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Lino and PEPPOL

Lino supports sending electronic sales invoices using PEPPOL.


An international standard for sending structured electronic invoices using XML file.

The feature is not yet fullly implemented.

To create the XML of an electronic sales invoice, simply print the invoice. The printable PDF file contains a link to the generated XML file.

Note that invoices to private persons don’t generate any XML file because PEPPOL is currently meant for B2B exchanges.

You can manually validate the generated XML file for example on ecosio.org.

Automatic transmission to an access point is not yet implemented.

In order to create the XML of an electronic sales invoice, Lino simply parses the vat/peppol-ubl.xml template, which contains quite some business logic and this work is not yet finished, the ecosio validator still reports dozeons of issues.

The parties of an invoice

  • Seller : the partner who sells. Also called supplier, provider. See cac:AccountingSupplierParty

  • Buyer : the partner who buys. Also called invoicee, recipient, customer. See cac:AccountingCustomerParty

  • Payee : the partner who receives the payment. Shall be used when the Payee is different from the Seller. We currently don’t use this element <cac:PayeeParty>.

  • Tax representative : <cac:TaxRepresentativeParty> : not mandatory and we don’t know what it is used for.

The <cbc:CompanyID> element contains

Address schemes

Both the seller and the buyer of an invoice contain a single mandatory element cac:Party, which contains a mandatory element cbc:EndpointID, which identifies the party’s electronic address. This EndpointID element contains the identification number as a textual value, and must have an attribute schemeID which refers to the EAS code to use when looking up the identification number. Some examples of EAS codes:

  • 9925 : Belgium VAT number

  • 0208 : Belgium Company number

  • 9931 : Estonian Company number

It seems that EAS 9925 is a subset of EAS 0208: every party subject to VAT in Belgium also as a company number, which is the same as its VAT number. But there are companies like insurances and some non-profit organizations who are not subject to VAT and hence have no VAT number. These companies have only a company number.

The VAT category

The <cac:ClassifiedTaxCategory> element contains “a group of business terms providing information about the VAT applicable for the goods and services invoiced on the invoice or the invoice line.”

  • <cbc:ID> : The VAT category code for the invoiced item.

  • <cbc:Percent> : The applied VAT rate. A number, potentially with decimal positions

  • <cac:TaxScheme> : a mysterious but mandatory element. According to our references it must contain exactly one child element <cbc:ID>VAT</cbc:ID>, where the word “VAT” seems to mean that the seller is identified using their VAT identifier. We don’t know whether it may contain other values.

VAT category

An alphabetic code defined as part of PEPPOL in the UNCL5305 code list

This list specifies the allowed VAT categories:


Vat Reverse Charge

VAT is levied from the buyer.


Exempt from Tax

Taxes are not applicable.


Standard rate

The standard rate is applicable.


Zero rated goods

The goods are at a zero rate.


Higher rate

A higher rate of duty or tax or fee is applicable.


Lower rate

Tax rate is lower than standard rate.

For any given voucher item, Lino can say which of above codes to apply by interpreting the VAT rule. This mapping is done in VatItemBase.get_peppol_vat_category().

A good introduction into why we have all these categories and rates is here: VAT Rates in Europe 2024



  • Line net amount: Invoiced quantity * Unit Gross Price

  • Allowances : discount or similar amount to subtract from the net amount

  • Charges : some fee, tax (other than VAT) or similar amount to add to the net amount

  • Line extension amount : Net amount + Charges - Allowances.

An invoice must have exactly one cac:LegalMonetaryTotal element, which provides the monetary totals for the invoice. It can have the following children (each child at most once):

Amounts must be rounded to maximum 2 decimals. Each amount element has a mandatory attribute currencyID.

Sources of information

eInvoicing Documentation published by the European Commission:

Other sources:

Blog entries about e-Invoicing: