Leg number 1 is the VAT directive for equal treatment and other unification. No demands can be put on electronic invoices by tax authorities that is not put on paper invoices.
Leg number 2 is the ISO standard for e-invoicing which is built on the Cross Industry Invoice content standard - to be formally approved within the next 3 months.
The body – a just-like-payments-working-network of e-invoice service providers – is still missing. Some small islands of roaming has appeared – but it is still seldom possible for my e-invoice service provider to send e-invoices to my customer’s service providers. The natural target is that this should work just like payments – let banks compete for my business – and I can send payments through the winner to all accounts in the world.
The reason why banks are so important as service providers is that most of their customers have the habit of sending payments in e-banking services – using the same also for sending e-invoices is easy.
But the body should include all service providers – non-banks and banks. Much work needed to get it in place – and the EU-commission must take the initiative for the stage.