Although it was already foreseen before the pandemic, this has made the QR Code an increasingly evident and present reality nowadays.
Decree-Law No. 28/2019, of February 15, regulated and changed several tax obligations regarding the processing of invoices and other tax-relevant documents, as well as the keeping of company accounts.
This law introduces the QR Code on invoices, allowing a simplification in the communication of invoices by individuals to determine their tax-deductible expenses, also aiming to fight the informal economy, fraud and tax evasion. Thus, invoices and fiscally relevant documents must now contain these elements.
Planned for the beginning of 2021, the mandatory recording of these items on invoices and other relevant tax documents was extended until January 2022 with the approval of the State Budget, the proposal to suspend this measure was approved in specialty OE votes due to the pandemic.
QR code on invoices: what is it and what are the tax benefits for companies?
A QR Code may be included, on an optional basis, on invoices and tax-relevant documents from the beginning of 2021, largely due to the tax benefit created by the Government for those who adopt it and apply it to their invoices.
Is there a Transition period?
Yes, the transitional regime is ensured by the diploma for users of invoicing software or other electronic means, regarding the series they wish to keep in use, continuing the respective sequential numbering. For users of pre-printed documents in authorized printers, they may continue to use this type of documents until December 31, 2021.
This benefit consisted of a markup in:
- 140% on implementation expenses for those who would do so by the end of the 1st quarter of 2021;
- 130% for companies that implemented them by the end of the 1st half of 2021;
- 120% in all other situations.
What changes in the invoices?
According to Ministerial Order 195/2020, the QR Code and the ATCUD (Single Document Code) are elements that must be present in invoices and other tax relevant documents (of presentation to the client or that allow the checking of goods and services).
The QR Code (Quick Response Code) is a two-dimensional bar code that can be scanned by most camera phones and that will allow invoices to be communicated without the taxpayer having to provide their tax number. In other words, in everyday life, it will no longer be necessary to provide the taxpayer’s number at the time of purchase. Printing the code on the invoice will make it easier to enter it into the e-Invoice program after the purchase, without needing the taxpayer number and in real time.
The ATCUD is a unique document code composed of the series validation code and the sequential number of the document within the series, assigned by the Tax Authority.
What are the Implications of this Measure?
Professionals and companies will be required to print the QR Code and ATCUD on their tax documents. Thus, the main implications are related to the creation and proper use of these new elements.
The QR Code must be generated correctly and appear on the first or last page of the invoice. It must be perfectly legible, regardless of the medium in which it is presented to the customer. For the elaboration of the QR Code, the technical specifications defined by the Autoridade Tributária e Aduaneira must be respected.
The series validation code to be assigned by the AT will be composed of a set of at least eight characters. The ATCUD, with the format “ATCUD:CodigodeValidação-NumeroSequencial”, must appear on all invoices and other tax relevant documents, issued by invoicing software and other electronic means of invoicing, as well as by authorized printers. Like the QR Code, the ATCUD must be perfectly legible, regardless of the medium in which it is presented to the customer.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and according to the Order 412/2020 of October 23rd and also the Law no. 75-B/2020, these are the deadlines that must be met:
The QRCode should be implemented as of January 2022;
ATCUD will only be mandatory on invoices and other relevant documents as of January 1, 2022;
From the 2nd half of 2021, the AT will allow the communication of document series, to obtain the respective validation codes.
What are the requirements and technical specifications of the QR Code on invoices?
The QR Code should contain the main data of an invoice, such as the tax identification of the buyer and the issuer, the country, number, date, lines and installments, the amount of taxes and fees.
As of January 1, 2023, the ATCUD (unique document code) element will also have to be part of the QR Code data.
The technical specifications defined by the AT determine that the QR Code:
Must be issued by programs certified by the AT;
Be perfectly legible, regardless of the medium in which it is presented to the client (paper, electronic, etc.);
In documents with more than one page, the QR Code must be on the 1st or last page;
It must have a minimum size of 3×3 cm, when represented in the physical or digital invoice.
Make sure your invoicing system is prepared for these changes, with your Certified Accountant and invoicing software provider.
What are the Benefits of QR Code and ATCUD?
ATCUD aims to simplify and speed up the communication of invoices to determine deductible expenses for IRS purposes, promoting greater transparency in the purchasing process, both for the merchant and the client. On the other hand, the QR Code aims to combat tax fraud, hindering the parallel economy.
Benefits of QR Code Invoices
As a measure that promotes modernization at work and business competitiveness, the QR Code exists as an element that enhances the digital transition by contributing to:
- A greater transparency in the purchasing process;
- Facilitating communication with the AT;
- Combat fraud and tax evasion;
- Simplifying the life of citizens in the insertion of expenses that give the right to a discount in the IRS;
- Decomplicate the identification and access to information for users;
- Electronic invoicing with a higher level of agility.