Vietnam Issues New E-Invoices Decree

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Vietnam recently issued Decree No.119/2018/ND-CP (“Decree 119”) on the use of electronic invoices (e-invoices) for the sale of goods and services. Through Decree 119 which will be in effect from November 1, 2018, the government is aiming that at least 90 percent of the firms will use e-invoices by 2020. 

Types of e-invoices

There are two types of e-invoices, one with the tax authority’s verification code and one without. E-invoices with the verification codes can be used for tax declarations.

Firms in the electricity, petroleum, telecommunication, credit financing, transportation, e-commerce, insurance, supermarkets, and trading sectors can use e-invoices without verification codes. In addition, enterprises that transact directly with the tax authorities electronically or have the technology infrastructure, accounting software, and e-invoice software as per regulations do not require to use e-invoices with verification codes.

For individual and companies involved in the agriculture, forestry, fishery, industry, and construction sectors employing more than 10 labourers and having an annual revenue over VND 3 billion in the preceding year must use e-invoices with verification codes. In the trade and services sector, if the individuals and companies have an annual revenue of over VND 10 billion, they need to use e-invoices with verification codes.

Issuing e-invoices

Companies need to register before they use e-invoices (with or without tax codes) to get approval from the tax authorities through the General Department of Taxation’s website.

Business and individuals selling goods or providing services need to issue an e-invoice (with or without tax codes) to the buyer in a standardized format prescribed by the tax authorities. They are required to provide all the necessary information, regardless of the invoice value.

In case a POS system is used, the seller needs to register for the use of e-invoices sent by the POS system for online transfer of data with the tax department.

E-invoices can be converted into paper invoices for accounting purposes but cannot be used as valid invoices for conducting transactions.

Transition period

Businesses that have already self-printed their invoices or have received invoices issued by the tax authorities before November 1, 2018, can use them till the end of October 31, 2020, in accordance with Decree No. 51/2010/ND-CP and the Decree No. 04/2014/ND-CP.

In the case where the tax authorities have notified businesses to switch to e-invoices between November 1, 2018, and October 31, 2018, and the businesses fail to meet the information technology infrastructure requirements, they need to send their invoice data to the tax office. The tax office will use those invoices for their database and post them on the General Department of Taxation’s information portal.

Public organizations such as medical establishments and schools that use fee receipts are allowed to continue using the receipts but need to move to electronic receipts or e-invoices according to the roadmap of the Ministry of Finance.

E-invoices will not only save time and costs but will also reduce the administrative burden and help in account reconciliation, minimizing billing frauds, and maintaining transparency. As per government estimates, if 2.5 billion invoices are used in a year, firms can save around VND 1 trillion (US$43.9 million).

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