What’s up in Russian e-invoicing?

What’s up in Russian e-invoicing?

It has been a while since we posted news about Russia. To recap: e-invoicing is regulated but optional. Issuance is done via accredited operators, whereby both supplier and buyer must participate in a duplex clearance choreography. For more background, see previous posts.

Interoperability across operators (called “roaming” in Russia – a misnomer) has been an adoption barrier. The situation has improved; the 4 largest operators have agreements in place, but full interoperability is not there, despite a governmental initiative to regulate a central interconnection hub.

There is some uncertainty regarding archiving due to the privacy legislation. While tax law has no restrictions for e-invoices containing personal data being stored abroad, privacy law restricts processing of personal data to Russian soil. Exceptions exist, but the safe card is to keep archives in Russia.

Adoption is still slow and there are no mandates. The Tax Administration (TA) expectation was voluntary mass adoption as enterprises are used to e-accounting reports and digital signatures. We expect mandates to come and the question is what strategy the TA will apply to enforce adoption.

There are however other impressive advances. E-accounting has been expanded to include invoice summaries that the TA uses to automatically contrast the supplier and buyer e-reports in a matter of days. Upon discrepancies, trade-partners are notified to submit electronically the documents supporting the transaction. As paper is widely used, only scanned versions are allowed, which must be digitally signed.

Finally, there is a new mandate deadline July 1st. Most Point-Of-Sales (POS) must report in real-time each transaction to the TA via accredited operators. Thus, there is an ongoing massive project replacing cash machines with connected ones.

To summarize, Russian e-invoicing is not progressing as fast as other clearance countries, but the TA is successfully introducing alternative real-time electronic taxation.

Luis Barriga, Director of Business Development TrustWeaver

25 May 2017