On February 14, Costa Rica is starting up its e-invoicing pilot project, which will include six large taxpayers and plans to spread this system throughout the country. The announcement of the breakthrough comes after the issuing on 7 October of Resolution DGT-R-48 on Authorization for use of e-invoicing and associated electronic documents. In addition, on November 3 the selection criteria for taxpayers required to issue e-invoicing once the pilot plan starts up were also published in the official state gazette.
The Directorate General of Taxation (DGT) has now defined the mandatory features for e-documents. The formats and technical specifications are detailed in the annexes and XML structures listed in the DGT web portal. In addition, the method for delivery, validation and preservation of electronic receipts is also stipulated (mandatory for a 4-year period).
Who will be required to issue e-invoicing in Costa Rica?
For the moment, the DGP has not revealed how migration to e-invoicing will take place, although it is foreseeable that it will be done gradually, in stages, as occurred in practically all the Latin American countries where e-invoicing use is now compulsory. Nevertheless, there is still no definite timeframe. What will be announced on December 15 will be the list of taxpayers required to start issuing e-invoicing from the start of the pilot scheme in February 2017.
In this regard, the DGT selection process will take into account the criteria published in the Gazette on November 3. Among them, the income level and activity sector of the taxpayers. These taxpayers will receive notification by email in the case of large companies, or through the Gazette for smaller taxpayers.
However, taxpayers who are prepared to face this technological leap can apply to join the pilot scheme voluntarily. To do so, they must send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A system with great benefits
The spread of e-invoicing in Costa Rica will bring benefits, both for the public sector and private companies. With this technology, the DGT will be able to improve control and reduce tax evasion, as all the business transactions will be declared in real time. In addition, taxpayers will simplify tax compliance and automate part of their administrative procedures, which will increase productivity and cut economic costs. In fact, the savings from e-invoicing may reach 90% compared to the traditional process on paper.