2019.01.20 01:00 - What could possibly go wrong?

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    The Guardian for this meeting was Wol Euler.


    Qt Core: Hi Wol
    Wol Euler: oh there you are :D
    Wol Euler: good morning!
    Qt Core: :-)
    Wol Euler: how are you today?
    Qt Core: quite good, had a good busy week but ended the week with way less open issues i had on monday (it was a while since i could say that)
    Qt Core: you ?
    Wol Euler: oh yay
    Wol Euler: stressful and I fear I am getting sick, doing some serious coughing
    Qt Core: i feared that too, avoided it by some scarf and some anti throat-ache candy before sleeping
    Wol Euler nods
    Qt Core: (hoping that will be my only contribution to the annual flu tax)
    Wol Euler: I had a flu shot before christmas, for whatever that's worth
    Qt Core: (a little late, here it is done in november) my sister do, i don't, my doctor tells me not to do it until i start getting bad flues
    Wol Euler: there isn't just one flu, though, there may be a half-dozen strains active in any year. The vaccine doesn't cover all the possibilities.
    Qt Core: here too, i seem to remember tis year vaccine is against 4 strain
    Qt Core: and every year they keep saying we are near the discovery of the universal flu vaccine


    Wol Euler: heheheh
    Qt Core: i usually answer that saying a good shot of poison will surely avoid anyone getting ill from any flu ;-)
    Wol Euler: well, it might be true, but "near" isn't "achieved"

    Qt Core: as i'm lost in the italian version, has Germany plans to switch from paper/pdf invoices to electronic format (paper/pdf becoming only a "courtesy" to the client) ?
    Qt Core: or did it already and wasn't a mess ?
    Wol Euler: um .... not sure how to answer that
    Wol Euler: our income taxes are already "online"
    Wol Euler: but things like parking ticket fines are still paper that comes in the post
    Qt Core: i'm talking about invoices/ from a firm to another
    Wol Euler: oh
    Wol Euler: no I am by no means certain that a purely electronic invoice is even legally enforceable here
    Wol Euler: so much so that computer-generated bills have been challenged in court because they hadn't been signed by hand by a human, and therefore that the company had not performed due diligence in checking them before sending them out
    Qt Core: since 1/1, around here and in most cases (ie. unless you are very small or in very small/specialized areas) electronic is the only way
    Wol Euler: the suits lost, of course, but (a) it was possible and (b) as a result all such bills now carry a tag line stating "generated by computer and therefore legally valid without signature"
    Wol Euler: but even in that case, it's a piece of paper received through the post
    Qt Core: on its basic form it is like this: you send an xml to the national tax agency, they check it (formally) and deliver it to the customer
    Wol Euler: my first thoughts: who pays for that, and how much delay does it impose?
    Qt Core: as a courtesy you can have a pdf version inside the xml, but not needed
    Wol Euler: ah, I see, it's an attempt to prevent cheating on taxes
    Qt Core: that too, and think about the trees!


    Qt Core: they say they'll handle it in max 5 days
    Wol Euler raises an eyebrow.
    Qt Core: and for the issuers the invoice is considered as not emitted until the system say it is ok
    Wol Euler: how is it working out so far?
    Wol Euler: too early to tell, perhaps
    Wol Euler: three weeks into the year
    Qt Core: better tham o thought knowing italian bureaucracy, they experimented with public administration as, with some details differing that was the only way to send invoices to public administration since 3/4 years
    Wol Euler: :)
    Qt Core: the stats i've read spoke about 2.8 million invoices in the first 4 days, with a 6% of errors
    Wol Euler: error meaning that the tax office rejected the invoice?
    Qt Core: yes, most common errors i've seen are: 1) refused characters, they accept mostly only basic ascii (think about addres, names and items descriptions and comments and 2) discounts, as they accept 8 dcecimal places for unit prices but only 2 for discounts...
    Qt Core: yes
    Wol Euler: so forcing every company in the country to get new or updated accountancy software
    Qt Core: then they even made some xml tags sensitive to the order of tags
    Wol Euler: o.O
    Wol Euler: the whole point of xml was supposed to be that it was free-form self-validating!
    Qt Core: well, at least to generate the xml
    Qt Core: oh, yes, they have the xml definition schema that explicity says the tags are a sequence, so must obey order of that, it is something you can enforce, non sloppy programming
    Wol Euler: actually no, I am wrong, the xml spec does allow for sequences. scrap that.
    Qt Core: (still evil and stupid)
    Wol Euler: still: everyone needs new accounting/cost management software
    Wol Euler: I suppose if it's been three or four years coming, that is hardly an unfair burden
    Qt Core: yes we had time, especially with the public administration starting years before anyone, that was a smart move
    Wol Euler nods.
    Wol Euler: time to prove that it works
    Qt Core: and if one don't want new software can go to the tax authority website and fill the invoices online and read the ones sent to him


