Germany opts for gradual introduction of electronic invoices

On 22 March, the German Bundesrat voted in favour of a compromise version of the ‘Wachstumschancengesetz’, or Growth Opportunities Act. That has cleared the way for the gradual introduction of mandatory structured electronic invoicing (e-invoicing) in Germany. From January 2025 onwards, German companies will be required to accept e-invoices for B2B transactions. 

E Invoicing Germany

Great expectations

In deciding to make e-invoicing mandatory, Germany is following the example of Italy, France, Poland and Belgium. The requirement is considered to be a turning point in German tax legislation. This is because the government believes e-invoicing is a powerful weapon in the fight against tax fraud, since it makes it possible to check input tax directly.

Electronic invoicing also has a significant advantage for businesses: the automation of business processes enables them to strengthen their competitive position.

Also read: What are digital invoices? And what are the advantages?

E-invoicing in Germany: becoming mandatory in successive steps

To give companies the chance to adapt to the new regulations, mandatory e-invoicing is being introduced step by step:

  • From 1 January 2025 onwards, e-invoices under the European EN 16931 standard must be accepted for all German B2B transactions.
  • This requirement does not apply to consumers, invoices under 250 euros or transport tickets.
  • Paper invoices and e-invoices that do not comply with the new standards can still be exchanged until 31 December 2026, although e-invoices are preferable.
  • After 31 December 2026, even more limited transitional rules will apply until 31 December 2027.

The table below offers a summary:

Graphic E Invoicing Germany

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