B2B e-Invoicing in France (Effective from July 2024)

In a move towards digitalization and streamlining business processes, France will implement mandatory B2B e-invoicing and e-reporting from July 2024 until January 2026.

This new e-invoicing mandate introduces the Continuous Transaction Controls (CTC) model, which impacts all companies operating in France.

The mandate aims to increase efficiency, cut costs and fight fraud by providing the French tax authority access to transaction data. As a result, the effect on businesses' operational processes, financial systems, and people is extensive.

To help businesses prepare for these changes, we have prepared this guide on e-invoicing in France to provide you with essential information on the current e-invoicing rules, how to comply with regulations, how to send compliant e-invoices, and important details about penalties and non-compliance.

Let's delve in!

What are the current e-invoicing rules in France?

The current e-invoicing rules in France require that all companies, irrespective of their size, must be capable of accepting e-invoices by July 1, 2024.

Additionally, companies can use the PPF to submit invoices voluntarily if they are not yet required to do so.

New French B2B e-invoicing and e-VAT reporting system

The new tax scheme in France includes mandatory electronic invoicing and electronic reporting of accounting data between private companies.

These guidelines were developed by the Direction Générale des Finances Publiques (DGFiP) based on the results of a pilot phase and evaluation conducted with stakeholders, including companies, technology providers, and the government.

The pilot program running Jan 31 - June 30, 2024

From Jan 3 to Jun 30, 2024, France will conduct a pilot phase before the mandatory B2B e-invoicing launch on Jul 1, 2024, for the first wave of large taxpayers.

The pilot phase will involve the following steps:

The selection of pilot participants will take place in 2023

  • By Apr 15, 2023, application forms will be published on the impots.gouv.fr site.
  • Between April and May, interested parties can apply.
  • Mid-June, successful applicants will be notified.
  • Partner Dematerialization Platform ('PDP') applicants must demonstrate their ability to collect registrations within an acceptable timeframe efficiently.

Systems upgrade and connection for mid and large companies, plus PDPs

  • From July to November, design and comitologie (EU committee legislation review) by L’Agence pour l’Informatique Financière de l’Etat (AIFE)
  • In December, qualification work will begin.

Pilot launch preparations

  • In October, clarification of organizations in scope begins.
  • From November to December, designing user interfaces and accounts
  • By December, user training will begin.

Pilot operation from 2024

  • Jan 2024, Monitoring committees
  • Escalation of difficulties and contribution to feedback.
  • Jun 2024, completion and launch of the 1st phase in the following month

Goals of the new e-invoicing and e-reporting system

The goals pursued by the government in implementing the new e-invoicing and e-reporting system include the following:

  • Prevent and combat tax fraud.
  • Simplify VAT reporting obligations.
  • Reduce the costs of tax control.
  • Simplify business life and enhance competitiveness.
  • Improve understanding of the economic situation with real-time reporting on business activity.

What companies will be affected by the new regulations?

All French companies registered for VAT and established in France must issue e-invoices to their business customers in France. However, the e-invoicing mandate does not apply to foreign businesses that do not have an establishment in France.

It is important to note that some foreign companies not established in France but registered for VAT in the country will be required to comply with the new e-reporting requirements if their customer is not a business customer, including private individuals.

Additionally, supplies of goods or services specifically exempt from VAT and tax invoicing, such as specific insurance and banking services, medical and health services, and educational services, will also be exempt from e-invoicing and e-reporting requirements.

The French government has also planned to introduce e-reporting, i.e., providing tax authorities with additional data for international B2B transactions, transactions between enterprises and end consumers, and the transmission of transaction payment data.

You can visit Storecove to see France's e-invoicing facts and the latest updates as far as 2026.

How to send compliant e-invoices in France?

Businesses in France will no longer be required to send compliant invoices directly to their clients. Instead, they will use dematerialization platforms such as the public portal or other private electronic platforms to send e-invoices.

These platforms will act as intermediaries between the supplier and the client, converting the invoice format to suit the recipient.

