XRechnung – Standard for electronic invoices from 2020
All German authorities expect the invoice to be issued as a “German CIUS XRechnung” by all suppliers from November 2020. This requires that the invoices are provided as “XRechnung” documents.
XRechnung is an XML-based semantic data model, which is currently being established as the standard for electronic invoices (to public authorities in Germany). It is therefore an important topic that does not only concern public administration and authorities. Because even if a company sends an invoice to a public authority, it must be a correct electronic invoice and XRechnung is mandatory for this.
What is considered a legally compliant, electronic invoice by public authorities?
First of all, most companies send digital invoices as PDF files. However, this is not a correct invoice for public authorities and administrations. Only XRechnung is considered to be legally compliant and correct, as it allows important invoice data to be processed further without further manual intervention, and further documents to be added. Since November 2018, the corresponding regulations have been in force for all federal ministries and constitutional bodies. From November 2020, all contractors of public authorities will also have to issue their invoices (over 1.000 euros) electronically. Paper invoices or PDF documents will no longer be accepted.
This means that, according to EU Directive 2014/55/EU XRechung is the uniform national standard for invoice exchange by and with public authorities.
Which alternatives to XRechnung are there?
For example, ZUGFeRD 2.0 offers the same possibilities as XRechnung and can also be used to create electronic invoices. Nevertheless, it currently looks as if all public institutions have agreed on XRechnung as a standard.
webPDF and XRechnung
The advantage of webPDF users is that with the latest update of webPDF 8 the function Transform Data will be available. This means that a visual image of X-Rechnungen can be created. This is important for everyone who wants to have an overview/view of the invoice in a certain form in addition to the purely digital X-Rechnung.