It is 2024, and Panama is introducing a mandatory electronic invoice system for all economic activities in the country. The “Dirección General de Ingresos” (DGI), in English translates to “General Directorate of Revenues.”, referring to the government agency responsible for managing and collecting revenues, such as taxes. The DGI announced this initiative to modernize and simplify the invoicing process, replacing traditional fiscal equipment with electronic invoices. This requirement applies now to all taxpayers, including professionals such as lawyers, engineers, architects, and doctors, as well as businesses of all sizes. The DGI is also expanding the limit of free invoices available, allowing taxpayers to issue up to 500 invoices at no cost.
This system has been in the planning since 2016 and was officially implemented for use in 2021 with the law number 256, now including all professions and services, making the use mandatory for everybody conducting business on panamanian soil.
- The use of electronic invoices is mandatory in Panama starting this 2024.
- All taxpayers, including professionals and businesses, will need to adapt to the new system.
- The DGI will provide a free invoicing application with an increased limit of 500 invoices.
- Electronic invoices aim to streamline the invoicing process and improve efficiency.
- Implementation of electronic invoices enhances tax compliance and reduces the risk of evasion.
Benefits of Electronic Invoices
The implementation of electronic invoices brings numerous benefits to businesses and other taxpayers alike. Let’s explore some of the key advantages:
- Simplified Invoicing Process: Electronic invoices streamline the invoicing process, eliminating the need for paper-based invoices and reducing manual data entry. This not only saves time but also minimizes errors and ensures accuracy in recording financial transactions.
- Reduced Paperwork: With electronic invoices, the days of managing stacks of paper are over. Businesses can now digitize their invoicing system, enabling them to store, organize, and retrieve invoices easily. This not only saves physical storage space but also contributes to a more eco-friendly approach.
- Improved Efficiency: Thanks to automation and streamlined workflows, electronic invoices enable faster processing and payment. This means businesses can receive payments more quickly, improving cash flow and enhancing overall operational efficiency.
- Enhanced Tax Compliance: Electronic invoices provide a transparent and traceable record of transactions, ensuring businesses meet their tax compliance obligations. The digitization of invoices minimizes the risk of errors, reduces the potential for tax evasion, and helps businesses maintain accurate financial records.
By harnessing the power of electronic invoices, businesses can enjoy a more efficient and secure invoicing system while ensuring compliance with tax regulations.
“Electronic invoices simplify the invoicing process, reduce paperwork, improve efficiency, and enhance tax compliance.”
Transition and Preparation for Electronic Invoices
To ensure a smooth transition to electronic invoices, businesses and professionals must make necessary preparations for the needed changes. By understanding the requirements and regulations related to electronic invoicing, familiarizing themselves with available invoicing platforms, and ensuring compatibility of their systems and processes, stakeholders can navigate the transition seamlessly.
One crucial aspect of preparation is gaining a comprehensive understanding of the requirements and regulations surrounding electronic invoicing. By familiarizing themselves with the rules set forth by the DGI, businesses can ensure compliance and avoid potential penalties. Additionally, being aware of the specific regulations applicable to their industry will facilitate a smoother transition.
Familiarizing oneself with the available invoicing platforms is another vital step in preparing for the transition to electronic invoices. Businesses and professionals should explore the various platforms offered by authorized service providers to meet their specific needs. This will enable them to select a platform that aligns with their requirements and ensures a seamless integration with their existing systems and processes.
Current common electronic invoicing platforms used in Panama
In Panama, the adoption and implementation of electronic invoicing have been progressing with the Panama Electronic Invoicing System (SFEP), an initiative by the Directorate General of Revenue (DGI). To facilitate this adoption, two main systems are made available:
- A free SFEP invoicing tool that handle a moderate volume of invoices (approximately 500 invoices per month).
- The option for integration through a Qualified Authorization Provider (PAC), suitable for companies that can integrate such systems into their operations.
EDICOM, is one of the notable Authorized Certification Providers (PACs) in Panama, which was accredited by the DGI. This development is part of Panama’s effort to streamline fiscal processes, aligning with the trend in Latin America where electronic invoicing is becoming increasingly common, with countries like Mexico, Costa Rica and Brazil leading the way.
|Suitable for Companies
|Free SFEP Invoicing Tool
|A no-cost tool provided for electronic invoicing
|Companies managing around 500 invoices per month
|Integration through PAC
|Option to integrate using a Qualified Authorization Provider like EDICOM
|Companies capable of integrating such systems
These systems reflect Panama’s commitment to digitalizing fiscal processes, enhancing efficiency, and compliance within the business sector.
It is essential for stakeholders to evaluate the compatibility of their systems and processes with electronic invoices. Depending on the complexity of their operations, businesses may need to make necessary updates or integrate new software solutions to ensure a smooth transition. This may involve working closely with their IT departments or engaging with external providers who specialize in electronic invoicing systems.
