Along with the e-Ledger and e-Invoice systems, the e-Archive system is now a part of our legislation, and it allows for paper invoices to be filed, sent, saved and, when necessary, submitted electronically.
Taxpayers who have switched to the e-Ledger system can also file electronic invoices for customers who don’t use e-Invoice, as well as saving the e-Archive invoices electronically like they can with e-Invoice. This system seeks to provide convenience for e-Invoice taxpayers, who no longer have to use paper invoices with the seal of the Ministry of Finance obtained from the printing press. Switching to the e-Archive system is optional for taxpayers with the exception of those who do commerce via the internet and who have an annual turnover of more than 5 million TL. However, the only requirement to benefit from the e-Archive system is for the taxpayer to already have switched to the e-Invoice system. With an e-Archive invoice, the version sent to its receiver as a paper document or electronically is considered to be the original document, while the electronic version kept by the issuing authority is legally regarded as a duplicate.
Taxpayers who sell products or services via the internet and whose gross sales revenues in their 2014 statement of income is equal to or greater than 5 million lira must switch to the e-Archive system until January 1, 2016, and there is currently no time extension on the deadline. Taxpayers who do not meet the criteria for 2014 are obligated to switch to the e-Archive system by completing their application and active preparations by the beginning of the accounting term following the date when the income or corporate tax return must be submitted for the accounting term during which they do meet the criteria. For instance, a taxpayer who sells products and services via the internet and whose gross sales revenue for 2015 was over 5 million lira must switch to the e-Archive system by January 1, 2017. For all other taxpayers not included in these categories, switching to the e-Archive system is optional. All invoices except for those filed for taxpayers using the e-Invoice system are termed e-Archive invoices in the system. Taxpayers may access the e-Archive invoice system via their own information technology system or via special integration providers.
Procedures for Filing an e-Archive Invoice and Submitting the Document to the Customer:
The electronic document must be in a generally recognizable format that supports financial seals/ qualified electronic certificates (QES) and allows the receiver to edit, view and print the document. Taxpayers may also use the e-Invoice format and standard found on www.efatura.gov.tr. The Revenue Administration may ask the taxpayers to change the format used for electronic documents if they consider it necessary.
With the e-Archive system, taxpayers file an invoice as an electronic document and submit it to their customers – with the exception of those who are not taxpayers – as a paper document. When an invoice filed electronically must be submitted in paper, the taxpayer may print the document himself, or he may outsource the printing process to contracted printing presses or special integration providers. In these cases, the contracted printing presses or special integration providers do not notify the Revenue Administration in any way.
According to the provisions of the Tax Procedure Law pertaining to the order of the invoice, it is mandatory for 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 invoices filed with the e-Archive system, it is mandatory for the filing time to appear in hours and minutes in addition to the filing date.
In cases where both parties use the e-Invoice system, an e-Archive invoice will not be filed. In cases such as these, the e-Invoice system supersedes.
For taxpayers who are entitled to use the e-Invoice system but have not yet registered, the invoice filed on the e-Archive system is submitted to them in paper form. However, in order to benefit from this option, the invoice must be filed at the time the product is delivered and it must bear the statement ‘Replaces dispatch note’.
e-Archive invoices filed for non-taxpayers may be submitted in paper or electronic form, depending on the consent of the customer. Invoices requested to be filed electronically may be submitted using all electronic tools and media, including the internet. For these transactions, if the invoice is filed electronically at the time the product is delivered or the service is rendered, a paper printout of the invoice will be given to the customer. In these cases, the seller or a company official must sign the printout. In order to benefit from this option, the invoice must be filed at the time the product is delivered.
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-Invoice or an e-Archive invoice, a receipt generated by cash registers (including new-generation ones) will replace the dispatch note on the condition that it is generated at the time the sale occurs and is signed by either 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 must submit the invoices for their sales electronically. For these transactions, the paper printout of the invoice must accompany the product being dispatched. Taxpayers who use the e-Archive system are not permitted to file consignment invoices.
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 found on www. efatura.gov.tr must be approved using a financial seal or QES as well as a timestamp, and it must be submitted to the Revenue Administration system using method(s) set forth in the e-Archive Guide. Fulfilling the requirements of access and reporting does not waive the taxpayer’s responsibility of storing and submitting said documents to the e-Archive system.
Storing and Submitting Electronic Documents
Taxpayers permitted to use the e-Archive system must comply with the following requirements when fulfilling their duties of storing and submitting documents. They will be responsible for storing and presenting upon request 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. Duplicate electronic documents and e-Archive reports shall be stored on taxpayers’ own IT systems. However, taxpayers who wish to store these documents in businesses authorized by the Revenue Administration for the purpose of document storage may do so. The electronic documents and reports must be stored inside the borders of the Republic of Turkey and in areas where the laws of the Republic of Turkey apply. This obligation does not prohibit companies from creating a secondary archive outside of the country. Taxpayers not authorized to use the e-Invoice system must receive and store the e-Archive invoice filed on their behalf in paper form. In the event that invoices filed for customers who are not taxpayers are submitted electronically, those who are legally obligated to store the documents must store invoices received electronically on an electronic platform. In conclusion, due to the many advantages 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. For more information, do not hesitate to consult members of the profession.
KORAY YURTERİ Crowe Horwath HSY YMM A.Ş.