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Articles & expert opinion


Obligation to issue invoices to the public administration using electronic means

As of 15 January 2015 invoices issued by companies to the public administration must be sent in electronic format.

The aforesaid regulation shall affect invoices issued by companies for any level of the administration: national, autonomous regional and local administrations (town councils, provincial councils, etc.). 

It will also affect invoices issued to autonomous bodies, public universities, public law organisations, constitutional bodies and social security mutual insurance funds. The only exemption from this mandatory procedure shall be companies with more than 50% of the capital belonging to the public administration (Correos, TVE, etc.) or public national business institutions and similar bodies attached to the autonomous communities and local entities (AENA, ADIF, Puertos del Estado, etc.). 

Electronic invoices may be generated by using specific IT programmes belonging to companies or the free computer programme made available by the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism.


Electronic invoices may also be prepared by an e-invoicing service provider (issued by an intermediary third party).

Electronic invoices shall be written in a specific computer language (facturae format in the various versions), they shall state the addressee (mentioning the accounting office, management body and processing unit) and they shall be signed using a recognised e-certificate.


If a third party issues the invoice, said party shall electronically sign the invoices.


Invoices shall be issued using Internet portals enabled specifically by the administrations (FACe, eFACT, etc.) ensuring access may be gained to those portals to see the processing stage of the invoices, to check the directory of units to become acquainted with the identification code of the addressee administrations, etc. 

It should be pointed out that the issue of electronic invoices shall not hold companies free from preserving a copy of the invoices issued for the time legally established.


Moreover, in order to avoid problems and delays, it is advisable for companies to ensure that their computer systems are suited to the requirements needed to issue such invoices.


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