Understanding The E-invoicing Requirements in Greece

E-invoicing is the transfer of electronic invoices between suppliers and buyers. It is mandatory for business-to-business and business-to-government transactions in Greece.

E-invoicing has simplified the way businesses and governments engage. Greece has made it easier for businesses and competent contractual authorities to create, manage and process e-invoices across the globe.

Businesses that need to work with the government need to hop onto the e-invoicing train. Getting on board means that you comply with EU invoicing standards, comply with local tax authorities, and can connect with contracting authorities globally. It is a one-stop-shop for business-to-government and business-to-business transactions.

In this article, you will learn why e-invoices are better than paper invoices, the e-invoice requirements in Greece, and how Storecove can help you with your e-invoices.

Let’s begin!

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What is e-invoicing in Greece?

E-invoicing adoption and compliance fall under the Ministry of Digital Governance and the Directive 2014/55/EU.

The directive outlines the structure of e-invoices processing and transmission. This directive is the European standard for e-invoicing among private and public entities. The government adopted this directive (under Law 4601/2019) and made e-invoicing mandatory across local, regional, and national contracting authorities.

In 2020, the National Gazette (Issue B, 457) published the Ministerial Decision (1017/14.02.2020) outlining the recommended format for B2B e-invoices. This format complied with both European e-invoicing and PEPPOL standards.

Another gazetted Ministerial Decision (A.1035/18.02.2020) specified the rules and regulations for suppliers using e-invoices.

The government also established two joint ministerial decisions to ensure that the country’s e-invoicing semantic model aligned with European specifications. This was paramount because it ensured that e-invoices were interoperable with Peppol e-delivery networks.

To streamline implementation, the General Secretariat for Information Systems of Public Administration (GSIS PA) partnered with the General Secretariat of Fiscal Policy and stakeholders like the Hellenic Single Public Procurement Authority.

Under this partnership, Greece enabled e-invoicing across 5 platforms:

  • “MyData” taxation app under the Independent Authority of Public Revenue.
  • An informational website on public procurement.
  • The Contracting Authorities Registry with information on more than 2,300 competent contracting authorities that can process invoices
  • An e-invoice distribution app for contracting authorities
  • Information technology systems for processing, managing, and clearing e-invoices.

What is the MyData app?

The MyData app is a platform that has been developed by the Greek Tax Authority (GAVOIK) for e-invoicing in Greece.

The app serves as a central repository for all e-invoices, providing a secure and standardized method for companies to send, receive, and manage e-invoices.

In the process of sending compliant e-invoices in Greece, the MyData app plays the following role:

  1. The MyData app allows companies to transmit their e-invoices electronically to their recipient through a secure transmission method, such as AS2 or AS4.
  2. The app serves as a central repository for all e-invoices, allowing companies to easily manage and access their e-invoices in one place.
  3. The MyData app helps companies to ensure that their e-invoices are compliant with the regulations set by the Greek Ministry of Finance and the Greek Tax Authority (GAVOIK). The app provides guidance and support on the formatting and content of the e-invoice.

Overall, the MyData app provides a secure and standardized method for companies to send and manage their e-invoices, helping them to ensure compliance with the regulations set by the Greek Tax Authority.

What are the e-invoicing requirements in Greece?

In Greece, electronic invoicing is mandatory for all government agencies and for businesses that have a turnover of more than 500,000 euros per year.

The invoice must be in a standard electronic format, such as XML, and must include certain mandatory information such as the date of the invoice, the buyer and seller information, and a description of the goods or services being invoiced.

The invoice must be in a standard electronic format such as the XML format specified by the EU. The format must include the mandatory information required by the Greek Tax Administration.

The electronic invoice must include the following information:

  • Invoice number
  • Date of issue
  • Buyer and seller information
  • Description of goods or services
  • Total amount of the invoice

Electronic invoices must be digitally signed to ensure the authenticity and integrity of the invoice. The signature must be created using a qualified electronic signature (QES) or an advanced electronic signature (AES).

All electronic invoices must be archived for at least ten years and made available to the tax authorities for auditing purposes. The archived invoices must be in a format that is easily accessible and readable.

Electronic invoices must be transmitted using a secure system that ensures the confidentiality and integrity of the data being transmitted.

Businesses must keep records of all electronic invoices for a minimum of ten years. These records must be easily accessible and readable. And businesses must comply with the e-invoicing requirements in Greece. Failure to do so can result in penalties and fines.

How to send compliant e-invoices in Greece?

If you are a business entity (supplier) with a public procurement contract, here is the step-by-step process flow for using e-invoices.

Register for e-invoicing with the Greek Tax Authority (GAVOIK)

To start the process of sending e-invoices in Greece, your company must register for e-invoicing with the Greek Tax Authority (GAVOIK).

This will give you access to the e-invoicing platform and allow you to start using the e-invoicing system.

Obtain a digital signature and certificate

In order to ensure the security and authenticity of your e-invoices, you will need to obtain a digital signature and certificate.

