In Spain, Certified Digitization of Invoices is a computer process that allows to get digital true copies of invoices with the same legal value as the paper based original, so the existing legislation allows to eliminate paper invoices from which the digitized invoices are obtained. The computer environment must include a Secure Data Base, which allows users and auditors to access and retrieve instantly any invoice for tax inspection or auditing purposes.
Electronic invoicing is regulated by the Royal Decree 1619/2012 of 30 November 2012 approving the regulation of billing obligations with some provisiones defined in OrdinanceOrder EHA/962/2007 Order of 10 April 2007 implementing certain provisionsregarding electronic invoicing and storage of invoices contained in RoyalDecree 1496/2003 of 28 November 2003 approving the regulation governing invoicing obligations.
Royal Decree 1496/2003 of 28 November was repealed by Royal Decree 1619/2012 of 30 November but the rules developed while it was of application, are still valid nowadays.
According to aforementioned RD 1619/2012 electronic invoices and digitized invoices ought to be electronically signed. “It will be valid a qualified electronic signature, as defined under Article 3.3 of Law 59/2003 of 19 December on electronic signature”. A qualified signature is an advanced electronic signature based on a qualified certificate and generated by a secure signature creation device.
The Tax Agency Resolution of 24 October 2007, published in the Official State gazette (BOE) of 1 November 2007, on the procedure for approving the software for the certified digitisation of invoices set out in Article 7 of Order EHA/ 962/2007 of 10 April 2007, requires that for the digitisation software to be approved, an application must be presented to the Director of the Tax Information Department in any registry office, in which the applicant must provide a statement of compliance declaring that the software complies with the regulations, including several documents: (1) technical documentation describing the software, (2) the auditor’s report on the assessment of the software and (3) the quality management plan,plus a CD-ROM with information in digital format and a CD-ROM with a copy of the software, as per Article 8 of the aforementioned Resolution. If the documentation and software comply with regulations, a resolution will be issued with the approval, including the reference code that is to be included in every digitized invoice as metadata.
Once AEAT approves the Certified Digitization software, the electronic signed image that is obtained through digitization via such a software keeps the same validity as any paper invoice when it comes to tax purposes.
Certified digitization process involves the use of photo-electric techniques as those implemented in scanners or photo cameras, to convert the image on a paper document into a digital image encoded according to standard formats widely used and with a resolution level higher than 200 ppp acording to information published in the web page of the spanish tax Agency AEAT.
As a consequence, the destruction of large amounts of paper in the form of original documents could be authorized, leading to savings in document and file handling as well as a reduction of indirect tax related costs.
The legal and technical environment of electronic invoicing and certified digitizing (including electronic signature) in Spain is described in the book Electronic invoicing.
If you need advice or assessment regarding Software Approval Process, technical implementation details or legal procedures don´t hesitate to contact EAD Trust (European Agency of Digital Trust) that can help to comply with any requirements. You can do it by calling the phone number:+34 91 7160555