In Spain, Certified Digitization of Invoices is a computer process that allows to get digital  true copies of invoices with the same legal value as the paper based original, so the existing legislation allows to eliminate paper invoices from which the digitized invoices are obtained. The computer environment must include a Secure Data Base, which allows users and auditors to access and retrieve instantly any invoice for tax inspection or auditing purposes.

Electronic invoicing is regulated by the  Royal Decree 1619/2012 of 30 November 2012 approving the regulation of billing obligations with some provisiones defined in Ordinance EHA/962/2007  Order of 10 April 2007 implementing certain provisions regarding electronic invoicing and storage of invoices contained in Royal Decree 1496/2003 of 28 November 2003 approving the regulation  governing invoicing obligations.

Royal Decree 1496/2003 of 28 November was repealed by Royal Decree 1619/2012 of 30 November but the rules developed while it was of application, are still valid nowadays.

According to aforementioned RD 1619/2012 electronic invoices and digitized invoices ought to be electronically signed. “It will be valid a qualified electronic signature, as defined under Article 3.3 of Law 59/2003 of 19 December on electronic signature”. A qualified signature is an advanced electronic signature based on a qualified certificate and generated by a secure signature creation device.

The Tax Agency Resolution of 24 October 2007, published in the Official State gazette (BOE) of 1 November 2007, on the procedure for approving the software for the certified digitisation of invoices set out in Article 7 of Order EHA/ 962/2007 of 10 April 2007, requires that for the digitisation software to be approved, an application must be presented to the Director of the Tax Information Department in any registry office, in which the applicant must provide a statement of compliance declaring that the software complies with the regulations, including several documents: (1) technical documentation describing the software, (2) the auditor’s report on the assessment 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, as per Article 8 of the aforementioned Resolution. If the documentation and software comply with regulations, a resolution will be issued with the approval, including the reference code that is to be included in every digitized invoice as metadata.

Once Tax Agency approves the Certified Digitization software, the electronic signed image that is obtained through digitization via such a software keeps the same validity as any paper invoice when it comes to tax purposes.

Certified digitization process involves the use of photo-electric techniques as those implemented in scanners or photo and smartphone cameras, to convert the image on a paper document into a digital image encoded according to standard formats widely used and with a resolution level higher than 200 ppp acording to information published in the web page of the spanish tax Agency AEAT.

As a consequence, the destruction of large amounts of paper in the form of original documents could be authorized, leading to savings in document and file handling as well as a reduction of indirect tax related costs.

The following are the requirements that the “Certified Scanning Software” must fulfill to guarantee that the digitized image is a good representation of paper original:

  • The digitization process should be carried out automatically in its entirety, from the moment the system take the picture till the final file including the electronic signature is generated and stored.
  • The possible image optimization process guarantees that all fields and data in the document are perfectly legible and valid for its management. Digital image must respect the original geometry of the document in paper format.
  • The software generates metadata information (in XMP format) in every file with the digitized image including identification reference of the approval granted by the Tax Agency and a timestamp, as well as the name and the version number of the scanning software.
  • The software should register the digitization process in a special database which links the image files with additional information (described in article 64 of Royal Decree 1624/1992) and includes security features to behave as an “append only log” inluding electronic signatures for every accounting period (usually, monthly or quaterly)

Two documents are to be provided for the homologation: “Technical Description” and “Quality Management Manual “. Users are mandated to comply with the usage rules set forth in the “Software Quality Management Manual ”

Other requirements, are:

  • Minimun  resolution of 200 ppi.
  • A limited list of file formats are allowed: ISO 19005 (PDF / A); PNG; JPEG 2000; PDF 5.0 or higher; TIFF 6.0 or higher. (only lossless compression algorithms are allowed, such as LZW)
  • The management and storage system of the digitized documents, must guarantee access and full search of the digitized documents for audit purposes

If you need your digitization software solution to be approved for “Certified Scanning” or “Certified Digitization” contact EADTrust, the specialist company that can help you to define de details of the software and can audit the solution once is finished. All the process can be developed in english, if needed.

You can call +34 91 7160555 for more information