    Qt Core: (or sent all to your external accountant firm and let them do it as a "transmitter/receiver" for third parties
    Wol Euler: fascinating

    Wol Euler: and the privacy advocates? are they happy with this?
    Qt Core: there were some issues, but it seems they met and solved them in september/october (quite late i thought)
    Qt Core: i heard firms mostly scared of third parties (the receiver of the client, for examples) stealing clients as they will be able to see the price
    Wol Euler: indeed
    Wol Euler: one central point of failure
    Wol Euler: and it WILL fail because all human systems do fail
    Qt Core: then you have to elecronically keep the invoices you only elecronically get/send... and here the tax authority offer a free service... without guarantee...
    Wol Euler: O.O
    Qt Core: but when they inspect you and ask for old invoices you re due to show them ;-)
    Wol Euler: of course
    Qt Core: and the one who inspect (and maybe fin you) is the one who keep the document to avoid those fines... that is a nice conflict of interest
    Wol Euler: mmhmm
    Qt Core: (you can save them on your own or better use an external service, there are quite the rules and specification to follow to do it)
    Wol Euler: so your freedom and your mental and financial wellbeing are dependent on fee-charging bodies outside your control. Excellent news!
    Wol Euler: what could possibly go wrong?
    Wol Euler: because it will of course be your sole fault and responsibility if the company you entrust to keep your data suddenly goes bankrupt and it disappears
    Qt Core: (add to all of that electronic signature, certified mail and you got small one-man, elder-man firm panicking or even choosing an early retirement if possible)
    Wol Euler nods.
    Qt Core: i've heard about family run shop favoring the close the business and retire option and evil if not criminal external accountants asking for several euros for invoice to manage them
    Wol Euler: absolutely


    Wol Euler: none of this will be free!
    Wol Euler: no service is EVER free. Somebody pays, somewhere.
    Qt Core: some ISP has jumped on the wagon, but it is on the 20 euros a years and a few euros for each ten/hundred invoices and/or Gb transmitted/kept (they offer both tramsission and conservation)
    Qt Core: and often do most of the ckecj the tax authority will do before sending it to them (and electronic signature too)
    Wol Euler: okay ... and what if the recipient rejects the invoice and sends the goods back unused? I assume that has to go to the tax office too, to prove that the company did not earn those X euros.
    Wol Euler: Layers and layers of complexity and cost.
    Wol Euler: this is not actually about trees or PDFs, it's about government oversight of all business at the most intimate detail
    Qt Core: you send him a credit note (that too through the system)
    Wol Euler: anyway :) I wish Italians the best of luck with this :)
    Qt Core: the most bureaucratic thing i've seen about this (ad for now) is this: - you are a regular firm, you buy from a under the limits firm so they don't have todo the electronicinvoicing but you need it, so you must put in the system an electronic invoice from you to you for them
    Wol Euler: ha
    Qt Core: there was something like that on paper too before this, but some middle tier services have issues with you being on both sides...
    Wol Euler nods.
    Qt Core: all in all interesting times to be an IT guy ;-)


    Wol Euler laughs.
    Wol Euler: indeed
    Wol Euler: and I wish you personally luck too :)
    Qt Core: i even ended up going to clients a dozen times (i went to them just a couple of times in past 25 years, not a PR guy)
    Wol Euler smiles.
    Qt Core: it seems that Spain did it too (and they are still there) and Hungary is on its way to it
    Wol Euler sighs.
    Wol Euler: then we will probably get it too some time
    Qt Core: i think it may be on some EU wishlist
    Qt Core: (still better and saner than brexit ;-) )
    Wol Euler: agreed
    Wol Euler: national suicide, that is
    Qt Core: (always thought brits would be politically more wise, even doing something wrong as that
    Wol Euler: well.
    Qt Core: (would love to hear what the Queen really thing about all that ;-) )
    Wol Euler: heheheheh, you never will until long after her death, if ever
    Qt Core: she will die ? ;-)
    Wol Euler: yeah I know, it seems unlikely
    Qt Core: not even her silly husbands seems prone to death ;-)
    Wol Euler nods.
    Wol Euler: right, I must be going, I'm working this afternoon and need to have lunch first
    Wol Euler: this was fascinating, Qt, and worrying :)
    Qt Core: wow, it is late!
    Qt Core: :-)
    Qt Core: bye Wol
    Wol Euler: bye, Qt, enjoy the day

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