The Belgian government introduced mandatory e-invoicing for B2G transactions due to Belgium's VAT gap, estimated in 2019 as 12.3% of lost VAT (about EUR 4.4 billion).
This obligation already exists for suppliers of the centralized entities of multiple regions (Brussels, Flanders, Wallonia), but will now be extended to the suppliers of public entities in all the regions.
The mandatory e-invoicing for B2G transactions timeline is:
- November 2022: e-invoices for public contracts over EUR 215,000 must be issued.
- May 2023: e-invoices for public contracts greater than or equal to EUR 30,000 must be issued.
- November 2023: e-invoices for public contracts below EUR 30,000 must be issued.
It is important to note that these deadlines are mandatory, and businesses must comply to avoid penalties.
EUR 3,000 is the threshold, so invoices less than this sum are exempt.
E-invoicing has helped the Belgian government save money and improve efficiency by reducing paper waste and processing time.
Businesses must use certified e-invoicing software that meets the requirements of the European Union (EU) Directive on electronic Invoicing.
This post provides deep insights into Belgium's B2G upcoming e-invoicing regulations.
What is B2G e-invoicing in Belgium?
B2G e-invoicing is a new electronic invoicing system that uses the ISO 20022 standard. As of January 1, 2019, the Belgian government requires all businesses to use B2G e-invoicing for invoices issued to public entities. The new system helps the government save money and improve efficiency by reducing paper waste and processing time.
The ISO 20022 standard is designed to streamline cross-border transactions and make it easier for businesses to trade with each other. It is also used by the European Union's SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area) system.
The Belgian government has chosen to adopt the ISO 20022 standard for its B2G e-invoicing system to make it compatible with other countries that have also adopted the standard. This will make it easier for businesses in Belgium to invoice customers in other countries.
The Belgian government has also created an online portal, e-Facture, which businesses can use to submit their invoices electronically. The portal will accept invoices in both PDF and XML formats.
Businesses that are required to use the B2G e-invoicing system will need to register for an account on the e-Facture portal. Once registered, companies can log in and submit their invoices electronically.
How Belgium ensures e-invoicing compliance
- The Belgium government has put in place strict guidelines for businesses to ensure compliance with e-invoicing standards.
- Businesses are required to use certified e-invoicing software that meets the requirements of the European Union (EU) Directive on Electronic Invoicing.
- The Belgium Peppol Authority (BOSA-DT) approves Access Points (AP) providers to provide entry and exit into the Peppol network.
- E-invoices must be sent using a secure electronic signature, and businesses must maintain records of all invoices sent and received.
- In order to ensure compliance with this regulation, Belgium organizes AP Providers' forums every 6 to 8 weeks.
- Businesses that do not comply with these requirements can face significant penalties, including fines and suspension of business operations.
The Belgian government is committed to ensuring compliance with e-invoicing standards, and businesses that fail to meet these standards can face severe penalties. By using certified e-invoicing software and maintaining records of all invoices sent and received, companies can avoid these penalties and ensure compliance with e-invoicing standards.
The Belgian government has said it plans to eventually phase out paper invoices. However, businesses will still be able to issue paper invoices if they choose.
The B2G e-invoicing system is just one part of the Belgian government's digital transformation plan. The government has also said that it plans to digitize all of its public services by 2025.
The Belgian government has not yet announced when it will fully implement the B2G e-invoicing system. However, businesses that are required to use the system should begin preparing now to avoid any disruptions in their invoice processing.
Timeline for the implementation of mandatory B2G e-invoicing in Belgium
The Belgian government has set a deadline of January 1, 2022, for implementing mandatory B2G e-invoicing. Companies that do not comply with this deadline will be subject to fines.
All Belgian companies doing business with the public sector, regardless of their size or sector, must adopt e-invoicing by November 2023.
There are several reasons why the Belgian government has decided to implement these deadlines. Firstly, it believes that e-invoicing will help to reduce administrative costs and improve efficiency. Secondly, it believes that e-invoicing will help to reduce fraudulent activities.
The Belgian government has also said that it will provide support to businesses in the form of training and guidance on how to implement e-invoicing.
How can you prepare for the change?
