Up to January 1st, 2017, the ingoing « paper » invoices had to be kept and stored only in their original format (i.e. paper) in order to support the input VAT recovery right. The amending finance law for 2016 – completed with a Decree dated March 22, 2017 – set out conditions and processes that must be followed for digitalization of invoices originally created in paper form. If the process fulfills the requirements set out in the Decree, the taxpayer may rely on the sole digital invoice for VAT purposes.
On February 7, 2018, the French Tax guidelines were updated in order to integrate and detail this new digitalization opportunity for businesses.
The French tax guidelines notably specify the temporal application of this new digitalization opportunity and the place of storage of digitalized invoices (i.e. digital invoices do not have to be stored in the French territory but can be stored on a server located in any EU member state or any country linked to France by a convention offering a mutual assistance or the right to an on-line access, to download and use the data).
These guidelines bring useful information as how to proceed with digitalization of invoices.