ISLAMABAD (June 10 2005): To facilitate the business community, the Central Board of Revenue (CBR) has issued special procedure for issuance of electronic sales tax invoices between buyers and sellers. The procedure will be applicable on every registered person who is engaged in taxable supply of goods or providing or rendering taxable services and wishes to use electronic invoicing system. The person will seek prior authorisation from the concerned collector before issuing electronic invoices.
According to the procedure, the registered person would issue an electronic sales tax invoice containing the same information as paper invoice for every supply made by him and would retain the record for a period of three years after the end of the tax period to which such record or documents relate on electronic media.
A sales tax invoice may be generated and transmitted electronically where the authenticity of the origin and integrity of the invoice data are guaranteed by means of either an advanced electronic signature or electronic data interchange (EDI) or by any other means as approved by the collector.
The registered supplier making supplies would simultaneously transmit a copy of all the invoices issued electronically to the collector. He may use any electronic invoice message format provided it contains all the necessary information.
The invoice would be transmitted in a secure environment, using industry-accepted security technologies regarding messages as well as communication links and networks over which the invoice is transferred.
During the transfer of invoice data between the supplier and the buyer, the registered person would ensure accuracy of the invoice data; timeliness of processing; usage of necessary security measures for authenticity and integrity of data and prevention of duplication of processing by the recipient.
The registered person would invariably have a recovery plan in case of any possible system failure or loss of data.
The registered person would ensure the authenticity and integrity of the data during and after application processing and use all electronic or procedural means to prevent loss and corruption of data during the storage. The invoice data would be stored in such a manner that information at the time of original transmission of invoice is recreated at the time of departmental audit.
The registered person would allow access to the record and documents maintained in electronic form as and when required by an officer. The officer would have access to the operation of any computer system, which produces or receives sales tax invoices; supporting documentation, including file structures, etc, operational and technical manuals, audit trail, controls, safe keeping and information on how the accounting system of the registered person is organised; and business intelligence tools to scrutinise the information available on the system.
The officer would be allowed to take copies of information from the system in any format deemed necessary, and for this purpose, the registered person would provide physical access to system and indirect access providing information on electronic media, or possibly via remote access.
The registered buyer, who receives electronic invoices from the registered supplier, would meet the same conditions for storing them as are specified for the supplier.