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  • Gerald Burmeister

What is a FACTURA/CFDI?

Did you know that Mexican Formal Economy is paperless?


By law, all transactions of ANY goods and/or services must be accompanied by the issuance of a digital receipt or FACTURA, also known as CFDI. Everything you purchase or sell must be accompanied by one. Every service as well.

Realtors for instance, should be issuing facturas to their brokers for every sale or rental transaction when they get paid.


These Facturas are issued through the SAT system and contain what is known as an electronic signature or FIEL (the long string of numbers you can see on this blog post photo), they also contain other information such as RFC, name, form of payment and concept.


The moment these Facturas are issued (directly from the governments tax system, SAT), they become informed as to who paid for what, who sold, when, how it was paid, and it's recorded on both the buyer and the sellers tax records.

Do you see the catch? If you as a business want a deduction, you will make sure by asking for your factura, that your provider will report the transaction, there is no legal way around it.


The facturas get sent directly to your email and you can then in turn, send to your accountant for processing.


Some services like the gas stations will still issue a printed receipt that you can later turn into a factura through their website. The only reason behind those practices is efficiency at the pump, asking for facturas usually ends up taking considerable time.


If you have a business and want to deduct an expense you must have a FACTURA. Same goes for personal deductions.


This is one of the main differences I have seen compared to the economies in the USA or Canada, where common sense accounting provides maximum allowances for allotted expenses and printed receipts, even by hand, are still acceptable.


I have had people telling me here in Mexico that they have a factura in their hand, but what they have is a plain sheet with nice letterhead that shows a transaction, it shows price paid, taxes paid and so on, an invoice. Those are informational only. You must get the actual factura emailed to you or you will not have a deduction.


Printed Receipts hold no legal value.


If you're running a business you must get facturas for every expense and issue a factura for every deposit to your account.


Failure to issue facturas can be considered and/or become a form of money laundering.


If you are having some providers unable to issue a factura there are things that can be done legally to obtain one.


Please send me an email to discuss options available to you.

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