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QR Codes and VAT invoices – global tracker

Invoice Quick Response Codes are becoming mandatory as tax authorities digitise

As part of the efforts to recover billions in lost VAT fraud and digitise tax, many tax authorities are imposing the obligation to include Quick Response Codes (QR Codes) on VAT / GST invoices.  What purpose does an invoice QR Code serve, and who is imposing them?

QR Codes, invented in 1994, are two-dimensional barcodes. Developed to help identify parts for the automotive industry, they are now becoming popular requirements on invoices, receipts and customs documentation. This can include providing valuable authentication of the paper-invoice details. There are a number of international standards set.

Our VAT Advisor automatically provides linked QR Codes on your invoices so you are compliant today in countries like Portugal, Greece, India and then many more as governments upgrade to e-invoicing; and our VAT Calculator will produce all the required data for their preparation.

VAT Urban Myth: QR Codes hold VAT invoice details

The QR Code is actually a machine-readable URL address which is where all the invoice and transactions details are available. So the QR Code does not itself hold the invoice details. As paper invoices are being phased out for more secure e-invoicing, QR Codes are being imposed as an interim requirement on paper invoices to support their validity.

Examples of QR Code mandatory adoption:

How VAT Advisor gives you instant answers to global VAT headaches

Need instant VAT / GST calculations, legal reference back-up and compliant invoices for complex cross-border transactions?
- Which is the right country to tax the transaction?
- How much VAT should be charged – based on the correct rate - and by whom?
- Does this change for ‘may’ provisions, triangulation, warehousing, withholding VAT and other country variations?
- Should you VAT register to declare and pay the VAT / GST?
- What local tax laws or regional VAT union rules back these conclusions?
- What should your sales or your supplier’s invoice include to avoid lost tax?
- Which VAT return boxes and filings should the transaction be reported in?
How our ready-to-go application, VAT Advisor, solves this:
Live answers based on basic details to the most complex international VAT transactions:
- Where and how much VAT to charge - transparent numbers to share
- Is the supplier or customer responsible, and do they have to VAT register
- Fully compliant VAT invoice to share within Advisor application to agree treatment, including QR Code to meet global requirements
- Details of VAT return box numbers to report the sale and/or purchase
- Domestic and EU VAT Directive legislative references to support with colleagues, customers, suppliers or tax authorities
Company-wide and individual logins, enabling standard transaction template-setting to help ensure consistent and clear application for recurring transactions. You can even forward invoices to customers / suppliers for them to review and approve with their own login.
Since VAT Advisor is part of our single-platform VAT calculation and reporting application, VAT Calc, you can click ‘COMMIT’, and the transaction will be included in your next VAT return without further effort or reconciliation


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