How Pleo handles the digitisation of paper receipts (for customers in Spain and France)

What is the regulation on digitisation of receipts?

If a company - or Pleo on the company’s behalf - wants to convert a physical receipt into digital format, the French and Spanish tax authorities require that the digitisation is carried out as one automatic step. The automated process is often referred to as ‘dematerialisation’.

If the automatic digitisation process and the specific regulatory steps for digitising are followed, you can throw away the paper receipts.

Why do the authorities require one-step digitisation? Because they need to ensure that the digital receipt is in fact an identical copy of the original paper receipt. The goal is that:

  • the origin and authenticity of the physical receipts are guaranteed within the digitisation process,

  • no modification can take place during or after a paper receipt has been digitised

  • the risk of tax fraud is mitigated

Our efforts to ensure regulatory compliance

Pleo’s solution is set up in a way that ensures that your receipts can not be modified, enhanced or in any other way interfere with the original picture of the receipt/invoice during the digitisation process.

This means that we convert images of receipts into PDFs. We timestamp and then sign them with a digital certificate that ensures the integrity of the receipts throughout the retention period. Pleo only does this for our customers based in France and Spain, as these specific regulations only apply in these countries.

Which receipts can you throw away when using Pleo?

If your organisation is based in France or Spain, only pictures of physical receipts taken directly via the Pleo App can be sealed, stamped and certified in accordance with the process mentioned above. This is Pleo's only digitisation method of paper receipts that complies with French and Spanish tax law.

The Pleo application still allows uploading receipts from the camera roll on your mobile device and/or uploading them directly to the web application. However, pictures of receipts uploaded in these ways will not be sealed and timestamped as we can not guarantee the authenticity of the picture taken outside of the Pleo App. We will however store those pictures so that you can easily find them going forward


Is Pleo compliant with the digitisation regulation in my country?

Yes, Pleo has a fully compliant solution and holds an electronic certificate that allows and enables us (according to the local rules and the Spanish/French authorities) to digitise, optimise the image (making it a pdf and inserting the date and time at which the picture of the receipt was taken) and then finally sign the PDF file if the picture has been taken with the Pleo app camera.

Which receipts can I throw away with Pleo?

The regulation only allows us to stamp, certify and seal the physical receipts that are taken directly with the Pleo App as this is considered an automatic digitisation process. If receipts are not digitised this way it would provide the possibility of someone editing the physical receipt before adding it in the Pleo app. Hence:

  • For pictures of receipts taken within the Pleo App, you can throw away your physical receipt ?

  • For receipts uploaded into the app from your phone gallery (camera roll) or from the Pleo web app, you should keep the physical receipts, because we cannot guarantee their authenticity ?

Why does Pleo not certify the receipts uploaded from the picture gallery and webpage?

We work within the limitations the regulation provides and are committed to providing a compliant solution for our customers. Those limitations are common to everyone in the market and should apply to all comparable solutions.

How do I find my certified receipts on Pleo? 

Only receipts uploaded directly via the Pleo App camera function will be certified by Pleo. You can find the stamp once you download the receipt from the Export page within Pleo, and open the PDF with a PDF reader, such as Adobe Acrobat reader. You will see the signature there.

Why does Pleo not certify my email receipts that are captured by Fetch?

The Fetch receipts are already issued as digital receipts, which means they won’t get stamped as they have not been transformed from physical receipts to digital format. It is only when you change the format from physical to digital receipt that the regulation applies.

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

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