B2B Payments

Late Payments On The Campaign Trail

overdue payment

It’s not just large businesses that pay late. Even presidential campaigns at times have dragged their feet on paying for services in a timely manner. Separately, eInvoicing mandates gather steam across far flung global corners.

Headlines about late payments have often pointed to large firms — such as construction behemoths in the United Kingdom — dragging their feet when it comes to paying vendors and suppliers in a timely manner.

But it turns out the private sector has some company, from governments and from presidential campaigns.

In the campaign realm, Newsweek reported that the presidential campaign of President Donald Trump has run up roughly $1 million in unpaid bills tied to public safety efforts at his rallies.

Some of those debts go back to 2016, according to the reports. The invoices span 10 cities as far-flung as El Paso, Texas and Erie, Pennsylvania.  The bills are owed to various fire and police departments.

The Center for Public Integrity (CPI) reported that in one example where the president extolled law enforcement at a rally last October in Lebanon, Ohio — the campaign still owes more than $16,000 to city for police department coverage there.

“There’s a lot of benefit when a president comes here: economic benefits, more visibility for our community,” Lebanon Mayor Amy Brewer told the CPI. “But I would hope and believe the Trump campaign would pay its bills. It’s our taxpayer dollars.”

In at least some cases there were no legal agreements between the campaign and local agencies; in other cases, law enforcement presence had been requested by the Secret Service, reported Newsweek.

The largest bill still outstanding comes from El Paso for more than $470,000.

“Failure to pay your past due balance or to make acceptable payment arrangement within 30 days from the date of this notice (May 23) may result in your account being charged a one-time collection fee of 21 percent on your gross account receivable balance,” a letter from El Paso to the campaign read.

eInvoicing Efforts

Separately, government mandates for eInvoicing to battle late payments and boost tax revenues are picking up steam.

As noted in this space, Sovos has highlighted research conducted by Billentis that shows the success of mandates across areas like Latin America, with Brazil reporting $58 million in tax revenue increases. Separately, Chile and Mexico were able to reduce their VAT gaps by as much as 50 percent.

ZDNet said this month that in Norway lawmakers have introduced regulations to require eInvoicing in the public sector for both local and state level governments.

“The use of eInvoices saved the nation almost [$544 million] in 2018,” said Norway Minister of Digitalization Nikolai Astrup in a statement. “As we now mandate state and local government to require eInvoices, we expect the gains to be even higher.”  Against that backdrop, government suppliers will be considered for contracts if they comply with eInvoice mandates. On a larger stage, Norway’s efforts are part of a continued effort with the European Union’s PEPPOL electronic document exchange.

The road may be a bit bumpy, though. The European Commission last month issued formal notices to 12 member states, including Ireland, accusing them of failing to implement EU eInvoicing rules in public procurement under the European Directive 2014/55/EU.

That directive requires the public sector to receive and process standardized eInvoices.

“The European Commission has identified eInvoicing as a key enabler in Europe’s move towards a Digital Single Market,” Lexology reported late last week. Among the alleged laggards is Ireland, which though its Office of Government Procurement has established n “eInvoicing Ireland” effort. “The Commission has taken the view that Ireland has still not complied with its obligations and has taken steps to commence infringement proceedings,” the EU said in its report.

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