In order to be valid, invoices, unlike simplified invoices, must contain an identifying number, the date of issue (and the date of the transaction, if different), the description of the transaction, the tax data of the issuer and recipient (VAT number, name and address), the VAT base and rate and the resulting amount.

In addition, if any type of discount or rebate has been applied, it must appear on the invoice together with the total amount to be paid. It is also important that the invoice complies with the legal requirements established by current regulations as regards its format, content and issuing deadline.

In Spain, for example, the invoice must be issued within a maximum period of 30 days from the date of the transaction. In general, it is advisable to have an invoicing system that facilitates the generation of valid invoices and their management, helping to avoid errors or non-compliance that may result in penalties or economic damages.

When can you issue simplified invoices?

However, in certain cases simplified invoices can be issued, with less data. This is possible in the following cases:

  1. Retail sales or sales to individuals who do not request a full invoice and provided that the total amount of the transaction does not exceed 400 euros, including VAT. In this case, the simplified invoice should only include the date, the identification of the seller, a general description of the goods or services, the tax rate applied and the total amount.
  2. Distance sales not exceeding 100 euros, VAT included, and provided that the acquirer is a private individual who does not request a full invoice. In this case, in addition to the above data, the simplified invoice will have to include the seller’s tax identification number.
  3. Payments on account or advances that do not exceed 400 euros, VAT included, and provided that it is indicated that it is a payment on account or advance and the total amount.
  4. In hotel and catering services operations (such as bars and restaurants), simplified invoices may be issued for each of the purchases made. In this case, the simplified invoice must include the date, the name and surname of the customer, a breakdown of the goods or services rendered, the tax rate applied and the total amount.
  5. In the cases of cabs and freight transport, simplified invoices may be issued with the following data: date, identification of the carrier, origin and destination of the transport and the total price of the service.

It is important to note that the issuance of a simplified invoice does not exempt the seller from keeping a copy of the complete invoice in its accounting and tax records.

Simplified invoices must include their number, the issuer’s NIF and denomination, the VAT rate applied (or the expression “VAT included”), the total consideration, the date of issue and the identification of the goods delivered or services rendered. In addition, it is recommended that they also include the name and VAT number of the recipient, in the case of a company or self-employed person. These data will facilitate the management of VAT and accounting on both sides.

As these invoices do not contain the recipient’s data, they do not entitle the recipient to deduct the input VAT. However, such deduction is possible if the recipient’s VAT number and address are added to these invoices (it is not necessary to include the recipient’s name or company name) and the amount of VAT charged separately (the mention “VAT included” is not valid).

It is important to mention that there are situations in which the issuance of simplified invoices is not allowed, such as in intra-Community transactions or when registration in special books is required. In these cases, a complete invoice must be issued with all the details required by law.

Having a good control of simplified invoices is necessary to keep the company’s accounting in order, avoiding possible penalties and problems in the fiscal management of the company. Therefore, it is important to know the rules and requirements for issuing simplified invoices and to keep a detailed record of all operations performed.

There are some exceptions to these basic rules. Our professionals will guide you on when you can issue this type of invoices. We offer professional and legal advice to understand when and how you can issue simplified invoices in your country and avoid possible tax penalties.

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