This legal definition of value added tax in (1) UStG must be supplemented by civil law and business management aspects. The invoice is then a structured list of the requirement of a fee for a service performance . It enables the debtor to review the claim, which is why it must clearly show which amount is required for which service. The specification within the invoice must also include any partial services that have been provided . If the invoice meets these requirements, it does not matter whether it is called "settlement", "waybill", "offset", "receipt", "payment request" or "payment statement". Documents that exclusively concern payment transactions are not considered invoices , e.g. B. Account statements or delivery notes .
The word bill comes from the Old High German "rehhanunga" or "réchenungo", which appeared for the first time around the year 1000, in Middle High German it changed to "rech (e) nunge". The current word "bill" appeared for the first time in 1316. While the word invoice is out of date in Germany today, it is the usual synonym for the invoice in Austria and Switzerland .
The accountability under Paragraph 1 of the German Civil Code ( BGB) establishes the legal obligation to prepare an invoice containing the orderly compilation of income or expenditure . The bill is a receiving requiring declaration of intent , the first with access at the debtor legally is. The debtor will be in default at the latest if he does not pay within 30 days of the due date and receipt of an invoice or an equivalent payment schedule ( (3) BGB). A reminder is not required, because according to Section 286, Paragraph 2, No. 1 of the German Civil Code (BGB), the performance time is determined according to the calendar. If the debtor an invoice or an equivalent payment after receipt of the consideration in accordance with (1) BGB , the time of receipt of this invoice or payment schedule takes the place of the statutory period for receipt of the consideration.
The ticket ( (1) UStDV ) and the receipt are also considered invoices . As a certificate , the beer mat has a bill-like function of evidence. Receipts up to a total amount of € 250.00 (including sales tax) that meet the requirements of UStDV are recognized as a small amount invoice . The advance invoice requests partial payments for larger orders . Incoming invoices are called the invoices for a goods receipt , outgoing invoices accordingly for a goods issue . The pro forma invoice is a provisional invoice which, as a rule, cannot request payment . It is not legally an invoice, but is assigned to the order process . No bill is Bill , a form of tax evasion according to para. 1 AO that a transaction pretend or to conceal. In contrast to entrepreneurs, the issuing of an invoice by private individuals (private invoice ) is not regulated by law. However, the exhibitor should check whether the creation of the invoice does not already mean that he is self-employed or commercial .
law of obligations, an invoice contains a request for payment, whereby the creditor's claim ( (1) BGB) for payment generally results from a previously concluded contract , such as the purchase contract ( (2) BGB). However, it is not specified that the request for payment must necessarily be made by means of an invoice ( (1) sentence 1 BGB). If the invoice contains a term of payment , the debtor must only effect his performance on the relevant date ( (2) BGB); without a payment term, the debtor is obliged to pay immediately after receipt of the invoice (Section 271 (1) BGB). The time of performance does not necessarily have to be determined by the receipt of an invoice, but can either be contractually agreed (e.g. in the case of a target purchase) according to Paragraph 2 or, in the absence of a provision, results from the law according to Paragraph 1 of the aforementioned regulation.
No additional fees may be charged for sending an invoice in paper form with reference to electronically provided invoices, at least not if the object of the invoice is not exclusively contracts concluded online. Such fees are already common with mobile phone providers in Switzerland.
- Invoice as a temporary reminder
In principle, the invoice and the reminder can be combined, but it is not sufficient to specify a pure payment period ("The invoice amount is to be paid immediately / by ...") on the invoice, because this is a one-sided declaration Payment deadline , since otherwise the regulation of Paragraph 3 Sentence 1 BGB would be undermined. In order for the payment deadline to be understood as a limited reminder, reference must be made to the fact that a delay occurs when the deadline expires. However, the creditor's claim must already be due when the debtor receives the invoice (Section 286 (1) sentence 1 BGB).
- The invoice contains a reminder in accordance with Section 286 (3) BGB
Receipt of an invoice by the debtor is one of three requirements for debtor default according to Section 286 (3) BGB. This provision is an exception, according to which - in addition to the exceptions in Section 286 (2) of the German Civil Code (BGB) - the debtor may default on a payment claim (further requirement) without a reminder being issued (Section 286 (1) of the BGB ). The final prerequisite is the expiry of the 30-day period, whereby the expiry of the period begins either with the due date of the claim or the day of receipt of the invoice / statement of payment, whichever is the later. This day is not included in the calculation of the deadline ((1) BGB). The period ends at the end of the 30th day ( Paragraph 1 BGB). If the point in time at which the invoice / statement of payment was received is uncertain, the law assumes the point in time when the debtor receives it together with the consideration (Section 286 (3) sentence 2 BGB).
