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Hungary: Expected changes in electronic invoicing - how will they affect companies and the taxation system?

Real-time monitoring of invoice transactions is nothing new for most Hungarian businesses. However, this will not be the biggest challenge introduced by the EU legislative package which will be implemented in several stages during the next five years.
Mátè Nagy
Junior accountant
László Hosszú
Hungary Country Manager

The proposed changes will require some entrepreneurs to make significant adjustments within their companies.

Pursuant to the planned legislative package, invoices will have to be issued electronically. Member states can request an exemption from the mandatory application. However, electronic invoicing cannot be avoided for intra-community EU transactions. From 2024, a customer's consent will no longer be required to issue an e-invoice for domestic transactions, whereas now the customer can still opt for a paper-based invoice. The directive also changes the definition of an electronic invoice, which must be issued, forwarded and, of course, received in a structured electronic form enabling its automatic and electronic processing. It will be mandatory to indicate the bank account number, the payment deadline and the serial number of the correction invoice on the structured invoice.

As for intra-community transactions - if the buyer is liable to pay the tax - the invoice must be issued within two days. Technically, these invoices will also have to be uploaded to national tax authorities which will forward them to a common EU database. This means that the data of a transaction concluded on Monday should appear in the EU database no later than on Wednesday.

These changes are significant due to the fact that currently, companies - not only in Hungary – are obliged to fulfill this invoicing obligation within 15 days from the month of a transaction’s completion. Providing data about the transaction within two days is necessary even if the invoice is not issued within the deadline. In accordance with the above, collective invoicing will also cease. Frequent sales invoices cannot be issued together once a month.

Transparency would be fully served if the recipient also filled out the data in the same way, but there is no information yet on activities on the recipient's side. In parallel with the above, among other things, the community aggregate reporting obligation (A60) will also be abolished.

The goal of these changes is to desist some forms of tax fraud, especially VAT fraud. Nonetheless, putting the new rules into practice will not be easy, even in the case of law-abiding companies.

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