The formal requirements for VAT invoices are being made in Eastern Europe, or even in India

We are frequently asked by clients what formal requirements have to be observed for invoices.  These may be questions of archiving, but also about the contents of invoices.   Under the old law until the end of 2009 the answer was clear. The formal requirements contained in Art 37 of the old VAT Law applied and electronic archiving was possible only with an electronic signature. If for example the VAT No. was missing, this alone could result in loss of the input tax deduction.

When we have to answer the question since 1.1.2010, we can refer to Art. 28 Para. 4 VAT Law, which requires as a condition for the input tax deduction only evidence that the VAT has been paid. Therefore it is also possible – in conjunction with the free consideration of evidence under Art. 81 Para. 3 VAT Law – to claim the input tax deduction based on pdf vouchers, which do not contain all the elements of Art. 26 VAT Law.

But now even here the effect of globalisation is making itself felt.   More and more frequently the invoices of the supplier of the service are not paid, until the invoices contain all the elements of Art. 26 VAT Law. It doesn’t even help, if we point out the relaxed provisions of the law. The persons in charge in the shared service centres in Eastern Europe or in distant India are not impressed. As long as the invoice is not corrected, it is not paid.


It would therefore be welcome, if the persons in charge would also relax somewhat the instructions for checking the invoices. Maybe some persuasive words by those responsible for VAT in the Swiss company are necessary. Unfortunately so far he cannot count on the support of the FTA, which although it has foreseen a corresponding publication, has not yet published it.

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