It is possible to produce a paper printout for your own filing, but the “original” is the digitally signed file. This must be archived electronically and kept for seven years for invoicing purposes.
Storage on a CD is sufficient for small quantities (up to 10,000 documents/invoices per year). Stored in the usual plastic cases, a service life of 7 years, as intended for tax audit purposes, is no problem. It is recommended to make a second copy, which should be deposited with the tax advisor.
Basically, storage on several different storage media is recommended (CD, DVD, TLD, DAT, …).
In more sensitive cases, when longer storage periods are required or with larger amounts of data, professional archiving systems should be used. In these cases, however, the storage of the invoices will only be a partial aspect of an overall archiving concept.
Validity for printed form
In addition to electronic storage, there are techniques that print the hash value of the document and the signature in code on the document so that the digital signature can be reconstructed after scanning. In this case, a file could be created from the document, which would then be the “original”. If these techniques are to be used, one should assure oneself to the manufacturer that the original file can still be reconstructed in 10, 20, 30 years.
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