One day’s notice of Portugal’s latest mandate update


One day before the roll-out of B2G mandatory electronic invoices for SMEs, the Portuguese government announced a further delay.

The small-to-medium enterprise (SME) iteration of the mandate was first planned for January 2022. The mandate was postponed to July 2022 and has now been delayed even further to January 2023.


Portugal’s e-invoicing regulations

Since January 2018, Portugal’s business-to-government (B2G) distribution and exchange of electronic invoices (e-invoices) has been through the country’s own online portal, Entidade de Serviços Partilhados da Administração Públic (eSPap). eSPap's use was voluntary until the first mandatory date came into force in January 2021. 

  • January 2021 - Mandatory B2G electronic invoice exchange began for large businesses (with an annual turnover above € 50 million)
  • July 2021 and January 2022 - The mandate was supposed to roll out to mid-sized and small businesses.
  • January 2023 - After a few postponed deadlines, all businesses will be required to submit and receive electronic invoices exchanged with public administrations.

In Portugal, all e-invoices are exchanged via eSPap in UBL 2.1 (CIUS-PT) format and must be archived for a minimum of 10 years. The archival period applies for both invoices sent and received (eSPap source).


How else is Portugal utilising e-invoicing?

Portugal is also making use of QR codes and electronic signatures.

Since January 2022, all relevant invoices and tax documents must include a QR code. An initiative from the Portuguese Tax Authority to help fight tax evasion even further by being able to check invoice recipients against invoice issuers. Businesses scan the invoice’s QR code via the tax authority app to communicate straight to the Portuguese tax authorities in an even simpler way. 

From December 2022, PDF e-invoices must include a digital signature. Digital signatures ensure the validity of a document. The signature proves a document has not been tampered with since it left its source on a specified date and time.


Why is Portugal putting mandatory e-invoicing processes in place?

Portugal, like many global countries, aims to increase the efficiency of tax collection and VAT declarations. By utilising e-invoicing the government can ensure the correct declared and issued tax.

Portugal’s B2G e-invoicing network, eSPap, goes even further to say that their mission is to increase effectiveness and efficiency through the use of common public resources. The use of one digital invoice exchange creates a more seamless process for all businesses and helps future-proof ways of working.


Stay up to date on global tax compliance change

Follow our Tax Compliance LinkedIn page and receive further tax compliance and e-invoicing updates from around the globe.