Monday, 01 August 2022 02:54

El Salvador advances in the implementation of electronic invoicing

Written by Evelyn Alas

El Salvador continues advancing on the path to implement electronic invoicing processes and systems, which entail an important effort for companies and the Tax Administration itself, in order to clearly establish the steps to be taken into account in this new bet, taking into consideration the commercial transactions in the different sectors of the country's economy.

According to Magdalena Tobar, Senior Tax Manager at EY, after the pilot plan that began in april 2021 with the authorization of the first electronic invoice issuer, the implementation of this process is currently in the voluntary massification stage, just one step away from what is expected to be mandatory.

Therefore, it is necessary that companies are prepared to adapt their invoicing system according to the technical requirements to generate Electronic Tax Documents (DTE) to the Tax Administration. This will require, internal development and self-management, as well as support from specialists or suppliers depending on the state of maturity of the current invoicing and accounting records systems used by the companies, to identify the processes that will require special adaptations, according to the ordinary cycle of their commercial operations and eventual transactions.

In addition to the preparation required by this new mechanism, according to EY's tax expert, it is necessary for companies to work proactively to know and understand the communication issued by the Ministry of Finance in view of this inevitable change.

They will have to review internal processes and define automatic controls that will allow them to reduce manual processes in the fulfillment of tax obligations and avoid errors.

One of the main challenges highlighted by the specialist is that, with the entry into force and the mandatory nature of this mechanism, companies must have the appropriate technology, automate processes, and review the capacity of servers, among other aspects focused on cybersecurity within the term established by the new regulations.

The process to be carried out by the electronic invoicing system includes obtaining the simple electronic signature certificate provided by the Ministry of Finance as well as the public key; the issuer may generate from its private key the transmission of the DTE with security and veracity certificates that guarantee that the signed file will be sent to the Tax Administration.

General de Impuestos Internos - DGII for validation of authenticity.

To date, among the documents implemented in this process by the Ministry of Finance are: Tax Credit Voucher, Final Consumer Invoice, Export Invoice, Credit Note, Tax Debit Note, Withholding Voucher, Settlement Voucher, Remittance Notes and Settlement Accounting Document. The Excluded Party Invoice and the Donation Voucher are still pending to be implemented.

As stated by the Tax Administration, responsible for the implementation of the electronic invoice, this mechanism will be implemented progressively in El Salvador in order to be on a par with the rest of the Latin American countries that have already adopted this system.