The proposal states: “The requirement of authenticity and the integrity of the content will remain as abstract conditions for the sales tax approval of electronic invoices, but the other requirements for electronic invoices will be abandoned. So, there will be no technical requirements anymore that need to be meet by a German company. “As with paper invoices, the recipient must verify the authenticity and integrity of the content. As a best practice the discussion draft, mentions the qualified digital signature and the EDIFACT process also. The amendment is to take into effect on 1, July 2011.
Until then, § 14 of the Sales Tax Act prescribes that an electronically submitted invoices requires at least a qualified digital signature, so that the receiver can claim the VAT at the tax office. This scheme is based on an EU directive of 2006. The new directive provides for full equality between paper and electronic invoices and must be implemented by 2013 by Member States.