Application of the new Law on Accounting (Official Gazette of RS no. 73/2019) has started on 1 January 2020, with exception of certain provisions whose application was further delayed. This was the case with Article 9, para. 3 of this law, which will start to apply from 1 January 2022.
This provision stipulates that the invoice as accounting document shall be prepared and submitted to legal entities and entrepreneurs in electronic form and it shall be certified by responsible person who certifies its validity by his/her signature or other identification mark. Identification mark shall be defined by a general act whereby a legal entity/entrepreneur regulates the organisation of accounting (rulebook on accounting).
Therefore, starting from 2022, all invoices issued to legal entities and entrepreneurs shall be done in electronic form and submitted electronically.
The issuance of electronic invoices is possible even now, and they are equally valid as paper invoices. In accordance with the joint elaboration of the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications of 12 December 2017, electronic invoice does not have to be signed by electronic signature as it may contain identification mark of the responsible person (i.e. person responsible for issuance of invoice) instead.
The notion “identification mark” represents any mark that unambiguously denotes/refers to responsible person or a person authorized for issuance of accounting documents. Therefore, it can be name and surname, signature, facsimile, e-signature etc., as well as combination of these or other marks. If a legal entity or entrepreneur uses “identification mark” instead of signature during invoice issuance, the internal act – accounting rulebook needs to specify such responsible person/person authorized for issuance of such invoices, as well as to define “identification mark”.
Also, legal entities and entrepreneurs are under no obligation to print and thus keep the invoice originally prepared in electronic form as they are stored in the form in which they were generated.
The Ministry of Finance has recently announced the adoption of the Law on Electronic Invoice what will more closely regulate the issuance of e-invoices. This law will start to apply from 1 January 2022, which corresponds to the outset of application of the quoted provision of the Law on Accounting.
As announced, the new system will imply the exchange of e-invoices through single platform, so as to influence business digitization, to speed up business flow, notification and bring about environmental benefits (e.g. reduced consumption of paper and toners).
This article is to be considered as exclusively informative, with no intention to provide legal advice.
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By Milan Petrovic, Managing Partner, PR Legal