Invoice scan as an electronic invoice?


Nowadays, time is one of the most scarce "commodities", especially for entrepreneurs. Therefore, it is very important in running your own business to constantly improve your work and optimize your activities. One of the areas in which an entrepreneur can improve work is the one related to the circulation of documentation.

The idea related to sending invoice scans by e-mail instead of traditional shipping (packing in envelopes, addressing, waiting in the queue and paying for the shipment) certainly improves work and saves time and money. However, is this practice compliant with the regulations? Will the invoices received with the scan allow contractors to deduct VAT?

The answer is YES. Issuing invoices in a traditional (i.e. paper) form, and then scanning them to a format that prevents their modification (e.g. PDF format) is an intermediate state for the entrepreneur between the complete traditional exchange of documentation and the use (in its full meaning) of electronic invoices. The entrepreneur may decide on this method of delivering invoices at any time. However, it should remember that the sent invoice scans are treated as electronic invoices, therefore the acceptance of the contractor is required. However, under the current legislation on the sending of electronic invoices, implied consent is applicable (no objection equates to consent).

In the Individual Ruling IPTPP4 / 443-863 / 12-4 / BM issued on March 26, 2013, the tax authority explains:

(...) Invoices issued in paper form, transferred by scan to PDF and then sent to the customer or from the customer received by e-mail, ensure the authenticity of the origin and integrity of the invoice content. Purchases of goods and services documented with invoices drawn up in paper form, then scanned to a PDF file and sent by e-mail, document the purchases of goods and services used for VAT-taxable activities. (...)”.

It should be obvious for an entrepreneur that when sending invoices in the form of a scan by electronic means, the authenticity of origin, the integrity of the content and legibility should be ensured. However, this is required for any type of invoice, be it on paper or electronically. In addition, invoices should be issued in accordance with the provisions of the VAT Act. Under certain conditions, the documents sent to the contractor in the form of a scan by e-mail are fully-fledged VAT invoices, which are included in the VAT sales register and on the basis of which contractors have a normal right to deduct tax on goods and services (provided, of course, in accordance with the provisions of their is entitled).