Technology is increasingly being used in all economic activities carried out by companies. Keeping electronic accounting books is now an obligation to be fulfilled by the main national taxpayers and other companies. Very high fines, which are actually disproportionate, are imposed if obligors fail to comply with this obligation, as the sanctions contemplated in paragraphs 2), 5) and 7) of Article 175 of the Tax Code are applied in the event of default.

However, Resolution 064-2015 – SUNAT/600000, issued by the National Deputy Operations Superintendent’s Office, has granted amnesty and thus not applied the aforesaid fines, to the extent taxpayers remedied their non-compliance by June 30, 2016. We have learned that the effective force of this amnesty might be extended to September 30, 2016.

Accordingly, we have deemed it convenient to highlight the main aspects of these new formal obligations, that we have called the “Ten Commandments of Electronic Accounting Books”, as follows:

1.    What is an electronic accounting book?
An e-text file that complies with the requirements (as regards their structure and validation) established by SUNAT in order to be fully effective for legal purposes, to the extent it has been created in the Electronic Accounting Book System (SLE for its acronym in Spanish) using the PLE digital program.

2.    Is it necessary to have electronic accounting books printed?
No, not even if SUNAT asks the taxpayer to submit its accounting books. Providing SUNAT with the e-text file and the Acknowledgment of Receipt will suffice.

3.    Is the PLE an accounting software?
No, it’s an application developed by SUNAT to:

A. Validate the e-text file created on the taxpayer’s computer system.
B. Create an e-book by having a Summary of that book sent.
C. Making sure that the e-text file is consistent with the Acknowledgment of Receipt issued by SUNAT.
D. Checking the taxpayer’s tax record; and
E. Generating electronic accounting book reports.

4.    What happens if the e-text file contains mistakes?
The PLE will show you the row, column and type of mistake, which will help you check the output files in the computer system and thus make the necessary corrections.
An Electronic Book cannot be created if the e-text file is not validated by the PLE first.

5.    How can I create an electronic book?
To create an electronic book, the e-text file previously validated by the PLE must contain all the information of the relevant month or period. It means that no electronic book can be created if the corresponding month or period has not been closed first.

6.    Is there a size limit on an e-text file?
No, if the file is too big, then the PLE will start a data transfer process which will end with the issuance of the Acknowledgment of Receipt (AoR).

7.    How long should electronic accounting books be kept?
Electronic accounting books (e-text files validated by the PLE) and Acknowledgments of Receipt (AoR) should be kept until the corresponding statute-of-limitations period has run out.

8.    Where should electronic accounting books be kept?
In a CD, floppy disk drive, USB, disk drive, etc.

9.    Will the SLE Electronic Book System be available at all times?
Yes, the SLE will be available 24 hours a day, all year long, without any exception whatsoever.

10.    Is it possible to include invalid RUC numbers in the Electronic Record of Sales and Income and in the Electronic Purchase Record?
The RUC number of taxpayers and vendors must be valid; otherwise, these electronic records will not be electronically created.