e-Invoicing becomes mandatory in Colombia from 2019

e-Invoicing becomes mandatory in Colombia from 2019


January 1, 2019 sees the start of a new phase for e-invoicing in Colombia. From that date, all those responsible for declaring VAT and Impoconsumo (Consumer Goods Tax) will be obliged to use this new system, according to the changes made in the latest tax reform (Law 1819 of 2016).

The obligation to issue e-Invoices is expected to reach over 800,000 businesses throughout the country, which will mean a real increase in the adoption of this technology. This is the goal being pursued by the National Tax and Customs Directorate (DIAN) with this new requirement, which could also reduce tax evasion rates, modernize tax compliance and increase savings for both the public and private sectors.

Although there is still a little more than a year to go for the system to be mandatory among taxpayers, the fact is that adoption of the new e-invoicing model will begin beforehand. In fact, for the remainder of 2017 and during 2018 the DIAN plans to have at least 50,000 companies billing electronically.

Who will be the first to comply?

Soon the DIAN will begin to publish the first lists of liable taxpayers. These will be selected, according to the regulations "by a sectorial criterion according to the high risk of evasion identified therein and the least effort required for implementation”.

It is therefore foreseeable that the first taxpayers required to invoice electronically will be big businesses, with technological capacity or relevant sectors in the tax area.

Once the DIAN notifies these taxpayers of their obligation the deadline to adapt to the new system will be just 3 months. If the requirement isn’t met the penalties stipulated in article 651 of the tac statute shall apply. For this reason it is imperative that companies begin to prepare as soon as possible.

Those not required to do so may use e-invoicing voluntarily to enjoy the benefits associated with the system. To do so, they must first notify the DIAN of their interested in joining the e-Invoicing system. They will then have 3 months to carry out the pertinent trials. If successful, they will have to start billing in the next 3 months.

How to begin e-Invoicing in Colombia?

The DIAN provides two e-invoicing options. The first consists of using a free IT service from the tax body that enables you to create and download the invoices manually. This alternative is aimed at micro and small businesses lacking the capacity to implement advanced technology solutions.

The second option is to engage the services of a provider authorized by the DIAN, such as EDICOM. This allows you to automate the entire process of creating, validating and submitting electronic invoices following the regulatory requirements. As a result, the benefits of using this system are maximized, as reducing tasks increases business productivity, reduces errors and expedites tax compliance.

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