E-invoices are generally sent as a PDF file. Electronic invoices can be sent to a central email address in the following formats:
- You will receive your invoice as a PDF.
- Besides a PDF reader (such as Adobe Reader), no other software is necessary.
- Invoices in PDF form comply with tax regulations and laws.
- ZUGFeRD (The Central User Guide of the Forum for Electronic Invoicing Germany) is a hybrid format in the form of a PDF which also has structured data in XML format embedded in it, making it machine-readable.
- You will find more information on ZUGFeRD on the website of the Forum for Electronic Invoicing Germany (FeRD).
- XRechnung is a data exchange standard for electronic invoices that contains structured data only (and not PDF).
- German federal, state and local government institutions are obliged (with varying deadlines) to switch to this format for their invoice management.
- You will find more information on XRechnung from the Coordination Office for IT Standards (KoSIT) (German only).