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E-Invoicing in Saudi Arabia: The Integration Phase embraces “Wave 6”6 min read

Author: Omar Sami
Managing Partner Attorney at German Law Legal- & Tax Consultant
Digital Transformation of Saudi Business Landscape

In recent years, Saudi Arabia has witnessed a remarkable transformation in its business landscape, driven by a strong push toward digitalization. One significant area that has undergone a revolution is e-invoicing. With the introduction of e-invoicing, the Kingdom has embraced a streamlined and efficient way of managing financial transactions. This article delves into the integration phase of e-invoicing in Saudi Arabia and highlights the impact of Wave 6, the latest wave of implementation.

Mandatory Integration for Large-Scale Taxpayers

Vat-registered taxpayers with annual revenue exceeding SAR 70 million in 2021 or 2022 will now have to integrate their e-invoicing solutions with the FATOORA platform, starting 01/2024.

The Transition to Electronic Invoicing

E-invoicing, also known as electronic invoicing or digital invoicing, replaces the traditional paper-based invoicing process with a digital alternative. The integration of e-invoicing in Saudi Arabia has brought numerous benefits, transforming the way businesses operate. By leveraging digital technology, organizations can streamline their invoicing processes, reducing manual errors and administrative costs, and improving overall efficiency.

The Beginning of E-Invoicing: December 2020

The integration phase of e-invoicing in Saudi Arabia began in December 2020 with the implementation of the mandatory e-invoicing system for large-scale taxpayers. This move aimed to accelerate the digital transformation of the Kingdom’s economy, enhance tax compliance, and facilitate the flow of business transactions. Large taxpayers, defined as those with an annual revenue exceeding SAR 40 million, were required to issue e-invoices and submit them to the General Authority of Zakat and Tax (GAZT) in real time.

The Role of GAZT in E-Invoicing Integration

The integration phase of e-invoicing witnessed significant collaboration between the GAZT and businesses. The GAZT provided robust technical infrastructure, guidance, and support to ensure a smooth transition. Businesses had to adapt their systems and processes to generate e-invoices compliant with the GAZT’s requirements. This integration phase played a crucial role in establishing a strong foundation for e-invoicing adoption in the country.

Wave 6: Extending E-Invoicing to Medium-Sized Taxpayers

Wave 6, the latest phase of e-invoicing implementation, builds upon the foundation laid during the integration phase. Launched in January 2023, Wave 6 extends the e-invoicing mandate to medium-sized taxpayers, those VAT-registered taxpayers with annual revenue exceeding SAR 70 million. This expansion reflects the government’s commitment to ensuring the widespread adoption of e-invoicing and aligning the Kingdom’s business landscape with global best practices.

The Benefits of Wave 6 for Businesses

Wave 6 brings numerous benefits to businesses in Saudi Arabia. Medium-sized taxpayers now have the opportunity to harness the advantages of e-invoicing, including reduced costs, faster payment cycles, and enhanced accuracy. By digitizing their invoicing processes, these businesses can unlock operational efficiencies, improve cash flow management, and strengthen their competitive position in the market.

Digitization Commitment: Saudi Arabia's Vision

Furthermore, Wave 6 demonstrates the Kingdom’s commitment to the continued digitization of its economy. It highlights Saudi Arabia’s determination to stay at the forefront of technological advancements and create an environment that fosters innovation and growth. The extension of e-invoicing to medium-sized taxpayers reaffirms the government’s vision of building a robust digital infrastructure that benefits businesses and facilitates economic development.

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