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E-Invoicing In Germany


Regulation on electronic invoicing in public procurement of the Federal Government published in October 2017

Income Tax Act (EStG)

§ 5b Electronic transmission of balance sheets and profit and loss accounts

Tax Authority

Federal Ministry of Finance
Federal Ministry of the Interior

Mandatory Status
  • e-Invoice
  • B2G Transaction
  • B2B Transaction
  • E-bilanz
Reporting Model

Peppol BIS Billing 3.0

  • e-Invoice
  • XML and PDF format
  • e-Bilanz
  • XBRL format

Not mandatory


10 years

The German Federal Government accepts electronic invoices for public procurement contracts from November 2020. B2G transactions (business-to-government transactions) are mandatory. Suppliers must be issued and processed e-Invoices to federal and Bremen authorities.

B2B transactions (business-to-business) are not mandatory yet. For public procurement, the X-Rechnung Format can be used by German Federal or Bremen suppliers for public procurement. This e-Format is unique, machine-readable, standardized, and also used by all taxpayers across the whole country. The X-Rechnung Format can also be suitable for use in the Peppol network because it is based on the XML Format. Different from the X-Rechnung Format, there is another Format used in e-invoicing, which is the ZUGFeRD Format. 

ZUGFeRD (Zentraler User Guide des Forum Elektronische Rechnung Deutschland) is a hybrid Format which includes both electronic XML and visual PDF can be sent only as an XML file to the German Federal Government and Bremen entities. It is also suitable for sending and processing in the Peppol network.

The German government mandated E-bilanz, or the e-balance sheet in 2014 for 

  • Traders in accordance with the commercial code.
  • Non-traders, if the profit in the financial year exceeds EUR 60,000 or the turnover exceeds EUR
  • 600,000.
  • Self-employed individuals including farmers and foresters who are subject to accounting requirements
  • or voluntary record keeping.
E-bilanz must be reported in this cases;
  • Opening a balance when setting up a company.
  • Discontinuation of business in the event of a company sale or closure.
  • Change of profit calculation method.