The Dirección General de Ingresos (DGI) recognizes the increased volume of information that will be generated by the transition to electronic invoices and is working on the development of a new platform to receive and process this data. By proactively addressing potential system overload and ensuring a seamless transition for all taxpayers, the DGI aims to mitigate any disruptions that may arise during this implementation phase.
Overall, by preparing and adapting well, businesses and professionals can effectively transition to the electronic invoicing system. Understanding the requirements, exploring available platforms, and ensuring compatibility will set the stage for a successful and compliant integration of electronic invoices into their operations.
Steps for Transitioning to Electronic Invoices
|Understand the requirements and regulations related to electronic invoicing.
|Familiarize yourself with available invoicing platforms and select the most suitable one for your business needs.
|Evaluate the compatibility of your systems and processes with electronic invoices and make necessary updates or integrations.
|Collaborate with IT departments or engage with external providers to ensure a smooth integration of electronic invoicing systems.
Impacts on Small and Medium-Sized Businesses
The mandatory use of electronic invoices can have significant impacts on small and medium-sized businesses. These businesses may face specific challenges in adapting to the new electronic invoicing requirements, including the need to invest in updated technology and software.
Upgrading their existing systems can be a financial burden for smaller businesses. However, the Directorate General of Revenues (DGI) understands these challenges and is committed to supporting small and medium-sized businesses during the transition period.
To alleviate the financial burden, the DGI has taken steps to assist these businesses. One such measure includes expanding the limit of free invoices available through the billing and invoicing application. This allows businesses to issue a greater number of invoices at no cost and helps ease their compliance with the electronic invoicing system.
Additionally, the DGI is offering special segments for certain activities to utilize the free invoicing service. This targeted approach further supports small and medium-sized businesses, enabling them to navigate the electronic invoicing requirements without excessive financial strain.
By providing these measures, the DGI recognizes the importance of ensuring a smooth transition to electronic invoices for all businesses, regardless of their size. These initiatives aim to minimize the impacts on small and medium-sized businesses and facilitate their compliance with the new electronic invoicing regulations.
Compliance and Penalties
Complying with the mandatory use of electronic invoices is vital to avoid penalties and ensure adherence to tax regulations. Failure to comply with this requirement can result in fines ranging from US$500 to US$25,000, depending on the severity of the offense or the frequency of non-compliance. These penalties emphasize the importance of integrating electronic invoicing into your business operations to maintain compliance and meet legal obligations.
It is essential to note that as per the legislation, buyers of goods and services are also mandated to request and receive electronic invoices for their purchases. Failure to do so can lead to a separate fine equivalent to US$1.00 or 7% of the value of the goods or services not invoiced. This provision ensures that the entire transaction process remains aligned with tax regulations and contributes to a transparent and reliable financial ecosystem.
“The fines for non-compliance range from US$500 to US$25,000, emphasizing the importance of integrating electronic invoicing into your business operations.”
Technological Advancements and System Updates
The Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) and the Directorate General of Revenue (DGI) in Panama are actively collaborating to develop and maintain a new platform that can effectively handle the increased volume of information generated by electronic invoices. This joint effort aims to ensure the smooth and efficient functioning of the electronic invoicing system, while also enhancing the overall tax compliance process.
These technological advancements and system updates are crucial to support the mandatory use of electronic invoices and streamline the invoicing process for businesses and taxpayers. The new platform will significantly improve data collection, storage, and processing capabilities, making it easier for all stakeholders to meet the electronic invoicing requirements.
Through these advancements, businesses and taxpayers can expect a more user-friendly experience and enhanced efficiency in managing their invoicing activities. The new platform will provide robust functionalities and features to simplify the process of generating and managing electronic invoices, reducing the administrative burden for taxpayers.
Moreover, with the updated system, the MEF and DGI aim to ensure that the electronic invoicing infrastructure can cope with the increasing demand and volume of transactions efficiently. This will prevent system overload and ensure that all invoices are processed accurately and in a timely manner, contributing to improved tax compliance in the country.
“The collaboration between the Ministry of Economy and Finance and the Directorate General of Revenue demonstrates the commitment of the Panamanian government to leverage technological advancements to enhance tax compliance and promote transparency in economic transactions. The new platform will revolutionize the way businesses and taxpayers manage their invoicing activities, making it more efficient, secure, and convenient for all parties involved.” – Representative from the Ministry of Economy and Finance
Improved Features of the New Platform:
- Seamless integration with existing accounting software
- Automated invoice generation and delivery
- Efficient data validation and verification
- Enhanced security measures to protect sensitive financial data
- Real-time tracking and monitoring of invoices
- User-friendly interface for easy navigation and usage
To ensure a successful transition to the new platform, the MEF and DGI conducted rigorous testing and quality assurance processes. They are working closely with key stakeholders, including businesses, accounting professionals, and technology providers, to gather valuable feedback and address any potential issues or challenges that may arise.
