Croatian Bureaucracy, a Love Story: 3. E-Invoicing (e-racun)

Total Croatia News

Updated on:

A few months ago I sent out my monthly invoices to various clients. Within a few minutes, I had two replies.

The first was a dream client, thanking me for my hard work and confirming that the invoice had already been paid. I checked the bank and there was the money. Zero transaction cost, zero stamps, just one emailed invoice and one online payment. Superb.  

The second email was from a different client and explained that they were unable to pay the invoice, as they were in the e-racun (e-invoicing) system. Could I please send an e-racun and they could then process the payment?

At this point, I should explain that although I have had a company for 18 years in Croatia, I have been shielded from most of its bureaucracy and paperwork by my wonderful accountant and wife (two different fabulous people). They take care of most of the daily headaches, leaving me to sign documents, a setup for which I am eternally grateful. 

I must confess to being more than a little confused by the second email. What could be more perfect in terms of e-invoicing than sending an email with the stampless invoice attached, to be paid within minutes, with no transaction costs? How could this e-racun invoicing system possibly be more efficient than that?

And so began a journey of discovery into the wonderful world of electronic invoicing in Croatia in 2021. 

Although there were some paid options to produce the required e-racun online, the classic way is to visit the state financial agency known as FINA. Having been shielded from the bureaucracy by my wife and accountant, my direct contact with FINA has always been limited to queuing to pay some small amounts in order to get documents. 

I decided that it was time I took more of an active role and headed off to the FINA office in Varazdin, complete with my non-e-racun  invoice. I had no idea what would come next, or how a shiny e-invoicing system could be more efficient than simply sending an invoice attached to an email and getting paid within minutes with zero transaction costs. 

And so it began… 

I was informed that in order for my company to send an e-racun, I would have to give FINA a power of attorney, cost 37.50 kuna. In addition to that, the cost of processing and sending the e-racun was an additional 25 kuna per invoice. This was already looking a little more expensive than the free service paid instantly that clients not in the e-invoicing system. Would the invoice be sent immediately at least?

Not quite. The invoice would be emailed to both me and the client the following day.

With limited options, I agreed to proceed. I filled in the power of attorney form and handed over my ID card (I have permanent residence). There was a problem. 

In order to sign the power of attorney, I needed my passport (which I did not have with me), not my ID (which I did have). This contrasts beautifully with a recent attempt to withdraw money from my bank with my passport. This was not possible, as only my ID would suffice. 

A wasted trip – unless you count the educational aspect of getting to know the e-invoice system. A return journey to FINA was necessary with the passport, my 62.50 kuna paid and the invoice finally issued. Let’s all celebrate digital progress. 

Weeks passed. 

Another round of invoices sent out. Again two quick email responses. 

The first was from the same client, confirming instant payment again. The second, from a new client, asking me to submit an e-racun. Here we go again… 

I was in Zagreb, not Varazdin, this time, and headed to th local FINA office with the offending invoice. The clerk informed me that I would need a power of attorney, cost 37.50 kuna and a transaction fee of 25 kuna per invoice. I pointed out that my company already had a power of attorney to cover all invoices, and why the need to pay for the power of attorney again? 

He frowned, looked deep into his computer then agreed that I did indeed have the power of attorney. 

“But that is for the Varazdin office. You are now in Zagreb.”

“Are you telling me that a power of attorney to a national institution such as FINA is only valid for the town in which it is issued?”

He confirmed that this was the case. After a short exchange, he agreed to see if there was anything that he could do. 

It turned out that there was, and it would be possible to process the invoice for just the transaction fee, but it would have to go through the Varazdin office, as that is where the power of attorney was signed. It was a Wednesday. 

“Ok thank you. can you confirm that  it will be sent out tomorrow, Thursday?” He  could not. In fact, given that we were already in the afternoon and the fact that the paperwork had to be sent to another city, he could only commit to the following Monday. 

I paid my 25 kuna and left, wondering at the magnificent of Croatia in the digital age. 

You can follow the Croatian Bureaucracy, a Love Story series here.

Read more:

Croatian Bureaucracy, a Love Story: 1. The Car Licence Plate

Croatian Bureaucracy, a Love Story: 2. Foreign Father Attending a Birth 

Opening a Croatian Business Bank Account as a Foreigner… in 46 Minutes


Subscribe to our newsletter

the fields marked with * are required
Email: *
First name:
Last name:
Gender: Male Female
Please don't insert text in the box below!

Leave a Comment