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E-Invoicing in China : Expansion of Digitalized E-Fapiao Program

Fully digitalized e-fapiao, which are electronic invoices (e-invoices), are a brand-new form of electronic invoice that differs from the previously introduced normal value-added tax (VAT) e-fapiao and the traditional paper fapiao but has the same legal effect.

On December 1, 2021, selected taxpayers in Shanghai, Guangdong (Guangzhou, Foshan, Guangdong-Macao Intensive Cooperation Zone), and Inner Mongolia (Hohhot) began issuing and accepting completely digitalized e-fapiao as part of a pilot programme.

In 2022 and 2023, more taxpayers will be able to issue and accept completely digitalized e-fapiao as the pilot programme of fully digitalized e-fapiao expands. National rollout of the completely digitalized e-fapiao programme is anticipated by 2025.

A national unified e-invoicing service platform (yet to be launched) will provide pilot taxpayers with free 24-hour online services to issue, deliver, and verify completely digitalized e-fapiao as part of the fully digitalized e-fapiao programmes. This indicates that the special tax control apparatus, such as the golden tax USB disc, the tax control USB disc, and the tax UKey, are no longer required.

After the introduction of the normal VAT e-fapiao and the construction of the Golden Tax System Phase IV, the fully digitalized e-fapiao represents the most recent effort by the Chinese government to promote the digital upgradation and intelligent transformation of tax collection and administration, and to reduce the cost of tax management.

The entirely digitalized e-fapiao is a brand-new form of electronic invoice. It has the same legal effect and usage as the extant paper fapiao, but it does not contain any sheets. As with other VAT electronic fapiao, there are no invoice copies (normal paper fapiao include a counterfoil copy, a deduction copy and an account-keeping copy for the fapiao issuers and receivers to retain and use).

The fully digitalized e-fapiao will be tidier, with only 17 content items: dynamic QR code, invoice number, issuance date, buyer information, seller information, project name, specification and model, unit, quantity, unit price, amount, tax rate/levy rate, tax amount, total, ad valorem and tax total (in words and numbers), remarks, and invoice.

Upon their introduction, a total of six types of fapiao will coexist in China as part of the country's ongoing fapiao system reforms. Special VAT fapiao, general VAT fapiao, special VAT e-fapiao, general VAT e-fapiao, fully digitalized special VAT e-fapiao, and fully digitalized general VAT e-fapiao comprise the six types.

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