The platform chosen can be the same used by the supplier, a different commercial platform, or the public portal, as long as it is compatible with the exchange.

This new approach is referred to as the "Y-model" by the French government and is currently used for transactions with the public administration (B2G) through the Chorus Pro platform.

That said, here is the step-by-step process of sending compliant e-invoices in France:

Step one: Create an e-invoice

Create an e-invoice in your financial system or bookkeeping software.

Step two: Create a Storecove account.

Set up a Storecove account.

Step three: Create a personalized email address

Create a personalized email address under the "How will Storecove receive the invoices you want us to send to your client?" section.

Step four: Create a new email with your e-invoice attached

Once you've created your custom email address, head to your email system, whether it's Gmail or Outlook, and create a new email with your e-invoice attached.

Make sure to include the French SIRET number in the "publicIdentifiers" section of your e-invoice to ensure it's accepted.

Step five: Send the e-invoice

Next, send the e-invoice to the custom email address you created in Step 2, which should look something like "<company_name>@send.storecove.com."

At this point, your e-invoice has been sent to the government agency through the PEPPOL network, and it will be processed through the Chorus Pro Portal.

In the rare event that the government agency you're sending to isn't connected to the PEPPOL network, don't worry. We'll send the e-invoice directly to a general SIRET number for the French government.

With these simple steps, you'll be able to send e-invoices to the French government with ease!

Need help with your French VAT compliance? Storecove makes sure that companies are using the right sending and receiving infrastructures for e-invoicing. Plan a demo with one of our e-invoicing teams.

Schedule a Demo

Characteristics of the electronic invoice in France

E-invoices in France must comply with specific technical and legal requirements to be valid and enforceable.

Here are some of the characteristics of e-invoicing in France:

What e-invoice format will be required?

There will be several acceptable formats for e-invoices in France, and all partner platforms must offer a minimum number of common formats to ensure interoperability.

The invoice can be created in a structured or mixed form using one of the three base formats that are compatible with the EN16931 standard, which is the EU's e-invoicing standard. These three base formats are:

  • UBL
  • CII
  • Factur-X

It is possible to create a PDF invoice, but it must still meet strict technical requirements, and scanning paper invoices is not an acceptable practice.

Factur-X is a unique standard that combines a human-readable PDF with machine-readable XML language. This standard was developed through collaboration between France's National Forum for Electronic Invoices and Electronic Public Contracts (FNFE-MPE) and Germany's Forum elektronische Rechnung Deutschland (FeRD).

What payment data needs to be submitted?

In France, suppliers must report payment information for sales or invoices where the tax point date is on payment under the e-reporting mandate.

This is intended to help the French Tax Administration with pre-filling value added tax returns and determining the VAT collected.

However, there are exceptions to this requirement. If a supplier has been authorized to pay the value added tax (VAT) accounted for on an accrual basis under the "régime des débits," or if the customer is responsible for accounting for VAT under the reverse charge mechanism, the supplier is exempted from this reporting requirement.

While we await further details on the required payment data that suppliers will need to report, we expect that it will include the following:

  • Date of payment collection
  • The amount collected, including VAT, broken down by the applicable VAT rate.

What network should be used

From 2024, companies will have two options for sending electronic invoices and meeting their reporting duties in the B2B sector.

The first option is to use the services of a third-party provider (PDP) responsible for transmitting the e-invoice data to the customer and passing on the prescribed information to the French tax authorities.

The second option is to use the official invoicing portal (PPF) connected to the Chorus Pro. The French government, however, has announced that the PPF will only have basic core functionality and is likely to be used only by the smallest companies.

In addition, e-reporting can be done directly via PPF or any platform the business chooses. The PPF also allows the receipt and processing of e-invoices from foreign suppliers (due to its connection to PEPPOL) and provides essential legal archiving of the e-invoices processed via the platform.

Is there a need for a digital signature

In France, the use of electronic signatures is not mandatory.

