The e-Archive system is now a part of our legislation in parallel with the e-Ledger and e-Billing systems, and it allows for paper invoices to be filed, sent, saved and submitted electronically when necessary. Taxpayers who have switched to the e-billing system can also issue electronic invoices for customers who don’t use e-Billing and as in the e-billing system, they can save the e-Archive bills electronically.

With this system it is aimed to provide convenience for e-billing taxpayers, thus they  no longer have to use paper invoices with the seal of the Ministry of Finance. With the exception of the taxpayers who do commerce via internet and whose annual turnover exceeds TL 5 million, the switching to the e-Archive system is optional. However, the only requirement for the taxpayer to be included in the e-archive system is to already have switched to the e-invoice system. With an e-Archive invoice, the version sent to the receiver as a paper or electronically is considered to be the original document, while the electronic version kept by the issuing authority is legally considered as duplicate.

In the system, all bills except for those filed for taxpayers using the e-billing system are termed e-Archive bills. Taxpayers may access the e-Archive billing system via their own information technology system or via special integration providers.

Procedures for Filing an e-Archive Bill and Submitting the Document to the Customer:

The format of the electronic document used should be a generally recognized format that supports financial seal/ qualified electronic certificates (QES) and allows the receiver to edit, view and print. Taxpayers may also use the e-Invoice format and standard on www.efatura.gov.tr. The Revenue Administration may request may request that the electronic document format used by taxpayers be changed, in case of necessity.

Within the scope of e-Archive system, taxpayers file an invoice as an electronic document and submit it to their customers as a paper document, except for those who are not taxpayers. When an invoice created electronically and submitted in paper, printing can be done by the taxpayer himself. He may also have the printing process done to contracted printing presses or special integration providers. In this case, no notification is made to the Revenue Administration by the contracted printing presses or special integrators.

According to the provisions of the Tax Procedure Law regarding the order of the invoice; it is mandatory to have the signature of the business owner or another authorized signature to appear at the beginning of the invoices. Accordingly, while it is mandatory for a signature to appear on the invoice as per tax regulations, provided that it conforms with the guidelines pertaining to the shape and order of the invoice, the document may bear the signature of a person with an authorized signature at the time the invoice is filed if it is certified by the notary and printed on the (pre-signed) invoice.

For the invoices filed within the scope of the E-Archive system, it is mandatory for the filing time to appear in hours and minutes together with the filing date. In cases where both parties use e-Invoice system, no e-Archive invoice will be filed. In such cases, the e-Invoice system supersedes.

For the taxpayers who are entitled to use the e-Invoice system but have not registered yet, the invoice filed on the e-Archive system is submitted in paper form. In this context, the invoice given to the receiver as paper together with the product can be used as waybill invoice. However, in order to benefit from this option, the invoice should be filed at the time the product is delivered and it must bear the statement ‘Replaces delivery note’.

E-Archive invoices filed for non-taxpayers is submitted in paper or electronic form depending on the consent of the recipient. Invoices, which are requested to be filed electronically, can be submitted via all kinds of electronic means including internet. In these transactions, if the invoice is filed electronically at the time of delivery of the goods the service is rendered, the customer is given a paper printout of this invoice. In this case, the printout must be signed by the seller or company official. In order to benefit from this opportunity, the invoice must be filed at the time of delivery of the goods.

For invoices filed by taxpayers using the e-Ledger system for exported items or products exported as items carried by passengers, the invoice may not be filed using the e-Archive system, and in these cases, the invoice must be filed using e-Invoice. However, the obligation to meet this rule has been postponed until 1 January 2017.

For transactions carried out using cash registers and documented with an e-Bill or an e-Archive bill, a receipt generated by cash registers (including new-generation ones) will replace the delivery note provided that it is generated at the time sale and is signed by the seller or a company official.

Those who sell products and services to customers who are permitted to use e-Archive but are not taxpayers registered online should submit the invoices regarding their sales electronically. In such transactions, the paper printout of the invoice should accompany the product dispatched. Taxpayers who use the e-Archive system are not permitted to file waybill invoice.

Reporting e-Archive Invoices to the Revenue Administration: For electronic documents filed by taxpayers and special integrators permitted to use the e-Archive system, the e-Archive Report filed in accordance with the data format and standards on www. efatura.gov.tr should be approved using a financial seal or QES as well as a timestamp, and it should be submitted to the Revenue Administration system using methods described in the e-Archive Guide. Fulfillment of access and reporting requirements does not waive the responsibility of the taxpayer to store and submit the documents subject to e-archive.

Storing and Submitting Electronic Documents: Taxpayers who have E-Archive permission must comply with the following issues while performing their storage and submission duties. They are obliged to store the duplicate electronic documents and e-Archive reports generated as related documents in the time period set by tax laws and other legal regulations for paper copies and present them upon request.

Duplicate electronic documents and e-Archive reports are stored in the taxpayers’ own IT systems. However, taxpayers, if they wish, may store these documents in corporations authorized by the Revenue Administration for the purpose of document storage. The electronic documents and reports must be stored within the borders of the Republic of Turkey and in areas where the laws of the Republic of Turkey apply.

This obligation does not prevent companies from creating a secondary archive abroad. Taxpayers not registered in the E-Invoice system must receive and store the e-archive invoice filed on their behalf in paper form. In the case that invoices filed for customers who are not taxpayers are submitted electronically, those who are obligated to store the documents must store the invoices received electronically on electronic environment. Consequently, due to the many conveniences it provides, it would be useful for all taxpayers who have already switched to the e-Ledger system to adopt the e-Archive system as soon as possible. Do not hesitate to consult members of the profession for more information.