What You Need To Know About Commercial Invoices

12’117 € on average in additional payments on taxes and interest have been due after the audits in 2012 in small and micro enterprises. We will tell you how to book your bills compliant to the law and archive them compliant for the audit.

While the documentation requirements are manageable in domestic bills, it becomes more complex in import and export.

First of all, when bills are over small amounts, rules are simpler. So bills for small amounts up to 150 € only need (1) the full name and address of the supplier, (2) the date of invoice, (3) the amount and type of goods or services, (4) the amount and the related tax amount, the tax rate or, if applicable, the reference to the tax exemption to the extent that such an exemption is given, and (5) the tax number or tax identification number of the supplier.

For invoices above 150 € additional information must be given as (6) Name and address of the customer, (7) date of delivery or service, (8) a unique invoice number, and (9) where appropriate, disaggregated tax rate net amounts and the related tax amounts.

Do not check only your own sales invoices, but else each incoming purchase invoice for compliance with the above minimum requirements.

In the import and export needs to be a distinction between procurement of goods and services generally.

An import bill for service, for, as marketing consultancy, you will receive a VAT-free invoice on the so-called “reverse charging system”. This means nothing else than that the obligation of declaring VAT has been passed on to you as the importer. In Germany, such declaration of services import is mandatory according to §13 UStG and in Switzerland according to “Bezgssteuer”. As far as these invoices are regular business expenses, you can of course add them to the input tax, so that the sum gets nullified.

Are you located in the EU area, as an importer of goods from EU area the obligation of VAT declaration is usually passed on to you. Again, you as the customer are fully responsible for the declaration of the value added tax that might be declared as input tax as well. If you are not located in the EU, or receive goods from third countries other than EU imported goods, import value added tax is generally levied by customs. Archive these customs declaration very carefully with each import invoice. Again, you are responsible for the correct value added tax declaration of imports.

Next week we’ll continue with the export invoices. If you have comments or questions we are look forward to receiving your feedback!

News Reporter