How to handle the digitisation of paper receipts (for customers in Italy)

What is the regulation on the digitisation of receipts in Italy?

CAD and conservazione sostitutiva in a nutshell 

If a company - or Pleo on the company’s behalf - wants to convert physical receipts into a digital format and guarantee their legal and fiscal validity in case of an audit, the Italian law has introduced a specific process known as ‘Conservazione Sostitutiva’. 

According to the Italian Digital Administration Code, “CAD”, tax-relevant documents issued or received in paper form can be digitised and stored in their electronic form provided a series of technical requirements are met to ensure their authenticity, integrity, reliability, searchability and retrievability (CAD art. 44). These requirements apply to all invoices, receipts and tax receipts.

If the requirements outlined by the CAD guidelines above are followed and your organisation is based in Italy, you may then throw away your digitised paper receipts.

What does this mean for your receipt storage under Italian Law? 

Please keep in mind that the storage of physical documents in any digital format does not automatically grant digitised tax-relevant documents the same legal status as the original paper documents in case of an audit. You will need to follow the extensive guidelines laid out by CAD.

  • ? If your organisation is based in Italy and your receipts are digitally archived through the Conservazione Sostitutiva certification, you may then throw away your paper receipts that have been digitised.

  • ? Otherwise, you will have to store your physical receipts for a duration of 10 years as of the issuance date.

Our efforts to ensure regulatory compliance

We are building a fully compliant solution in Italy

We are working with a service provider of long-term archiving services to ensure full compliance and offer a digitisation solution in Italy. We expect to have a conservazione sostitutiva service integrated with the Pleo platform, once this happens, you will be able to upload & digitise new paper receipts with the Pleo app and throw away the original paper receipts afterwards.

Until then, we’re rolling out an interim solution for our customers

Pleo already allows you to take pictures of physical receipts directly within the Pleo App, upload receipts from the camera roll on your mobile device and/or upload receipts directly into the web application. Our solution is also set up in a way that ensures that your receipts cannot be modified, enhanced or in any other way interfere with the original picture of the receipt/invoice during the digitisation process. Pleo not only saves you time and money on expenses, invoices and reimbursements but also allows your finance team better control and productivity.

However, in light of the extensive CAD guidelines, the Italian legislation regarding the digitisation and conservation of receipts are more strict than in most European countries. This means that our current digitisation process does not meet the requirements under the Italian law as-is. We will keep storing your uploaded receipt pictures so that you can easily find them, but for the time being, we highly recommend that you store your paper receipts physically as wellWe will notify you as soon as our conservazione sostitutiva service is available.


Is Pleo compliant with the digitisation regulation in my country?

Pleo follows the local rules and guidance from Italian authorities. However, our current solution cannot guarantee the authenticity of digital receipts for audit purposes under Italian law. We are working to be compliant and to offer a conservazione sostitutiva service integrated with the Pleo platform very soon. We will notify you when this happens. We highly recommend that you store your physical receipts until then for a duration of 10 years as of the issuance date. This includes all pictures of receipts taken with the Pleo App as well as receipts uploaded into the app from your phone gallery and/or from the Pleo web app.

Why do I need to store my paper receipts with Pleo currently? 

Until we have finished building our conservazione sostitutiva service, Pleo is not fully compliant with the Italian legislation for digitising and storing the pictures of your receipt just yet. Therefore we highly recommend you store your physical receipts for audit & taxation purposes.

How does this apply to e-invoices and email receipts that are captured by Fetch?

The conservazione sostitutiva service will also apply to the archiving of e-receipts.

Do you still have questions? Please reach out to us.

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