‘A win-win’: Australia moving closer to killing off paper invoices

‘A win-win’: Australia moving closer to killing off paper invoices

Australia is poised to ditch paper invoices for good and tax experts say the move will help business compliance and growth, provided that business owners are informed about digital alternatives.

On Tuesday, the Australian Taxation Office pointed to the evolution of single-touch payroll and e-invoicing as key measures to improve business growth, saying in its small business tax gap report these tools would offer “a more seamless experience for small business taxpayers”.

The federal government currently has legislation up for public consultation to cement a national framework for e-invoicing. Australia and New Zealand have been working on a trans-Tasman standard for electronic invoices and the new laws would let Australia move towards a standard e-invoicing approach for dealing with other countries.

Minister for Housing and Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar said the government was making good progress towards adopting the ‘Pan European Public Procurement Online’ framework for invoicing and that Australian government departments would be using this.

Once implemented, the new invoicing standard would help with the government’s 2018 commitment to pay small businesses in five days if they sign up to digital invoicing.

Known as “PEPPOL”, the approach lets governments and businesses securely send invoices according to a strict set of technical standards.

“Australian Government agencies will be using the PEPPOL framework for e-Invoicing. Agencies will commence implementation of PEPPOL compatible e-Invoicing once the local requirements are finalised and the Australian PEPPOL Authority is established,” he said.

In 2018, a statement from Prime Minister Scott Morrison and New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern estimated the shift to e-invoicing would save the two nations $30 billion over the next decade.

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