Tax authorities took a cautious view towards e-invoicing in the first round. In some countries even cumbersome extra demands were put on this new practise and crossborder invoicing was made difficult and costly as regulation started to increasingly differ.
Then there was a question. Why should not sending and receiving paper and e-invoicing be treated in the same way from the VAT angle? All invoices are after all produced in the same auditable process and should be stored in the same retrievable way. Are not e-invoices in fact more secure already because of the e-transport and tracability? Why should this practise have additional VAT-angle demands?
Nobody could find any good reasons for causing especially SMEs additional costs and pain by imposing more demands on sending invoices in structured e-form and mostly in managed networks as opposed to paper mail or unstructured e-mail messages. In fact it should be the other way around...................
Then there was light. Most countries in EU now seem to be ready for ET of e- and paper. This is the biggest favour that can be done to the SME-sector - increasingly being forced into e-invoicing by larger trading partners. It will make them much more competitive, cost-efficient and integrated parts of trading networks and provide learning by doing for the next digital document layers. Structured documents can also clearly cut their accounting cost.