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Even if the number of invoices sent electronically is increasing, this is however only a small percentage of the total number of invoices. The government wants to increase by the end of this administration the ratio of electronic invoices to 24%, or even to 50%, by 2020.
This is what Olivier Chastel, Belgian Minister for Budget and Administrative Simplification, stated in a response to a written question from the senator Martine Taelman. Based on the figures recorded by the two leading companies for the digital invoicing, The Department of Administrative Simplification ("Service de la Simplification Administrative" - SSA) estimates that the number of invoices sent electronically in Belgium passed from 5 to 11.8 million between 2007 and 2010. "In this case, we also must add the B2B electronic invoices that are sent directly, without going through these platforms," said Chastel. The SSA estimates to 1 billion the total number of invoices issued each year in Belgium.
According to Olivier Chastel, businesses can significantly reduce their administrative costs by sending their invoices electronically. "The elements that impede electronic invoicing include the too rigid legal framework, the ignorance of the techniques and the difficulties with the cohabiting between paper and electronic invoices," stated the minister. Last week, the Cabinet approved a bill that removes all legal uncertainties concerning electronic invoices starting 2013, in accordance with an EU directive. Chastel plans initiatives that will publicize and encourage electronic invoicing.