Legal prerequisites (federal government)
In its Directive 2010/45/EU, the European Union calls for the equal treatment of electronic invoices and paper invoices under law. In Austria this provision was implemented with the 2012 Tax Amendment Act (Abgabenänderungsgesetz 2012).
The Directive 2014/55/EU obliges all Member States to ensure that contracting authorities and contracting entities are unable to refuse the acceptance of electronic invoices since April 18th 2019. The process of the federal solution is also available for the other public sector agencies. Therefore the technical requirements for the rapid and simple implementation of this EU directive are already given now. An obligation for the contracting partners for the transmission of e-Invoices to other public sector agencies does not arise thereby. According to the BVergG 2018, non-primary purchasers needed to have to implement the regulation until 12 months later, i.e. by 18 April 2020.
The transmission of e-Invoices via the USP offers the full transmission safety within the meaning of the UStG and the SigG due to the authenticated access. The invoices must not be signed. Signed invoices are accepted however.
IKTKonG – Federal Government
Based on the provisions of Section 5 of the Austrian ICT Consolidation Act (IKTKonG, comments, e-Invoice decree), all contracting partners of the federal government must only transmit structured electronic invoices (e-Invoices) for the provision of goods and services to government departments.
An electronic invoice (e-Invoice) is an invoice that is issued, sent, received and processed in a structured electronic format presenting at least the invoice attributes specified in Section 11 para. 1 of the 1994 VAT Act.
Foreign contracting partners of federal government departments shall be obliged to issue and transmit e-Invoices only if technically feasible.
When transmitting an e-Invoice, the contracting partners shall use the portal made available by the Federal Ministry of Finance. As portals for the transmission of an e-Invoice especially the USP and the Peppol transport infrastructure shall be used.
Any e-Invoice shall only be deemed as duly delivered after it has been tested to ensure formal accuracy upon transmission and after the subsequent acceptance of such invoice by the federal government department.