Are you an entrepreneur who invoices government organisations for work you have done? And do you still send your invoices by post or by email using pdfs? You may be required to send your invoices as e-invoices.
What is an e-invoice?
An e-invoice is an electronic invoice. Electronic invoicing is also known as electronic billing. When you send an electronic invoice, the required information is given a fixed position using a unique code. This makes it possible to send and process e-invoices automatically. This means manual processing is no longer required. Paper invoices and pdf invoices require processing by hand. Even though a pdf is digital, it is not an e-invoice.
E-invoicing local authorities
Local authorities may require an e-invoice for work you have done. Local authorities include municipalities, provinces and water boards. However other organisations, such as educational institutions and museums, which are required to follow public procurement procedures may also require e-invoices. These organisations are legally obliged to be able to receive and process e-invoices.
E-invoicing the central government (Rijksoverheid)
The central government has already switched to e-invoicing. If you have signed a purchasing contract with the central government, you must send an e-invoice. This could be a ministry or government agency.
Are you a government supplier and do you want to send an e-invoice? The e-invoice helpdesk (Helpdesk e-factureren) offers an infographic that shows the steps you should take to send an e-invoice.
Are you obliged to send an e-invoice?
If the purchasing conditions of your contract state that you are obliged to send an e-invoice, then you must send an e-invoice.
How do you send an e-invoice?
There are different methods for sending e-invoices. Ask your client which one is required.
How to send an e-invoice to decentralised government
You can send e-invoices to local authorities in the following ways:
- Via the secure Peppol network. Most accounting software programmes can send e-invoices using this network. Check the Netherlands Peppol Authority website (in Dutch) to make sure your software programme is included in its list of affiliated companies.
- Via e-mail using an XML-attachment. This is the e-invoice. You create the e-invoice using your accounting software.
- E-invoicing manually using the online portal of an ICT service provider, if you do not have accounting software.
How to send an e-invoice to centralised government
The central government only accepts electronic invoices. You can send e-invoices to the central government:
- Via the secure Peppol network. Most accounting software programmes can send e-invoices using this network. A service provider can connect your software to Peppol. Check the Netherlands Peppol Authority website to make sure your service provider is included in the list of affiliated companies (in Dutch).
- Through a software package. You can extend your software/ERP with a module to send your invoices automatically via the Peppol secure network. Ask your software supplier what you need to arrange.
- E-invoicing manually using the online portal of an ICT service provider, if you do not have accounting software. The portal creates an e-invoice based on your data and sends it to your customer. These service providers meet the requirements of the Netherlands Peppol Authority (in Dutch).
- Via the central government supplier portal, if you do not have accounting software.
E-invoice requirements and method of sending
Centralised and decentralised government organisations have drawn up specific conditions for sending e-invoices. An e-invoice must also meet the same legal requirements as paper and pdf invoices.