Belgium implemented a mandatory e-invoicing regime on January 1, 2019. This means that all businesses that issue invoices to the Belgian government must do so electronically.
The good news is that there are several software solutions available that can help businesses comply with the new requirements. The key is to choose a solution compatible with the Belgian government's e-invoicing platform.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing an e-invoicing solution for your business:
- Make sure the software is compatible with the Belgian government's e-invoicing platform.
- Choose a software solution that is easy to use and can be integrated with your existing accounting software.
- Make sure the software provider offers support in case you have any questions or need help getting started.
- Ask about pricing and whether discounts are available for businesses that sign up for multiple licenses.
- Get a demo of the software to see if it meets your needs.
If you're looking for an e-invoicing solution for your business, check out Storecove. Storecove is a leading provider within the e-invoicing sector and has already helped thousands of businesses transition to e-invoicing.
Characteristics of the electronic invoice in Belgium
The electronic invoice in Belgium must have the following characteristics:
- The invoice must be issued in the name of the company or organization that provides the goods or services.
- The invoice must be addressed to the customer or client.
- The invoice must include the date of issuance, the date of performance of the service, and the date of payment.
- The invoice must contain a clear description of the goods or services provided.
- The invoice must indicate the quantity, unit price, and due amount.
- An authorized representative of the company or organization must sign the invoice.
- The electronic version of the invoice must be in PDF format and sent by email to the customer or client.
- The invoice must be issued in the official languages of Belgium: French, Dutch, and German.
Invoices not meeting these requirements will not be considered valid for payment. You should contact the Belgian Federal Public Service Finance if you have any questions about Belgium's electronic invoice requirements.
How to send and receive compliant e-invoices in Belgium
You can send and receive compliant e-invoices in Belgium by:
- Connecting to a Peppol Access Point.
- Gathering the necessities.
- Sending your e-invoice to Peppol.
Connecting to a Peppol Access Point
To send and receive compliant e-invoices in Belgium, you must connect to a Peppol Access Point. Peppol is an electronic data interchange (EDI) network that enables businesses to exchange documents electronically.
The Peppol network uses the International Organization for Standardization's (ISO) 20022 standard for financial transactions.
To connect to a Peppol Access Point, you must create an account with a Peppol service provider. Once you have an account, you can select the Belgian Peppol Access Point from the list of available Access Points.
Once you are connected to the Belgian Peppol Access Point, you can send and receive compliant e-invoices. To send an e-invoice, you must create a Peppol document using the ISO 20022 standard. Once you have created the document, you can upload it to the Peppol network.
To receive an e-invoice, you will need to provide your Peppol service provider with your banking information. After your banking information has been verified, you can download the e-invoice from the Peppol network.
Storecove is among the 40+ Access Point Providers approved by the Belgian Peppol Authority. The software will automatically convert your electronic invoice to whatever format your recipient accepts and safely transmit it.
The Peppol network is available in many countries around the world. If you are doing business with a company in another country, you may be able to connect to their local Peppol Access Point and send and receive compliant e-invoices.
Gathering the necessities
To send and receive compliant e-invoices in Belgium, you must first take care of a few things.
You will need to request your Peppol ID from your Access Point Provider. This ID is necessary to send your invoice. Additionally, you will need to obtain your enterprise number from the Belgian Crossroad Bank of Enterprises (CBE).
It is highly recommended that you use this identification number on your invoices, as it will guarantee proper routing.
Once you have gathered the necessary information, you can create and send your e-invoice without any problems. No need to worry about the format used by Belgian public administrations.
Send your e-invoice to Peppol
With Storecove as your Access Point Provider, we'll take care of the delivery to PEPPOL and compliant e-invoice format generation.
Feel free to schedule a consult with one of our experts (both Dutch and English) if you need further assistance with the transition.
The Belgian government approved a draft Royal Decree to introduce mandatory e-invoicing for Business to Government supplies. Flanders and Brussels-Capital Region (the regional Government level) must issue e-invoices to public bodies.
Only contracts with a value below EUR 3,000 will be exempt from mandatory e-invoicing. However, each level of Government can choose to waive this exemption or introduce a different phased introduction date. Businesses can prepare for this change by using a reliable e-invoicing solution.
More information about e-invoicing in Belgium?