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Use of the electronic invoice becomes more widespread in Colombia

09/11/2016

Use of the electronic invoice becomes more widespread in Colombia

After six months, Colombia’s tax and customs administration completed its pilot project for electronic invoicing. The country is entering the next stage in the process, which is to make the use of e-invoicing more widespread. Colombia’s tax administration expects that a significant number of taxpayers will be using the e-invoice by 2017.

During the testing phase, which began this past April, 59 businesses from different sectors participated. The objective was to identify improvements that could be made to the billing model proposed by the tax and customs administration before more taxpayers begin using the e-invoice technology.

According to the data provided by the tax and customs administration, 70,000 invoices were issued during the pilot program, which lasted for six months. In general, the tax and customs administration affirms that 84% of the project was carried out successfully. However, Colombia has many challenges to face before expanding the use of the e-invoice.

 

What are the next steps?

For the moment, the tax and customs administration is expected to certify providers authorized to offer e-invoicing services. These providers have passed all of the system tests and comply with the regulations of Decree 2242. EDICOM is involved in this project and participated in the pilot project as well. EDICOM has successfully passed each of the required tests within the tax administration’s time period. Furthermore, EDICOM is a leader in e-invoicing compliance solutions in other countries such as Mexico.

In regards to mandatory e-invoicing, the tax and customs administration published a list of companies which must begin using the e-invoice during the first phase of the process. Like other Latin American regions, Colombia set a schedule of progressive adaptation while taking the technological and economic development of companies into account.

 

Why is the use of the e-invoice becoming more widespread?

Today, Colombia doesn’t use the e-invoice as much as other countries. Although the e-invoice has been available since 1995, it is estimated that only 2% of companies in the country utilize it due to the difficulties posed by the current model. The e-invoice expansion project will address this problem by using a more operational billing schema.

This paperless system has already taken place in other countries such as Mexico, Brazil and Chile. With this expansion, the tax and customs administration expects to obtain the same results as the aforementioned countries. The e-invoice will help combat high rates of tax evasion, promote finance mechanisms such as factoring, simplify tax compliance and reduce economic costs.

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