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Mexico Says “No Mas” To Printed Invoices

mexico-mapIt was not an April Fool’s joke when printed invoices became outlawed in Mexico as of April 1. The move was designed to force the nation’s businesses, both large and small, to adopt electronic invoicing techniques.

The brazen move has already led to some drastic changes in how people do business in that nation. First, it practically destroyed the once-popular criminal act of people creating fake invoices. Tax dodgers were especially enamored with that type of nefarious behavior. In a recent article in The Economist, a person who ran a printing press for that illegal purpose expressed frustration that the Mexican government has robbed him of his livelihood.

By requiring electronic invoicing for all business and personal transactions within Mexico, that nation’s government stands to gain millions in what had been lost tax revenue. Now, buyers and sellers are being forced to electronically register invoices with tax authorities, ensuring the government will get a cut of the sale.

While Chile was the first Latin American nation to introduce e-invoicing to its business communities ten years ago, Mexico is the first country requiring e-invoicing for all transactions, both business and personal.

In that Economist article, a representative of Mexico’s Tax Administration Service said the nation lost upwards of $3.4 billion in tax revenues from 2007-2009. Today, not only are e-invoices mandated for all Mexican transactions, digital signatures are required, too. That move is designed to ensure the authenticity of all signatures to a digital transaction.

Tami Kamin Meyer is an Ohio attorney and writer.
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