According to representatives of the firm Ernst & Young (EY), as they have given sequence to the process, it is currently advancing mainly under two modalities. One of them is the direct notification made by the Tax Administration to each one of the taxpayers indicating the obligation to issue DTE, as well as the mandatory date.
The other modality is that in advance the companies, large, small and medium taxpayers, voluntarily carry out the application process to be able to issue DTE.
However, regardless of the size of the company, the process for the issuance of DTE involves challenges that companies must overcome. For example, companies must go through different processes and adjustments to their existing information systems, or invest in a new system, which implies investment in identifying and selecting the necessary resources internally and externally, which could make it difficult to comply with the deadlines initially established by the Tax Authority.
Another relevant aspect is to update the companies' database with respect to the information of their clients and suppliers, which should coincide with the information that the Tax Authority has in its system and comply with the minimum requirements demanded by the regulations for the implementation of electronic invoicing.
As explained by Magdalena Tobar, Senior Tax Manager at EY, in the first instance, the adaptations in the information systems must guarantee the transmission of the information of each transaction to the Tax Authority's platform; that the content of the information is correct and adapt the different information catalogs that have been required, this considering that the deadline for issuing DTS for companies includes electronic tax documents and their graphic representation.
Non-compliance is subject to the penalties established in Article 239-A of the Tax Code. "Another relevant aspect is that companies that have different points of sales, for example restaurants or supermarkets, must adapt each of their stores, each point of sale, so that they can issue electronic invoicing and their system must have the capacity to transmit everything to the tax authority's platform; but it is not enough just to collect the information, it must match the information that the Tax Administration has in its system and thus avoid generating errors in the transmission process.
This has been quite challenging for the companies and this is what has generated some delays to meet the deadlines", however, in these cases the Compliance Regulations of the Electronic Tax Documents in numeral 15 of Coexistence, establishes that if they have authorization for the use of equivalent documents (tickets) referred to in article 107 second paragraph of the Tax Code, issued by means of recording machines or computerized systems, they may continue using them until june 30, 2024, mentioned the expert.
In addition to the transition in the systems, another of the processes that has generated more confusion for the companies are the invalidation events because they have fixed, defined deadlines and adjustments must be made to avoid major inconveniences and delays.
As she explained, this issue of invalidation is what was previously known as the annulment of the physical document, now the Tax Authority points out that it cannot be called annulment because these documents can always be viewed on the Treasury platform, with all the information it has, that is why they called it as "invalidation". The Tax Authority establishes different situations for these invalidations, either due to errors in the information of the DTE, the name of the taxpayer, the content or the structure of the document does not have the correct units or to rescind the operation.
As exemplified by the specialist, in the electronic export invoices it is established that these invalidations can be made within a maximum of three fiscal periods, that is, approximately 90 days from the issuance of the electronic tax document (DTE), and that the receipt seal is obtained from the Tax Authority. Through the invalidation of the DTE, if it is due to an error in the content, a re-invoicing becomes necessary; that is to say, first issue the document to be invoiced and then invalidate the one that was incorrect.
"This is one of the things in which control parameters must be put in place in the companies' systems so that before invalidating it, the correct document is issued", she said. She also explained that, in the case of Electronic Tax Credit Vouchers, Electronic Withholding Vouchers and Electronic Credit Notes, it is established that only 24 hours after having obtained the reception stamp to be able to invalidate it. "The companies must adapt their system, since the period for invalidation is more closed and if the estimated time of 90 days for invoicing or 24 hours for the Tax Credit Voucher is exceeded, and if it is not invalidated, it causes that such documents have all the legal validity and the corresponding taxes must be paid both for VAT and income, or otherwise proceed to other forms so that they cease to have effects", he said.
"It is advisable that companies seek advice from the tax point of view as part of the implementation process of electronic invoicing, and thus align the requirements from the technological point of view with the tax requirements in El Salvador", Tobar emphasized.
According to the specialist, it is advisable that taxpayers are constantly visiting the electronic invoicing page made available by the Tax Authority, and thus learn about the latest changes in the Regulations for compliance with electronic tax documents and the various publications of the Ministry of Finance, in relation to this issue of electronic invoicing.
Although there is no definite date for 100% of taxpayers to issue electronic invoices, it is understood that one of the objectives set by the Tax Authority is for this mechanism to be implemented for most taxpayers by july 1, 2024.
Translated by: A.M