The launch of “Fully Digitalised e-fapiao” pilot programme

China has launched a new pilot programme introducing “Fully digitalized e-invoice”, this is an important initiative to comprehensively promote the digital upgrade and intelligent transformation of tax collection and management, with the goal of achieving 100% invoice digitalization across the country by 2025. The pilot was first implemented on 1st December 2021, with selected taxpayers in Shanghai, Guangdong, and Inner Mongolia.

There are two types of fully digitalized e-invoice: fully digitalized special VAT e-invoice and fully digitalized general VAT e-invoice, which have the same legal effect as the paper invoice and the normal e-invoice currently in use. To remind you of the differences between General and Special VAT invoices:

  • General VAT Invoice: This invoice type does not allow for VAT deduction and is typically used for B2C and tax-free transactions. The General VAT Invoice is a simplified invoice type and paperless has been allowed for years for general VAT invoices
  • Special VAT Invoice: This invoice types allows for VAT deduction, and is typically used for B2B transactions

A major upgrade in this pilot is the elimination of special tax control equipment (e.g. UKEY), pilot taxpayers will instead use a national unified e-tax service platform to issue, deliver and validate e-Fapiao24/7 for free. Once the invoice data is entered in the system, the platform will issue a unique invoice number, meaning that taxpayers no longer need to apply for invoices via their local tax bureau. In addition, this platform creates a Tax Digital Account for each taxpayer, which automatically collects invoice data, allowing taxpayers to search, print, and download invoices from the platform.
The e-tax service platform aims to serve as a one-stop shop for all invoicing needs, it will be also available in the form of software and mobile app in the near feature. Furthermore, this pilot has abolished the OFD file format requirements, pilot taxpayers can send the fully digitalized e-invoice through their Tax Digital Account, QR code, or by email.

While fully digitalized e-invoice is still in the pilot stage, we expect widespread promotion and implementation soon. It is recommended that enterprises continue to pay close attention to the latest developments and evaluate the potential impact on their business. Of course, Tungsten Network will stay close to China’s e-invoicing pilots, and we will keep you up to speed.

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