However, consumers must be specifically advised of this regulation within the invoice / payment schedule (Section 286, Paragraph 3, Clause 1, Clause 2 BGB). The determination of a unilateral payment term without instruction is in any case not sufficient. The sending of an invoice with the unilateral determination of a payment term by the obligee cannot justify a default of the debtor without the necessary instruction of the consumer (§ 286 Abs. 3 Satz 1 BGB). The presumption of the time of receipt does not apply to consumers (Section 286 (3) sentence 2 BGB).
- Agreements on the performance period of the payment claim
The agreements between contracting parties on the performance time with regard to when a payment claim is to be met are subject to legal limits. As a rule, a maximum period of 60 days can be agreed ( (1) sentence 1 BGB). However, a performance period that is too long is still valid if the debtor receives an invoice after receiving the consideration and based on this the 60-day period is met (Section 271a, Paragraph 1, Clause 2 BGB). As long as the obligee does not grant later access, the law assumes the time of the receipt of the invoice / statement of payment together with the consideration (§ 271a Abs. 1 Satz 3 BGB). However, this regulation does not apply if a consumer owes the payment (Section 271a (5) No. 2 BGB).
When using terms and conditions , the difference is that the user of the terms and conditions may generally not reserve more than 30 days for the fulfillment of a claim for payment. It is permissible, should the debtor receive an invoice / statement of payment after receiving the consideration, to base the start of the expiry period on the date of receipt of this invoice / statement of payment. However, this restriction does not apply if the user of the GTC is a consumer ( No. 1a BGB).
Claims for defects (warranty)
Consumer goods purchase
The rights of the consumer as a buyer, which he has against the seller as an entrepreneur in the event of a defective purchase item, as long as it is a purchase of consumer goods ( Paragraph 1 BGB), cannot be restricted by the entrepreneur ( Paragraph 1 BGB) ). The assertion of claims for defects ( BGB) does not depend on the submission of the invoice (which, however, facilitates the enforcement of the claims) and therefore cannot be agreed to the detriment of the consumer.
In terms and conditions, no effective agreement can be made to the disadvantage of the buyer, according to which the buyer must present the invoice for the assertion of claims for defects, since such a regulation is subject to content control ( BGB).
In individual contracts, such a regulation would have to be subject to the interpretations ofBGB with regard to admissibility and with regard to the scope of BGB and would therefore not be possible (because it is crucial that the proof of purchase succeeds). In case of doubt, the interpretations are made in favor of the buyer.
Right to invoice
The recipient of a service who is an entrepreneur within the meaning of sales tax (VAT). The claim arises from the legal relationship under civil law in conjunction with (2) UStG. In the case of § 14 Paragraph 2 No. 1 UStG, entrepreneurship on the recipient side is not a prerequisite for the claim. The claim can be brought before the civil courts and is subject to the three-year limitation period of BGB. The start of the period is the end of the year in which the claim arose ( (1) BGB).UStG is entitled to an invoice if the provider of the service is also an entrepreneur and is entitled to show
"If there is a claim to an invoice according to § 14 UStG, the service recipient can in principle withhold the payment owed by him according to § 273 paragraph 1 BGB until the service provider issues him the invoice (...)
It is seriously doubtful whether the payment of sales tax subject, the recipient of the service can only request the issuance of an invoice according to § 14 UStG with separately shown tax if the responsible tax authority has definitively subjected the transaction to sales tax (...) "
According to value added tax (VAT) must be shown on the invoices - if there is a VAT obligation - so that there is an invoice amount as a gross price ( with VAT) and a net price (without VAT). According to Abs. 1 UStDV an invoice can consist of several documents, from which the information required according to § 14 Abs. 4 UStG can be derived. In one of these documents, the remuneration and the tax amount due on it are to be summarized and all other documents are to be named, from which the other mandatory information according to § 14 para. 4 UStG result. Small value invoices up to 250 euros only need to contain four minimum details ( UStDV). Invoices must be sent on paper or, subject to the recipient's consent, as electronic invoices . Invoices do not require a handwritten signature , whereas electronic invoices require an electronic signature . If entertainment costs are claimed as business expenses , only an invoice that has been created and registered automatically ( cash register ) will be accepted as evidence .(4) UStG , invoices must contain ten mandatory details. The
- Required information in an invoice
An invoice must contain the following information ((4) UStG):
- Contact details : the full name and full address of the supplier and the recipient of the service
- Tax number : the tax number issued by the tax office to the entrepreneur providing the service or the sales tax identification number issued by the Federal Central Tax Office
- Date : the date of issue
- Invoice number : a unique number that can be easily assigned to a number range
- Service : the amount and type (customary description) of the delivered items or the scope and type of other service
- Service date: the time of delivery or other service or the receipt of the fee or part of the fee (if the delivery or service has not yet been carried out), provided that this point in time is fixed and is not identical to the date of issue of the invoice
- Net amount : the fee (net sales, Paragraph 1, Sentence 2 UStG) for the delivery or other service, as well as any previously agreed reduction in the fee, unless it is already taken into account in the fee, broken down according to tax rates and individual tax exemptions
- VAT note : the applicable tax rate as well as the tax amount due on the consideration or, in the case of a tax exemption, an indication that a tax exemption applies to the delivery or other service, and
- Retention period : in cases in which the entrepreneur carries out a work service subject to VAT or other service in connection with a property to a non-entrepreneur, an indication of the duty of the service recipient to retain it.
