How does a proper invoice look like, in order to withstand the tax office exam in Germany?

A proper invoice is A and O, because when any formal errors occur, the alleged business expense can not be used more. Also, often at a solid pre-tax amount must be refunded, of course, plus interest. Most of faults fall on only during the audit that takes place years later, so that through the long return period, a correspondingly high amount can accumulate. To avoid this, it is important that invoices are issued correctly. Both the own bills should be carefully checked in terms of data requirements, as well as the incoming invoices from suppliers. The following checklist specifies the minimum information to an invoice has to be fulfilled:

1. Address of the invoicing

Here is the correct and full address of the supplier or -donating is indicated. However, these are included anyway, so no problems should occur on the letterhead of the company.

2. Addresses of Debtor

Also the correct and full address of recipient of invoice has to be noted. The billing address must be noted and, if different, the delivery address.

3. Tax Numbers

Also important is the tax number of the invoicing. This itself must then be specified if it is a small business which proves no sales tax. Alternatively to the tax code can also be the tax identification number (VAT ID) are listed where applicable. This is even advisable, since this number third parties may receive less information about the issuer of the invoice.

4. Information on the performance

An important point on each invoice, the information to perform. Here it must be clearly provided which performance or which goods have been delivered. For a concrete specification or product description is indicated. In addition, the number of supplied goods or services must be specified. This information may, for example, in

→ piece

→ hours

→ kilograms or

→ grams

carried out. This is to ensure that for the service actually provided / delivered goods have been paid. 5. Delivery details

Are also crucial information on delivery. The actual delivery or performance date must be specified. In summary invoices that are only once a month or quarterly issued, specifying the performance period ( - December 2012 , for example, November 2012 , October ) is sufficient . Also, specify where the service is provided, what bills abroad is particularly crucial because here provide various taxation measures .

6. Prices and tax

Indicate also the actual price per unit (hour, pieces, kilograms ... ). This must be multiplied by the number of units, so that a total price arises, which must be specified as net price. In addition, the tax must be indicated, as a percentage amount (7% and 19% in Germany) and as a monetary amount. Small business operators may designate no sales tax on their invoices. However, you must necessarily point out that, owing to the small business law, no tax to report (referring to § 19 UStG - small business regulation).

7. Terms of payment

Finally, the terms of payment, which must also be indicated on the invoice to follow. It should indicate whether the amount is to be paid into a bank account , via PayPal , advance payment or direct debit. It must also be designated where the money is to be transferred , which PayPal address is to be used or when the debit is carried out at the earliest (eg, five days after the invoice date).

8. Invoice number and date

Must be specified in addition also an invoice date and invoice number. The latter must be continuous, at least within a year. Any combination for the invoice number can be used, as the following examples of the invoice issued 12.11.2012 prove:

→ 20953

→ 2012-100

→ 2012-11-24

→ 2012-11-12-02

→ 12-100

It is important that the numbers are consecutive, in the above examples, the next invoice number would be:

→ 20954

→ 2012-101

→ 2012-11-25 or 2012-12-01, provided that no further statement will be posted in November

→ 2012-11-12-03 or 2012-11-13-01, if marked on 12.11.2012, no further statement is written,

→ 12-101

Other important points

The account numbers can also consist of letter and number combinations, so that one is relatively free to design the structure of the number ranges here. The details for payment however, it is necessary to call for payment. Slightly recommend, because difficult to enforce in case of default, are statements such as "payable immediately net". The term now could mean today or within three to five days. It is better to designate a specific date, such as" payable within 10 days, up to 22.11.2012". In order for the invoice recipient is immediately on reaching the date of payment in default.

Exhibit small-value invoices properly

When creating invoices is to distinguish between different types, one of which is the small amount of invoice. This term refers to all invoices are summarized to an amount of 150 € and here requirements are less stringent than in conventional calculations. The requirements here include:

→ Name and address of the issuer of the invoice,

→ date of invoice,

→ amount and type of goods or services,

→ pay and tax amount in one lump sum (no separate VAT ID required, but specifying the tax rate necessary or reference to § 19 UStG - Kleinunternehmerregelung) Can thus account details at the time of delivery or performance, as well as the continuous invoice number, but also the name of the Debtor.

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