- determines the place of supply for hiring of a means of transport, other than short-term, to a non-taxable person, to be the place where the customer is established, has his permanent address or usually resides (pursuant article 4 of Directive 2008/8/EC)
- revises invoicing regulations, implementing Directive 2010/45/EC. The new invoicing rules confirm the obligation to issue an invoice for all VATable activities, regardless of the acquirer’s taxable status, even if the latter does not expressly request to be provided with an invoice.
On the other hand, the new legislation simplify some of the basic invoicing requirements by eliminating part of the previously required content – such as the acquirer’s identification and address, where the acquirer is a non-taxable person and the amount invoiced is up to EUR1,000.
Additionally, the option to issue simplified invoices regarding transactions taxable in Portugal were introduced, regarding (i) supplies of goods up to EUR1,000 carried out by retailers to non-taxable persons; and (ii) other supplies of goods or services up to EUR100. At first glance, it seems that simplified invoices will not substantially differ from regular invoices. The main simplifications concern: (i) the possibility to choose between mentioning separately the taxable amount and the applicable VAT rate and amount; or including a global amount with VAT and reference to the applicable rate; and (ii) not mentioning the date when the services were provided or the goods were supplied..
While some simplification was expected for specific activities (Portuguese VAT legislation already allowed the issuing of ‘sales tickets’ with similar requirements than those now imposed to simplified invoices) it is now potentially applicable to all sorts of suppliers falling under the general provision.
Changes on invoicing rules also include (i) reference to standard content to be included on invoices when special VAT regimes apply; and (ii) the possibility to issue electronic invoices through systems other than electronic signatures and EDI, provided their authenticity and integrity are ensured, hence simplifying the requirements for the use of e-invoices. The only other condition regarding the issuing of e-invoices, is that the acquirer fully agrees to its adoption by the supplier.
Another relevant development – which may require a company to introduce stronger internal controls – concerns the obligation to include reference to the underlying invoice on delivery or return notes and other related documents. While this may largely be seen as an attempt to provide a better audit trail for the tax authorities, it also helps to establish a more effective link between a given supply and its supporting evidence.
With regards to intra-EU supplies of services, a specific timeline for invoicing has been introduced, which requires taxable persons to issue invoices for these supplies no later than the 15th of the month following.
The new rules on electronic invoices entered into force on 1 October 2012, while the remaining provisions will apply as of 1 January 2013. Overall, these rules, while not significantly changing the invoicing requirements presently in force, aim to contribute to more effective control by the tax authorities and to increase legal certainty both in domestic and EU trade. However, they will undoubtedly represent an additional administrative burden on the operators’ side.