These technological advancements and system updates underline Panama’s commitment to embracing digital innovation and improving tax compliance in the country. The new platform will empower businesses and taxpayers with a modern and efficient invoicing system, supporting the seamless adoption of electronic invoices and facilitating the transition to a more digitalized economy.
Training and Support
The successful implementation of electronic invoices requires adequate training and support for everybody involved. The Directorate General of Revenue (DGI) in Panama recognizes the need to provide businesses and professionals with the necessary resources and knowledge to understand the electronic invoicing system and ensure compliance.
To assist with this, the DGI has developed comprehensive training programs that cover various aspects of electronic invoicing. These programs are designed to equip participants with the skills and knowledge needed to navigate the available platforms effectively.
Moreover, the DGI is committed to taxpayer education and aims to make the transition to electronic invoices as seamless as possible. They have established online resources, including informational guides, video tutorials, and frequently asked questions (FAQs), to provide easy access to relevant information.
DGI representatives are also available to offer assistance and address any concerns or questions related to electronic invoicing. Whether it’s clarifying regulations or troubleshooting technical issues, businesses and professionals can rely on the support of the DGI.
“The DGI understands the importance of a smooth transition to electronic invoicing for all taxpayers,” says Maria Rodriguez, a representative from the DGI. “That’s why we are dedicated to providing comprehensive training and support to ensure compliance and facilitate the adoption of this new invoicing system.”
By focusing on training and support, the DGI aims to empower businesses and professionals to adapt to the electronic invoicing system effectively. This approach not only helps to minimize disruptions during the transition but also fosters a culture of compliance and taxpayer education.
The mandatory use of electronic invoices in Panama, starting in 2024, presents significant changes and challenges for businesses and taxpayers. However, embracing electronic invoices also brings numerous benefits, including improved efficiency, reduced paperwork, and enhanced tax compliance.
To ensure a smooth transition, businesses and professionals should familiarize themselves with the electronic invoicing requirements, utilize available training and support resources, and ensure their systems are compatible with electronic invoices.
The Dirección General de Ingresos (DGI) is committed to facilitating this transition and providing necessary assistance to ensure compliance with the new electronic invoicing regulations. By embracing the era of electronic invoices, Panama is taking a significant step towards modernizing its tax compliance processes and promoting transparency in economic transactions.
What is an electronic invoice?
An electronic invoice, also known as a factura electrónica, is a digital version of a traditional paper invoice. It is generated and transmitted electronically, providing a simplified and efficient invoicing process. Read more here.
When will the use of electronic invoices become mandatory in Panama?
The mandatory use of electronic invoices will start in 2024 for all economic activities in Panama.
Who is required to adapt to the new electronic invoicing system?
All taxpayers, including professionals such as lawyers, engineers, architects, and doctors, as well as businesses of all sizes, are required to adapt to the new electronic invoicing system.
What are the benefits of using electronic invoices?
Electronic invoices simplify the invoicing process, reduce paperwork, improve efficiency, enable faster processing and payment, streamline the overall invoicing system, and enhance tax compliance.
How can businesses and professionals prepare for the transition to electronic invoices?
To prepare for the transition, businesses and professionals should understand the requirements and regulations related to electronic invoicing, familiarize themselves with available invoicing platforms, and ensure their systems and processes are compatible with electronic invoices.
What impacts will the mandatory use of electronic invoices have on small and medium-sized businesses?
Small and medium-sized businesses may need to invest in updated technology and software to comply with the electronic invoicing requirements. However, the government is providing support by expanding the limit of free invoices available and offering special segments for certain activities to utilize the free invoicing service.
What are the penalties for non-compliance with the mandatory use of electronic invoices?
The fines for non-compliance range from US$500 to US$25,000, depending on the severity of the offense or the frequency of non-compliance. Buyers of goods and services are also required to request and receive an electronic invoice, and failure to do so can result in a fine.
What technological advancements and system updates are being developed to handle electronic invoices?
The Ministry of Economy and Finance and the DGI are working on a new platform to receive and process the increased volume of information generated by electronic invoices. This platform aims to prevent system overload and ensure a seamless transition for all taxpayers.
Will there be training and support available to help businesses and professionals with the transition to electronic invoices?
Yes, the DGI is planning to provide training programs and resources to help businesses and professionals understand the electronic invoicing system, navigate the available platforms, and ensure compliance. Taxpayer education initiatives, online resources, and assistance from DGI representatives will also be available.