In Spain, certified scanning of invoices is a computerized process that allows obtaining digital copies of invoices with the same legal value as the paper original. Therefore, the existing legislation allows eliminating paper invoices from which digital invoices are obtained. The IT environment must include a secure database, which allows users and auditors to instantly access and retrieve any invoice for tax inspection or audit purposes.
Electronic invoicing is regulated by Royal Decree 1619/2012 of 30 November 2012, which approves the regulation of invoicing obligations with some provisions defined in Order EHA / 962/2007 of 10 April 2007, which implements certain provisions regarding electronic invoicing and the storage of invoices contained in Royal Decree 1496/2003 of 28 November 2003, which approves the regulation governing invoicing obligations.
Royal Decree 1496/2003 of 28 November 2003 was repealed by Royal Decree 1619/2012 of 30 November, but the rules developed while they were applicable are still in force today.
In accordance with the aforementioned Royal Decree 1619/2012, electronic invoices and digitised invoices must be signed electronically. “A qualified electronic signature, as defined in Article 3.3 of Law 59/2003 of 19 December on electronic signatures, shall be valid”. A qualified signature is an advanced electronic signature based on a qualified certificate and generated by a qualified signature creation device.
The Resolution of the Tax Agency of 24 October 2007, published in the Official State Gazette (BOE) of 1 November 2007, on the procedure for approving software for the certified digitalisation of invoices contained in Article 7 of Order EHA / 962/2007 of 10 April 2007, requires that for the digitalisation software to be approved, an application must be submitted to the Director of the Department of Tax Information at any registry office, in which the applicant must present a declaration of compliance stating that the software complies with the regulations, including various documents: (1) technical documentation describing the software, (2) the auditor’s report on the evaluation of the software and (3) the quality management plan, plus a CD-ROM with information in digital format and a CD-ROM with a copy of the software, in accordance with Article 8 of the aforementioned Resolution.
If the documentation and software comply with the regulations, a resolution shall be issued with the approval, including the reference code to be included in each scanned invoice as part of the metadata.
Once the Tax Agency approves the Certified Scanning software, the electronically signed image obtained through the scanning through such software retains the same validity as any paper invoice when it comes to taxes.
The certified digitalization process involves the use of photoelectric techniques such as those implemented in scanners or cameras and smart phones, to convert the image of a paper document into an encoded digital image according to widely used standard formats and with a resolution level higher than 200 dpi. According to information published on the website of the Spanish Tax Agency AEAT.
As a result, the destruction of large amounts of paper in the form of original documents could be authorized, which would imply savings in the management of documents and archives, as well as a reduction in indirect costs related to taxes.
The following are the requirements to be met by “Certified Scanning Software” to ensure that the scanned image is a good representation of the paper original:
- The scanning process must be carried out automatically in its entirety, from the moment the system takes the photograph until the final file is generated and stored, including the electronic signature.
- The possible image optimization process ensures that all fields and data in the document are perfectly legible and valid for management. The digital image must respect the original geometry of the paper document.
- The software will include metadata information (in XMP format) in each file with the scanned image, including the identification reference of the approval granted by the Tax Office and a time stamp, as well as the name and version number of the scanning software.
The software must record the scanning process in a special database that links the image files with additional information (described in Article 64 of Royal Decree 1624/1992) and includes security functions that act as a “register without deletion” (file that only allows records to be added) that includes electronic signatures for each accounting period (usually monthly or quarterly).
Two documents must be provided for approval: “Technical description” and “Quality management manual”. Users are obliged to comply with the rules of use set out in the “Software Quality Management Manual”.
Other requirements are:
- Minimum resolution of 200 ppi.
- A limited list of file formats is allowed: ISO 19005 (PDF / A); PNG; JPEG 2000; PDF 5.0 or higher; TIFF 6.0 or higher. (only lossless compression algorithms such as LZW are allowed)
- The system for managing and storing the scanned documents should ensure that the scanned documents are fully accessible and searchable for audit purposes.
If you need your scanning software solution to be approved for “Certified Scanning”, please contact EADTrust, the specialist company that can help you define the details of the software and can audit the solution once it is finished. The whole process can be developed in English, if necessary.
You can contact us on +34 91 716 05 55 for more information.