ŠAVŠ/TAČR Digital Czechia in a Digital Europe


Electronic Invoicing and its Use in European Union Member States Josef Horák

Electronic invoicing is an important tool that ensures the secure and fast transmission of an invoice between two participating entities. The benefits of electronic invoicing lie mainly in increased transparency of economic operations, better recovery of receivables, reduction of printing costs and the costs of subsequent distribution of invoices in their physical form. The absolutely fundamental importance of electronic invoicing is evident in the case of the implementation of public contracts, in which this method of electronic transmission of the invoice radically increases the transparency of all public procurements done. The electronic invoice must always be prepared only in a structured data format in accordance with Directive 2014/55/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council on electronic invoicing in public procurement. A prerequisite for the flawless operation of electronic invoicing is the creation of an electronic platform that will ensure fast, efficient and above all secure data transfer between the supplier and the customer. Within the European Union, this data transfer in relation to B2G is ensured either by 1) a state institution; 2) a private business entity that has been selected by state authorities to ensure data transfer, or 3) a combination where users are free to choose between a public or private provider. The research showed that as of mid-January 2019, electronic invoicing was regulated by legislation in 20 countries of the European Union and the EEA (65% share in the entire sample). As of the stated date, electronic invoicing was not regulated in 10 countries (Bulgaria, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and the United Kingdom). In comparing members of the Visegrád Group V4 (Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary), it was evident that as of 15th January 2019, only the Czech Republic was ready to meet the requirements of Directive 2014/55/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council on electronic invoicing in public procurement. The other V4 countries were not using B2G electronic invoicing at that time. Companies carrying out public contracts had to issue electronic invoices in only 18 countries from the European Union or the EEA (58% share of the

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