- Bills for small amounts
According to § 14 Abs. 6 Nr. 3 UStG i. V. m. UStDV , simplified rules apply to an invoice whose total amount does not exceed EUR 250 (including sales tax) ( small amount invoice ). This must contain at least the following information:
- the full name and full address of the entrepreneur providing the service,
- the date of issue,
- the quantity and type of items delivered or the scope and type of other services and
- the remuneration and the tax amount due for the delivery or other service in one sum as well as the applicable tax rate or, in the case of a tax exemption, an indication that a tax exemption applies to the delivery or other service.
Compared to a full invoice, the recipient of the service, the tax number, the invoice number and the service period are no longer applicable.
According to Art. 238 para. 1a VAT Directive, corresponding regulations up to an amount of 400 euros are possible within the EU, which is why invoices for small amounts within the EU can deviate from the threshold amount and from the minimum content requirements.
Small amount invoices may not be used for
- intra-community mail order business ( UStG),
- intra-community deliveries ( UStG) and
- if the tax liability is reversed ( UStG).
There are similar reliefs for tickets as invoices (UStDV).
- Invoice details for small businesses (Section 19 (2) UStG)
Small businesses within the meaning of sales tax law are not allowed to show sales tax in the invoice, but at the same time the reason for the missing sales tax identification is one of the billing information.
On all business letters (and thus also on invoices) from a merchant or a trading company , the company including the legal form addition (e.g. GmbH, GmbH & Co. KG), the place of the commercial branch, the register court and the number under which the Company is registered in the commercial register. Furthermore, in the case of companies without a natural person as direct or indirect full liability , all managing directors or members of the board of directors (with special mention of the chairman ) and the chairman of the supervisory board with the family name and at least one full first name, and in the case of partnerships the companies of the shareholders If (voluntary) information is provided about the equity of a corporation , the share capital or share capital and, if not all contributions to be made in cash have been paid in, the total amount of the outstanding contributions must be given ( para. 1 HGB, (1) AktG, (1) GmbHG).
Under the phrase “own or third-party account”, the legislator clarifies who has to bear the obligations , costs or prices or who should benefit from the benefits of a business or the benefits of use . So is allowed clerk to para. 1 HGB without permission of the merchant's neither a commercial enterprise still operate in the branch of commerce do business the merchant for principal or agent. The directors of a corporation may according to para. 1 German Stock Corporation Act without the consent of the Supervisory Board neither a trade still operate in the financial branch of the corporation for principal or do business.
amount up to € 250.00 gross *)
amount from € 250.01 gross *)
Paragraph 4 No. 1 UStG:
Full name and full address of the supplier.
Abs. 4 Nr. 1 UStG in connection with UStDV:
Full name and full address of the recipient of the service.
Tax number or USt-IdNr .:
Abs. 4 Nr. 2 UStG in connection with UStDV:
The tax number and / or the sales tax identification number given by the Federal Office of Finance to the entrepreneur providing the service.
Paragraph 4 No. 3 UStG: Date of
issue of the invoice.
Paragraph 4 No. 4 UStG in conjunction with UStDV:
A number with one or more series of numbers that is assigned once by the invoice issuer to identify the invoice (since February 2008 the number no longer has to be consecutive).
Quantity and article description:
Abs. 4 Nr. 5 UStG:
The quantity and type (customary trade name) of the delivered items or the scope and type of other services.
Date of delivery / service:
Paragraph 4 No. 6 UStG in conjunction with UStDV:
The time of delivery or other service or the receipt of the fee (even if it is identical to the date of issue of the invoice).
(4) No. 7 UStG in conjunction with UStDV:
The net remuneration broken down according to tax rates and individual tax exemptions.
Abs. 4 Nr. 8 UStG in connection with UStDV:
The applicable tax rate.
