Others IT Support

System modification : Summary of Japanese Invoice System

Currently, our company is in the process of modifying our system to meet the Japanese invoice system that will begin on October 1, 2023. At our company, receipts from the POS and invoices sent out by the sales department to clients are subject to modification of the internal system. The rest can be handled by the package system installed by the accounting department. In addition, this modification is also being made to comply with the Electronic Bookkeeping Act of 2024, which will come after the invoice system.

The modifications are roughly as follows.

  1. The invoices (receipts) issued should be saved and searchable (by tax collectors).
  2. Place the firm registration number, sales date, and other legal entries on the invoice (receipt).
  3. Issue a return invoice in case of returned goods.
  4. Issue an “amended invoice” if the delivered invoice is amended.

2 and 3 are honestly not much of a problem. It’s just a slight change to the current receipt and invoice format.

The problem is 4, “amended invoice”. The two systemic points of the modifications of this are as follows.

  • Both the pre- and post-amended invoices must be kept.
  • Even a simple correction of a typographical error (e.g., mistaking the word “corract” for “correct” on the invoice) in a section other than the statement of legal requirements will be treated as an “amended invoice”.

In other words, after the invoice system comes into effect, when correcting any errors, the original invoice record should be kept as it is, but a new record should be added as corrected data.

This is very awkward on our system and probably awkward on many corporate systems as well.

Now, if something is wrong, we can correct the record in the system, reissue the invoice or receipt, and the corrected invoice will come up. Things are very simple and easy for everyone to understand.

In the future, records will be divided into original records and modified records, which will be difficult to understand from a practical point of view. For example, when statistics such as “amount billed this month” are collected, it will be necessary to consider whether the records are before or after modification, instead of simply adding up all records.

At first we thought it would be simpler, but the above became clear as we made inquiries to the National Tax Administration (NTA).

What is worst about this modifications is that no one benefits from this complicated system. The NTA will have enough “amended invoices” to collect taxes, and the companies will only use “amended invoices”. In short, no one will see or need the “pre-amended invoices” we have to keep.

It would be a tremendous amount of work for something that is not needed. Who needs “amended invoices,” especially for retail receipts? Not the government, not the company and not the individual need the “pre-amended invoices” but we have to keep it.

Perhaps some companies will not issue “amended invoices” even if it is a violation of the requirements of the law. Because it is foreseeable the violation will rarely be prosecuted.

However, in our case, no one wants to take an illegal risk, so we decided to follow the NTA’s answer.

Even worse is the sales department. The sales department copies the invoices generated by the system and re-writes them in Excel or by hand. They give reasons such as they need to put the company seal on the invoice, they need to conform to the customer’s format, etc., and then they say, “That’s what the customer says.” No one can resist the “the customer says so,” in our company. There are also power relationships within the company, we, IT department, has no choice but to accept the sales department’s request.

It was decided within the company that these handmade invoices would also be stored in the system, and the amount of modifications was much larger than I had originally envisioned.

At the very least, if the law had said that we didn’t have to keep the pre-amended invoices, everyone would have been happy.