Invoice Processing and Tax Archive Rules

Invoice Processing and Tax Archive Rules

The Decree-Law 28/2019, of 15 February, was published aiming to consolidate the legislation regarding the processing of invoices and other tax relevant documents, as well as to harmonize the archive rules of such documents for VAT, Corporate Income Tax and Personal Income Tax.

The Decree-Law entered into force on 16 February 2019. However, there is a set of rules that will only apply from 1 January 2020 onwards.

Main changes to be in force in 2019

Issuance of invoices

  • Taxable persons with head office, permanent establishment or domicile in the national territory with a turnover of € 50,000 are obliged to use certified software for the issuance of invoices.
  • Exemption from the issuance of invoices has also been provided for library services, archives, museums, art galleries, castles, palaces, monuments, parks, forest perimeters, botanical gardens, zoos and services provided by taxable persons carrying out the economic activity of itinerant entertainment, when a transport ticket, ticket or document proving the payment is issued.
  • Taxable persons are not obliged to print the invoices or send it by electronic means to the purchaser whenever the latter is not a taxable person (unless requested), as long as complying with certain requirements.
  • Also, in invoices and other paper printed documents, taxable persons must ensure the authenticity of the origin, the integrity of the contents and legibility of invoices and other fiscally relevant documents, from the time they are issued until the end of the filing period, by implementing controls that provide a reliable audit trail between those documents and the transfer of goods or services.


Within 30 days of the entry into force of the Decree-Law, the taxable persons must communicate the establishment or facility in which the archive is centralized.

Until 30 June 2019, taxable persons must notify the Portuguese Tax Authorities (“ATA”), through the Finance Portal, of the following elements:

  a) The identification and location of the establishments of the company in which invoices and other tax relevant documents are issued;

  b) Identification of the equipment used to process invoices and other tax relevant documents;

  c)the software certificate number used in each equipment, where applicable; and

  d) The identification of distributors and installers who have marketed and / or installed the billing software solutions.

In relation to the communication of invoices, namely, the submission of the billing SAF-T file, there is a reduction in the term for the exercise of such obligation for the year of 2019 and 2020 onwards to the 15th and 10th following day after the month of the issue of the invoice, respectively.

Main changes to be in force in 2020

Effective 1 January 2020 onwards, taxable persons are required to communicate electronically to the Portuguese Tax Authority (“ATA”), prior to its use, the identification of the series used to issue invoices and other tax relevant documents for each establishment and processing means used.

Invoices and other tax relevant documents must include a matrix barcode (or two-dimensional barcode) and a unique document code. This unique document code must include the code assigned by the Portuguese Tax Authority (“ATA”) following the communication of the document series.

By acceptance of the addressee, these documents may be issued electronically by fulfilling certain requirements for affixing and using electronic exchange system.

The issue of invoices shall be exempted in the case of the transfer of goods or services to legal persons governed by public law, non-profit-making bodies and private social solidarity institutions which:

  a) Practice tax-exempt transactions; and

  b) Who obtained, for the purposes of Corporate Income Tax (“IRC”), in the immediately preceding taxation period, a gross annual amount of income not higher than € 200,000.

However, the period of 10 years minimum holding period for accounting and support documentation will remain the same, except when the statute of limitations for the respective tax is higher than that period.

Finally, we call your special attention to this decree, due not only to the particular relevance of its subject (invoicing and similar documents requirements and procedures), but also, because it imposes changes on deadlines and liability thresholds and the compliance of ancillary obligations. do RCBE.

Elsa Rodrigues

Elsa Rodrigues

Founding Partner/Lawyer