It is not very frequent, but it happens and we must be attentive: what to do with duplicate invoices in E-Fatura? Learn to fix the system.
The communication of invoices with the taxpayer number by digital means simplified tax procedures and, in many cases, brought additional benefits to most citizens, who also felt more motivated to ask for the insertion of the Tax Identification Number (NIF) in all the invoices they receive.
However, so much motivation can have a stronger effect than expected and result in the insertion of duplicate invoices in E-Fatura. Fixing the error is mandatory and your responsibility, so you really don’t want to make it easy.
How do duplicate invoices appear in E-Fatura?
The insertion of duplicate invoices in E-Fatura is a consequence of the fact that the system is bilateral: both merchants and taxpayers can insert invoices and declare payments.
For an invoice to be declared twice, it is enough for the trader and taxpayer to communicate the same invoice to the system – the system will not know that the document is the same and registers two different expenses.
Most of the time, duplicate invoices on E-Fatura are due to a delay in processing on the merchant side, accompanied by overzealousness on the taxpayer side.
On the one hand, the processing of tax documents is done by the merchant well after the deal takes place – sometimes months after the transaction. On the other hand, the taxpayer is worried about not seeing the invoices registered in the E-Fatura and chooses to register them by hand.
Now, when the trader finally processes the information and declares the transaction to the Treasury, the system is left with the same invoice registered twice: once by the trader’s automatic communication and another by the taxpayer’s manual communication.
What is the consequence of having duplicate invoices in E-Fatura?
If duplicate invoices do not give access to tax deductions, in principle there are no major consequences to fear. If, on the contrary, they are invoices related to deductible expenses with the IRS – such as Health or Education expenses, for example -, the duplication biases the calculation of deductions and this leaves you in bad shape.
Finance may not detect duplication of invoices on the Portal as soon as it happens, not even in the first year. However, the error can be detected later and, when that happens, you will be called to a Tax Authority counter to justify the declared expenses (which, obviously, you will not be able to justify) or pay a fine for irregularity in the IRS declaration.
How to resolve duplicate invoices in E-Fatura?
To escape a reprimand from the Tax Authority – and the fine that accompanies it -, it is best to keep a close eye on the invoices you have registered on the Portal, with special attention to those that you entered manually. Remember that institutions do not always process invoices very frequently and that the tax return can come months after the deal is consummated.
To stay organized in the process, it’s best not to manually enter the invoices you have right away. Store them in a safe place and, after a few months (or even at the end of the fiscal year), retrieve the papers to compare with the digital invoices that were registered with your tax number.
If, a few days before the deadline for declaring invoices, you notice that some are still missing, then yes, you can enter them manually. Until then, wait to see if you’re just experiencing a processing delay from the merchant.
If you still detect duplicate invoices, you will have to delete one of them. For security, the system only allows you to edit invoices that you entered manually, so if you have to delete a duplicate invoice, you will have to delete yours and leave the one that the merchant communicated.
To delete an invoice, enter it and click “remove”.
If you detect duplicate invoices after the validation period has expired
After the deadline for validating electronic invoices (in 2023, until February 25th), you can still mark the duplicate documents through a complaint: enter the duplicate invoice and claim it as “invoice entered manually by the taxpayer. It must be removed”.
Deadline for invoice claim, your opportunities to correct duplicate invoices in E-Fatura are over. From here, only in the annual IRS return can you correct tax errors again.
Correcting duplicate invoices through the IRS declaration is only possible for Health, Education and Home expenses, because these expenses have their own section in the declaration that you submit to Finance. If you noticed a duplication, when filling out the IRS look for box 6C in Annex H and select the “yes” option.
The expenses registered with your NIF for each of the categories will appear broken down and there you will have one last opportunity to discard the pre-filled values and enter the correct values manually.
Remember, however, that you should always keep the original invoices for all your expenses with you, especially when you detect duplicates on the E-Fatura portal.
Although the system is prepared to keep up to date, the saying goes that “insurance is dead of old” and, if you are called upon to justify the deductions at a Finance counter, you must present the original documents of the expenses that were entered in the E -Invoice.
This process, remember, can take up to several years after the invoices are communicated, so reserve a generous space to store these papers.
Article originally published in July 2019. Last updated in December 2022.