In the bustling world of B2B meeting and event (M&E) management, issuing invoices is a legal obligation. In this article, we delve into common questions about invoicing as it relates to B2B meetings and events in the European Union (EU).
Do I need to issue an invoice for B2B meeting and event commissions in the EU?
Yes, invoicing is mandatory and the B2B event industry is not an exception. An invoice is a document that explains the money owed to a business and the respective VAT derived from the transaction. In the event of an audit from the local Tax Authority, invoices help to verify all transactions carried out by a business and the collected VAT.
What information do I need to include in the invoice?
This is the minimum information that an invoice must contain in the European Union countries:
- Issuance date
- Unique invoice sequential number
- Customer’s VAT identification number
- Supplier’s full name and address
- Customer’s full name and address
- Description of quantity and type of services rendered
- Date of transaction or payment (if different from invoice date)
- VAT rate applied
- VAT amount payable
- Breakdown of VAT amount payable by VAT rate or exemption
- Unit price of goods or services – exclusive of tax, discounts, or rebates (unless included in the unit price).
When do I need to issue an invoice?
For event management companies, as for any other B2B transaction, an invoice is to be issued no later than the 15th day of the following month of the time of supply. The time of supply is considered when your client agrees to pay a commission for the service offered, or when making the actual payment.
Is an electronic invoice mandatory for the B2B event industry in the EU?
According to the European Commission (EC) VAT Directive, electronic invoices are not mandatory for B2B transactions, they are just optional.
Currently, a PDF invoice is considered an e-invoice, but this definition will change once the Commission’s “VAT in the Digital Age” (VIDA) proposal is approved. Structured invoices (XML, UBL, JSON) will only be considered electronic invoices.
Do all countries have the same regulations in terms of invoicing?
No, individual EU countries may adopt stricter national rules based on the EC approval. Italy has been aiming to reduce the VAT gap enforced by electronic invoices (XML format) for all B2B transactions since 2019. Unlike the rest of the countries, PDF invoices are not allowed. The next countries implementing e-invoicing requirements will be France and Poland starting in July 2024.
Spain, Belgium, Slovakia, and Germany are also in the process of switching to mandatory e-invoices across the country even though there are no official timelines yet.
Where is invoicing heading in Europe?
Looking at the VAT in the Digital Age (VIDA) Proposal, e-invoices will become mandatory for intra-community (among EU countries) transactions by 2028. However, many European countries will implement e-invoices even earlier.
How can GroupPay by Onyx CenterSource help with your invoicing requirements?
GroupPay has an internal invoicing solution for generating and distributing invoices for your B2B events. GroupPay removes the burden of all pains associated with invoicing and helps you stay compliant in EU countries by generating tax invoices in either PDF format or in structured formats as required. Click here to learn more about GroupPay.