XInvoice is a standard format for electronic invoices in Germany. It was developed to simplify and standardise the exchange of invoice data between companies and the public administration. 

XInvoice specifies certain data fields and structures that must be included in an electronic invoice. This includes information such as invoice number, invoice date, supplier data, invoice amount and VAT details. The format also allows for the attachment of other documents such as invoice attachments or order confirmations. In fact, XInvoice is a document in the form of an XML file that contains all the information just mentioned for an invoice. It is just written differently in machine language, which seems cryptic to a layman.

The introduction of XInvoice in Germany was driven by the E-Invoice Act. This law obliges public clients to accept electronic invoices in XInvoice format. It affects federal authorities as well as state and local authorities.

With the European standard for electronic invoicing EN-16931, the EU has decided on a measure for how eInvoices should be designed in the future. The XInvoice standard has been operated by the Coordination Office for IT Standards (KoSIT) since 1 January 2019. The currently valid version can be found on the KoSIT website.


The purpose of XInvoice is to make the process of issuing and processing invoices more efficient, reduce costs and minimise errors. By using a uniform format, invoice data can be processed automatically and integrated into the systems of the recipient organisations.

The implementation of XInvoice brings several advantages. Organisations benefit from accelerated invoice processing, reduced manual tasks and interventions, and minimised errors. The structured data in XInvoice allows for faster review and approval of invoices, resulting in faster payments and improved liquidity.Eliminating paper invoices also protects our environment and thanks to electronic archiving, space is saved.

In addition, XInvoice ensures compliance with legal requirements.

Overall, XInvoice offers a modern and efficient solution for electronic invoice processing that helps businesses save time, costs and resources. Using this standard enables companies to improve their invoicing processes, receive payments faster and at the same time meet the requirements of public administration.

Image credits: Header- & Featured image by auf Freepik