This will ensure that your e-invoices cannot be altered or tampered with during transmission. Prepare your e-invoice using accounting or Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software.

Format the invoice according to the regulations set by the Greek Ministry of Finance

The format of your e-invoice must comply with the regulations set by the Greek Ministry of Finance. The invoice must include specific information. These include the seller and buyer details, the invoice date, the tax amount, and the product or service description.

Get the e-invoice validated before sending it to the client. Check with your Interoperability Center for validation services.

The e-invoice service provider then registers this invoice on the MyData app. This is primarily for taxation purposes. The Independent Authority of Public Revenue will refer to this digital financial information.

Transmit the invoice electronically to the recipient

Once the invoice is formatted correctly, it must be transmitted electronically to the recipient using a secure transmission method.

In Greece, two secure transmission methods are accepted: AS2 and AS4.

The Interoperability Center then receives the e-invoice and validates that it complies with EU and national e-invoicing standards.

Once validation is complete, the Interoperability Center will transfer the e-invoice to the contracting authority. If there’s no contracting authority, it may route the e-invoice to the public institution’s IT system.

The contracting authority (or public body) receives the e-invoice and processes it according to its procurement practices. At this stage, the authority may send you messages to update you on the processing status of your e-invoice. These messages will be delivered via the Interoperability Center.

It is important to store the invoice and its related data for a minimum of 10 years. This will ensure that you have the necessary records and documentation in case of any audits or inspections by the tax authorities.

Characteristics of the electronic invoice in Greece

The invoices need to follow a format set out by the tax authority.

Here are the main elements an electronic invoice must include in Greece:

  1. Invoice header: The invoice header must contain the seller and buyer information, including name, address, tax identification number (TIN), and contact details.
  2. Invoice date: The invoice date must be specified and indicate the date on which the invoice was issued.
  3. Invoice number: The invoice number must be unique and must be used to identify the invoice in the event of any audits or inspections by the tax authorities.
  4. Product or service description: The product or service description must be detailed and must include the quantity and unit price of each item.
  5. Tax amount: The tax amount must be specified and must include any relevant taxes, such as value-added tax (VAT).
  6. Total amount: The total amount of the invoice must be calculated and specified, including any relevant taxes.
  7. Digital signature: The invoice must be digitally signed and accompanied by a certificate to ensure its authenticity and security.

What can businesses do to comply with the e-invoice regulations in Greece?

To comply with e-invoice regulations in Greece, businesses can follow these steps:

  • Register with the Greek Ministry of Economy and Development to obtain a tax identification number.
  • Acquire a digital certificate to sign and encrypt invoices.
  • Ensure that invoices are generated in a standardized format, such as the European Standard Format (ESF).
  • Transmit invoices to the Hellenic Public Revenue Authority (HPRA) through an approved web portal.
  • Store invoices and related information electronically for at least 10 years.
  • Regularly check and update the list of approved web portals for e-invoicing provided by the HPRA.

It is recommended that businesses seek the assistance of a professional or specialist in Greek tax regulations to ensure compliance with e-invoicing requirements.

Differences between e-invoices and paper invoices

E-invoices are slightly different from paper invoices. First, paper invoices are manually handled, delivered, and exchanged in their physical form.

Also, paper invoices contain detailed data such as item descriptions, quantities, unit price, and total amounts.

Lastly, the recipient of a paper invoice must manually read the data and take (manual) action such as initiating the payment process.

Even when the paper invoice is scanned and sent electronically as a digital image or PDF, you still have to view it manually and input the details into your organization’s payment system.

Why do you need to switch to e-invoices?

E-invoices eliminate the physical element of paper invoices. With e-invoices, you can:

  • read and exchange the invoice electronically,
  • archive in electronic storage or cloud storage devices,
  • import their data into payment systems, and
  • read and visualize the invoice electronically.

What’s important to note is that having an invoice in any of these forms JPG, TIFF, PDF, MS Word, or OCR does not make it an electronic invoice.

A valid e-invoice has two features:

  • It uses the correct format and structure
  • Its transfer begins from the seller’s system.

Storecove’s solution to e-invoicing in Greece

E-invoicing makes the work of creating, transmitting, processing, and paying invoices very quick, easy, and safe. It works best when you connect to a global e-invoicing network through platforms such as Peppol.

Whether you have a company, an ERP company, or a government agency, Storecove has a package just for you.

We can help you:

  • connect with global e-invoicing networks
  • connect your ERP to these global networks
  • send e-invoices
  • support your legal compliance with e-invoice regulations.

Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help you transition into e-invoices seamlessly and painlessly.

E-invoicing Solution for Greece

E-invoicing makes the work of creating, transmitting, processing, and paying invoices very quick, easy, and safe. It works best when you connect to a global e-invoicing network through platforms such as Peppol.

Whether you have a company, an ERP company, or a government agency, Storecove has a package just for you.

We can help you:

Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help you transition into e-invoices seamlessly and painlessly.

More information about e-invoicing in Greece?

Contact us for more information or schedule a consult with one of our e-invoicing experts.

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