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    In April, Portugal decided to delay its launch of the B2G electronic invoice. A few weeks ago they also postponed the requirement to add the ATCUD unique identification number to tax documents. Now Portugal has likewise decided to delay the requirement to add a QR code to all invoices.

    The government considers that businesses need to put their efforts and resources into overcoming the present situation. In this regard, the considerable economic investment businesses would have to make to adapt their computer systems has been decisive in taking the decision, especially because of the impact it could have on small and medium-sized enterprises.

    Parliament has already approved the delayed date and the requirement will now enter into force on January 1, 2022.

    Tax benefits for companies that do adapt

    However, the government wants to encourage the use of the QR code before 2022. So businesses that start using the QR code and ATCUD on their invoices before the deadline will thus enjoy tax incentives. The benefits will be greater the sooner the new specifications are adopted. These incentives include:

    • Tax savings of 140% of total implementation costs, if the QR code and ATCUD are added within the first quarter of 2021.
    • Tax savings of 130% of the total implementation costs, if the QR code and ATCUD are added within the second quarter of 2021.

    What is the QR code?

    QR codes are a type of barcode that stores data. In the case of Portugal, the QR code must meet the requirements published by the tax agency. It should also contain all the invoice information.

    What is the ATCUD code?

    ATCUD is a unique identification code that must be included with all invoices issued in Portugal as of January 1, 2022. In order to obtain the code, companies must notify the Portuguese AT tax agency of how the business numbers its bills, whereby the AT will subsequently supply an ATCUD for each series of numbers.

    The e-invoice in Portugal: key dates

    Portugal was taking many steps to speed the adoption of electronic invoicing. Although the crisis caused by Covid-19 has slowed this progress, the government continues to stake on this technology. Following the latest amendments to the law, the key dates for the adoption of e-invoicing in Portugal are:

    • 2021: the country’s big businesses should start using e-invoicing for their transactions with the public administration (B2G).
    • 1st July, 2021: compulsory B2G e-invoicing for SMEs.
    • 1st January, 2022: compulsory B2G e-invoicing for micro-businesses. All invoices must include both the ATCUD code and the QR code.