Goltsblat BLP advises of publication of Order No. 50 n "On Approving the Procedure for Submitting and Receiving Electronic VAT Invoices through Telecommunications Channels with Application of Electronic Digital Signature" dated 25 April 2011, which came into effect on 3 June 2011.
The opportunity to submit electronic VAT invoices by mutual agreement between both parties to a transaction is created by the amendments introduced into article 169 of the Tax Code of the Russian Federation by Federal Law No. 229-FZ dated 27 July 2010. Once in effect, the Procedure will enable taxpayers to submit VAT invoices electronically, subject to the following key conditions being met:
Even though the taxpayer is free to decide whether to submit VAT invoices electronically or on paper, the electronic format may only be used if agreed by both parties to the transaction.
Electronic VAT invoices are not exchanged between the parties to a transaction directly but through specialised organisations (electronic document exchange operators) engaged on a contractual basis. The exchange may be administered through a single or a number of operators, subject to compatibility of their technical means and facilities enabling transfers in the set format.
Electronic VAT invoices are to be verified by electronic digital signature, the signature key certificates being issued by specialised organisations included on the list of trusted certifying centres of the Federal Tax Service of Russia.
Both uncodified and codified VAT invoices may be exchanged by using cryptographic information protection facilities compatible with those used by the Federal Tax Service of Russia.
The procedure envisages a method for decoding electronic VAT invoices similar to that by which they are submitted.
Parties exchanging electronic documents must ensure that VAT invoices and signature key certificates are stored for the term prescribed for storing VAT invoices.
If the electronic document exchange system is used for submitting or receiving VAT invoices, the taxpayer may also submit said electronic documents to the tax authorities, subject to observance of the requirements prescribed by articles 93 and 93.1 of the Tax Code of the Russian Federation.
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