Firms attack red tape rules

Series Title
Series Details Vol.7, No.45, 6.12.01, p21
Publication Date 06/12/2001
Content Type

Date: 06/12/01

A COALITION of firms from the UK's Vodafone to Japan's Sony has attacked EU rules to set up a system intended to slash the cost of invoicing.

Finance ministers agreed the rules this week, hailed by single market chief Frits Bolkestein as a step to cut red tape by setting uniform standards for invoices. But the European e-business tax group said part of the rules to legalise electronic invoices would increase bureaucracy.

Spokeswoman Ine Lejeune, senior e-business tax expert for accountancy firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers, said the law was "so seriously flawed it would represent a step backwards for businesses and reduce the competitiveness of the European economy".

She said ministers were wrong to force invoices to be signed by a digital signature as it would add no value because an invoice is never accepted as proof by auditors of a transaction. Worse, member states could insist that signatures be verified by an independent party before being approved.

The directive is due to enter into force during 2004.

Reaction to new EU rules designed to cut red tape by setting uniform standards for invoices.

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