What archiving regulations apply

In France, businesses are required to retain their invoices and related documents for ten years. This requirement also applies to e-invoices, which must be stored with exceptional care that guarantee their:

  • Integrity - they cannot be altered
  • Security concerning access, hosting, and confidentiality
  • Durability - they must remain usable over time
  • Traceability - their life cycle must be able to be reconstructed
  • Accessibility - they must be available and easily retrievable by authorized users while remaining confidential to all other users.

To ensure compliance with this requirement, businesses must use the Electronic Archiving System (EAS) or Electronic Vault, which is the only technical solution capable of providing all these aspects in place to protect the integrity and authenticity of the archived documents.

It is crucial to note that failure to comply with these archiving requirements can result in significant penalties and fines from the French tax authorities, and this will be:

  • €15 per invoice limited to €15,000 total per annum for taxpayers
  • €15 per invoice limited to €45,000 sum per annum for e-invoice certified agents (PDP, Plateformes de dématérialisation partenaires)

Therefore, businesses must ensure that their e-invoicing and archiving processes comply with French regulations.

You may also like: Requirements For Mandatory E-Invoices In France (Beginning 2024)

What is Chorus Pro?

Chorus Pro is the centralized platform for the administration of e-invoicing in the public sector of France. It is the sole interface that suppliers can use to interact with all authorities and government administrations in the country through traditional EDI channels and formats that have been tested and proven effective.

You can access the portal here.

The platform based on CII and Factur-X is available to suppliers and public sector customers free of charge.

However, using it requires a deep understanding of public sector administration processes in France, as well as staying up to date with the constantly changing requirements and regulations of the tax authorities. Additionally, proficiency in the French language is necessary to make the most of this platform.

We anticipate that B2B e-invoices in France will be required to use a similar platform to submit invoices to the French tax authorities.

What should businesses do to comply with e-invoice regulations in France?

As a Supplier, to meet the French e-invoice reporting requirement, you must make sure that your invoices contain all the mandatory fields that the government requires (in addition to any that your customers require).

You will also need to send status messages to the PPF, including when you’ve been paid.

As a Buyer, depending on your size, you may need to send e-invoices if you are not already doing this. Structured PDFs will no longer be accepted after 2027. Status messages will need to be sent to update both the government and your suppliers when payments are made.

Meeting French VAT reporting requirements will be a significant challenge. However, with the assistance of Storecove, it will be hassle-free.

Storecove is an authorized e-invoicing and e-procurement solution provider, meaning B2B can use our platform to send and receive e-invoices. You can speak to Dolf to learn how we can help you securely issue and receive invoices in France.

Takeaway: What businesses need to know to prepare for France's B2B e-invoicing revolution

Since the French government implemented the EU's E-Invoicing directive for B2G transactions in 2017, hence, all AT-registered businesses must understand it, what it offers, and the penalty involved if they fail to comply.

Since January 1st, 2020, these regulations have been legally binding in the country.

Some of the benefits that the new system offers include:

  • Prevent and combat tax fraud.
  • Simplify VAT reporting obligations
  • Reduce the costs of tax control.
  • Simplify business life and enhance competitiveness.
  • Improve understanding of the economic situation with real-time reporting on business activity.

In addition, businesses will no longer be mandated to send compliant invoices directly to their clients. Instead, they will use a commercial third party or the PPF to send electronic invoices.

These platforms will act as intermediaries between the supplier and the client, converting the invoice format to suit the recipient.

Unlike conventional methods, the new system is more efficient and will help companies reduce invoice and payment processing costs and boost overall productivity in compliance with Chorus Pro.

If you’re a business in France looking for a safe, seamless, and secure electronic invoicing system that adheres to the financial and tax regulations surrounding e-invoicing in France, Storecove can help you.

We provide a comprehensive solution for businesses in sending and receiving electronic invoices with complete compliance with the French government’s legal requirements.

Register to get access to our e-invoicing solution.

More information about B2B e-Invoicing in France?

Call us on +31 (0) 20 261 17 91 or send an e-mail to: helpdesk@storecove.nl

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