.

Mexico 

Mexico’s Tax Administration Service (SAT) enforces electronic invoicing in Mexico for all businesses, requiring both issuers and recipients to comply. Taxpayers must first obtain a basic electronic certificate called e.Firma, which is used to acquire the digital stamp certificate (CSD) for signing digital fiscal invoices (CFDIs). These certificates are issued by SAT. Invoices, payroll receipts, and employee salary receipts are structured as XML files within the CFDI, with details in Annex 20. Digital signatures are obligatory, and a “stamp” is generated by a SAT-accredited third-party trust service provider, known as an authorized certification provider (PAC), to validate the document for tax purposes. All tax receipts must be PAC-stamped and reported to SAT online. SAT then makes the documents available to the issuer and recipient in their respective tax mailboxes. Printed CFDIs must adhere to content regulations and include a 2D barcode for validity verification through a SAT website. Archiving original electronic documents for a minimum of five years is mandatory for both issuers and recipients, and compliance with the supplementary archiving directive NOM151 offers legal guarantees and evidence for third parties.

Peru

SUNAT, the National Superintendence of Customs and Tax Administration, is the authority that oversees enforces electronic invoicing compliance in Peru. Since 2022, all companies and taxpayers are obliged to use e-invoices in Peru for both issuance and reception. The necessary administrative procedures include registering as an electronic document issuer in the SOL system and selecting both an electronic services provider (PSE) and an electronic services operator (OSE), pivotal roles in the process of issuing, validating, and declaring electronic invoices. These invoices adhere to the XML format, specifically utilizing UBL (Universal Business Language) V2.1 as adopted by SUNAT. Electronic signatures are implemented through delegated signatures, ensuring the security, integrity, and non-repudiation of electronic transactions. SUNAT has introduced the role of the electronic services operator (OSE), responsible for registering, validating, and declaring electronic invoices before SUNAT. When the process is executed correctly, the OSE issues a receipt of receipt (CDR). It’s important to note that electronic documents, which encompass rejection receipts, daily summaries, and cancellation communications, must be stored for a period of five years, aligning with tax regulations, and promoting transparency in electronic transactions.

Bolivia

In Bolivia, e-invoicing adopts the XML 1.0 UTF-8 standard, with document formats varying according to the economic sector. Validation is achievable through XSD schema files provided by the National Tax Service (SIN). The system encompasses a wide array of document types, including standard invoices, credit-debit notes, and fiscal notes. To ensure adherence, mandated taxpayers undergo certification in a testing environment, allowing for testing, adjustments, and error rectifications before receiving certification for successful testing. Once certified, taxpayers gain access to the production environment through unique system initialization codes (CUIS) and daily invoicing codes (CUFD). Electronic tax documents must be signed using digital certificates from the Agency for the Development of the Information Society Development in Bolivia (ADSIB) to secure documents’ integrity and authenticity. Online validation takes place with the SIN, where taxpayers request daily invoice codes (CUFD) and transmit XML format documents with digital signatures to receive receipt codes. The inclusion of a mandatory QR code eases document exchange, and recipients can automatically verify tax documents on the SIN platform, ensuring their tax compliance.

Chile

Chile’s electronic invoicing system, governed by the Servicio de Impuestos Internos (SII), is a requirement for all businesses, encompassing both invoice issuers and recipients. The process entails an initial application for accreditation as an electronic issuer and the acquisition of a digital certificate. Taxpayers must then go through a certification procedure that includes access to a test environment for simulations and data exchanges. SII verifies the accurate creation and receipt of electronic documents, subsequently registering them as electronic tax document (DTE) issuers once all criteria are met. These structured DTEs are presented in XML format and include various invoice types and associated documents. Digital signatures are mandatory, utilizing proprietary digital certificates in XMLDsig format. Taxpayers manage an authorization code of folios (CAF) when generating electronic invoices. Printed formats are standardized and must incorporate a PDF417 barcode. The storage of electronic documents is obligatory for both issuers and recipients, extending over six years. Monthly declarations are facilitated through document F29, provided by SII for company validation.

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