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Mandatory E-Invoicing Imminent In Chile

ChileChile, the first nation to introduce electronic invoicing ten years ago, is taking it one step further. Starting November, 2014, e-invoicing will transition a prescribed business tool to a mandatory one. The new system combines aspects of the batch-oriented folio method utilized in the Mexican CFDI model with real-time communications, as is the norm in Brazil and Argentina.

This past February, Chile’s tax authority, the Servicio de Impuestos Intermos, announced that all commercial invoice transactions sent by companies earning more than 100,000 (UF) Unidad de Fomento yearly must be submitted to it via a standardized electronic format.

The key elements of the incoming Chilean e-invoicing model include, but are not limited to:

  • Folios/Guia de Despacho: a two-part process that combines aspects of the batch-oriented folio scheme popular in the old Mexican CFDI model coupled with real-time communications. The first part of the process is a ‘delivery document’, such as a bill of lading, that is generated and registered with the government as the initial transport event. The second step is that other fiscal documents (such as the invoice or credit/debit notices) are generated and registered as they must specifically refer to the initial delivery document. 

  • Outbound
    There are ten types of electronic fiscal documents, commonly referred to in Latin America as “Documentos Tributarios Electrónicos” or DTE.  Each DTE maintains its own range of government-issued document numbers, which are paginated by the company in sequence as each DTE is produced.

  • Monthly Reports
    At the end of each month, three compliance reports must be uploaded to a government web site for a business, either manually or through automated web service.  The reports summarize that month’s DTE transactions while also notating any Paper-DTE’s the company produced that month.

  • Inbound
    Customers registered for outbound DTE must also be able to receive inbound reports.

  • Contingency
    Paper-based DTE documents are allowed as a contingency measure in case of technical difficulty.  Contingency DTE’s possess a separate range of folio numbers which need not be registered with the government after-the-fact once electronic invoicing operations have resumed, but they are to be included in the relevant reporting extracts at month-end.

E-invoicing for small companies will continue their rollout through 2017, when it becomes mandatory for them, too. Differing revenue tiers will dictate which entities must utilize e-invoicing and by when.

Tami Kamin Meyer is an Ohio attorney and writer.
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