E-Invoicing becomes mandatory
After Costa Rica launched a pilot project for large taxpayers on February 14, 2017, e-invoicing was gradually introduced and finally became mandatory for some businesses in 2018.
Since then, companies have been obliged to enroll in the system by the DGT (General Directorate of Taxes) and issue invoices in electronic format. They had six months to implement the new invoicing system and provide the technical means to do so. The following deadlines had to be observed:
Format and Archiving
In Costa Rica, various electronic documents must be created in the standard XML format. These include electronic invoices, credit and debit memos, receipts, confirmation of receipt or rejection of documents.
There is a mandatory archiving period of 5 years. The documents must be stored both at the recipient and at the issuer.
Taxpayers must register with DGT using a security mechanism to sign electronic receipts to ensure integrity and authenticity. Taxpayers must have already implemented this security mechanism.
Since electronic invoicing is done through the Ministry of Finance, all electronic documents must have a confirmation message from the Ministry of Finance. Otherwise, the documents cannot be used as a means to support tax credits or as deductible expenses.
Process of electronic invoicing
When the taxpayer has created his electronic invoice, the taxpayer sends the invoice in XML format to the Ministry of Finance for validation. The tax administration has three hours after receiving the invoice to validate it and to send a confirmation message, which the recipient then receives including the invoice. This process takes place at the structural level and also includes semantic validations (amounts, addresses, etc.).
The invoice recipient must then, upon receipt of the invoice, send a confirmation message to the Treasury. This message contains the rejection or acceptance of the invoice.
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