Date of publication: November 2018
All VAT registered businesses are required to produce invoices which comply with VAT legislation. Whether VAT is chargeable can be a complex question and advice should be sought.
There are three types of VAT invoice Full (used for most transactions), modified (used for retail supplies over £250) and simplified (used for supplies under £250)
Invoices must include:
|Invoice information||Full invoice||Simplified invoice||Modified invoice|
|Unique invoice number that follows on from the last invoice||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Your business name and address||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Your VAT number||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|The tax point (or ‘time of supply’) if this is different from the invoice date||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Customer’s name or trading name, and address||Yes||No||Yes|
|Description of the goods or services||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Total amount excluding VAT||Yes||No||Yes|
|Total amount of VAT||Yes||No||Yes|
|Price per item, excluding VAT||Yes||No||Yes|
|Quantity of each type of item||Yes||No||Yes|
|Rate of any discount per item||Yes||No||Yes|
|Rate of VAT charged per item - if an item is exempt or zero-rated make clear no VAT on these items||Yes||Yes (1)||Yes|
|Total amount including VAT||No||Yes (1)||Yes|
(1) If items are charged at different VAT rates, then show this for each
Where the invoice is issued to a customer in another EU state, the issuing business’ VAT registration number must be prefixed with the letters GB.
The EU recipient’s VAT number, including the national code letters must be shown. This information is required by the issuing business for separate reporting of sales to other EU states. Most accounting software collates this information.
If VAT is not chargeable on a particular supply (because it is outside the scope, or subject to reverse charge, for example) the reason why VAT is not due must be shown on the invoice.
Copies of any cancelled invoices should be kept and an explanation recorded, as HMRC have a right to enquire about any gaps in invoice sequencing.
In addition to the above items, UK registered companies are required to include on all communications, including invoices, the company number, registered office address and place of incorporation (normally England & Wales).
If you realise an invoice has been issued with an error or the incorrect VAT rate, simply issue a credit note for the erroneous invoice and issue a corrected version of the invoice.
Disclaimer: This note does not contain a full statement of the law and it does not constitute legal advice. Please contact us if you have any questions about the information set out above.
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