Portugal: ATCUD and QR codes on invoices become mandatory from January 2022

June 17, 2021

Portugal is introducing mandatory ATCUD (document identification number) and QR codes on invoices, starting from January 2022. This is a part of a bigger effort by the Portuguese government to simplify and modernize tax compliance and VAT. 

In this article, we’ll look into what this means for businesses. 


The ATCUD & QR codes

ATCUD and QR codes on invoices will become mandatory in Portugal in 2022. Initially, this measure was scheduled for January 2021, but the government delayed it to 2022. 


The ATCUD code

After January 2022, businesses will need to include an ATCUD code on their invoices. This is a unique document number, which identifies invoices and confirms their validity. The Portuguese tax office provides an ATCUD code to companies before they issue an invoice.

The QR code

Portuguese taxpayers will need to add QR codes to their invoices with a certified invoicing software. 

The QR code needs to be at least 30x30mm, and should be displayed on the invoice’s first page. 

All businesses who operate in Portugal will need to add a QR code to their invoices. This includes foreign companies who are VAT registered in the country. QR codes will be mandatory for all invoices, excluding those transmitted by an EDI (electronic data interchange) system. ATCUD codes will be mandatory for all invoices, with no exceptions.

The QR codes allow structuring the content of the invoice in a clear, pre-defined manner, which means IT systems can process them. The data needs to be mapped using SAF-T.

All invoice fields contain a code and a description, such as, for example:

  • A - The TIN (tax identification number) of the issuer
  • H - ATCUD
  • I7 - Tax base - standard rate
  • I8 - Tax amount - standard rate 
  • R - Software certificate number.


VAT rates in Portugal 

Portuguese VAT rates vary by region, which is a particularity of the Portuguese VAT system: 

  • In continental Portugal, VAT rates are set at 23%, 13% and 6%. 
  • In Madeira, VAT rates are set at 22%, 12% and 5%
  • On the Azores islands, VAT rates are set at 18%, 9% and 4%.

The QR code will include this information, in the fields I1 to I8, J1 to J8 and K1 to K8, with the following mentions: PT for continental Portugal, PT-MA for Madeira, and PT-AC for the Azores islands. 

All amounts on Portuguese invoices need to be in euro. If the invoice is issued in another currency, amounts need to be converted to euro. 


How should businesses address these changes?

First of all, it’s important to note that the sooner you start adapting to the changes and implement them into your invoicing processes, the easier the shift will be for you. 

Both codes are relatively complex to implement. For this reason, we advise you to start preparing immediately and to allow plenty of time ahead of the mandatory implementation of the codes, in order to ensure an uninterrupted business continuity. Besides that, if you implement QR codes before the end of 2021, you’ll be able to deduct related costs at a rate of 120%.

Use Fonoa To Report Sales Transactions

Fonoa, as one of the certified billing providers in Portugal can help you ensure that your sales transactions are reported in real time to tax authorities, immediately and without human intervention.

If your business is affected by these regulations in Portugal, reach out to us, and we will help you automate the invoice reporting process in Portugal.