Abs. 4 Nr. 8 UStG in connection with UStDV:
The applicable tax rate and the tax amount due on the consideration.
Reason for the tax exemption:
Abs. 4 Nr. 8 UStG:
In the case of a tax exemption, an indication that the delivery or other service is subject to a tax exemption. It is sufficient here to state the reason for the tax exemption (e.g. "small business regulation"); it is not necessary to name the regulation (in this case "UStG").
Storage obligation for construction work:
Paragraph 4 No. 9 UStG in conjunction with UStDV:
A reference to the recipient's obligation to keep records (only for construction work).
*) For invoices up to December 31, 2016, the limit was 150.00 or 150.01 euros.
The entrepreneur must keep incoming and outgoing invoices for 10 years ( (1) sentence 1 UStG). Private individuals (including entrepreneurs who use services in their private sphere) who have received an invoice from entrepreneurs for services in connection with a property or land right are obliged to keep this invoice for two years on the basis of (1) sentence 5 UStG . In the event of a violation, a fine of up to € 500 can be imposed. This retention obligation (of the private person ) must be pointed out in the invoice, for example by adding "The invoice recipient is obliged to keep the invoice for tax purposes for 2 years." For tradesman's invoices (which are tax deductible according to (3) EStG) via the New construction, reconstruction or repair of a building is subject to a five-year limitation period in the event of defects ( Paragraph 1 No. 2 BGB); the associated invoices are to be kept for the assertion of claims.
Anyone who is not an entrepreneur only has to keep the invoices or comparable documents received for two years for services in connection with a property ((1) sentence 5 UStG in conjunction with (2) sentence 1 No. 1 UStG). In addition, it makes sense to keep tradesman's invoices for the new construction, conversion or repair of a building for five years in order to be able to assert claims from the warranty obligation.
Breach of billing obligations
If the recipient of the service and the entrepreneur agree to provide the services without issuing an invoice (so-called no-invoice agreement ), the entrepreneur is violating his sales tax billing obligations. If this is done with the intention of saving sales tax in this way, the agreement also serves a criminal tax evasion of the entrepreneur according to AO . The economic background of such a no-invoice agreement are mostly services to persons who are not entitled to input tax deduction , such as private individuals or those entrepreneurs who do not provide services subject to VAT (as in the case of rental and leasing as the type of income, unless VAT was opted for). The recipient of the service pays less because the sales tax is not calculated; the entrepreneur can reduce the income taxes ( income , corporation and trade tax ) if the payment transaction is not recorded in the accounts .
In order to curb this widespread practice, the obligation to issue an invoice was generally extended to property-related services in 2004, parallel to the law to intensify the fight against illegal employment and the related tax evasion ( SchwarzArbG ) - the main application of the no-invoice agreement in practice - and introduced a two-year retention period for non-entrepreneurs. Under civil law, a no-account agreement made for the purpose of tax evasion generally results in the nullity of the work or other contract (due to a violation of a statutory prohibition , BGB, and against morality , BGB), whereby the Federal Court of Justice (BGH) restricts the ineffectiveness of contracts that have already been executed, citing the principle of good faith .
The invoice forms the end of the invoicing process , which creates a receivable in the invoicing company that is to be capitalized in its balance sheet . It is a booking voucher , a claim can arise without an invoice, but it is more difficult to prove. An invoice is created on the basis of purchase contracts for the purchase price both in the floor trade in the store and in the mail order business , in the case of contracts for work and services , service contracts and other obligations where payment is expected in return. Upon receipt of the invoice, the debtor must post it as a liability .
Outside of these invoices, the term invoice is used for any compilation of figures, such as in accounting (here the investment calculation or the current account, the financial statement ) and accounting (here among other things the cost and performance accounting , profit and loss account ) or in economics, the national accounts .
An invoice documents the existence of a claim, a receipt confirms that a claim has expired (for example due to a payment ). A receipt serves as proof of payment for private individuals, as they are usually not entitled to a detailed invoice. In Germany, this does not require any information about the VAT rate or the tax amount.
The simplified invoice provisions for small amount invoices are standardized in all EU member states by Directive EU / 2006/112 of November 2006. In Art. 226, it lists a total of 15 minimum items of information on an invoice; invoices do not have to be signed (Art. 229).
Almost the same rules apply to invoicing in Austria as in Germany. If the entrepreneur carries out sales within the meaning of Section 1 (1) no. 1 UStG , he is entitled to issue invoices in accordance with Section 11 (1) UStG. The mandatory information results from § 11 Paragraph 1 No. 3 UStG. According to Section 11 (2) UStG, an invoice is any document with which an entrepreneur invoices for a delivery or other service, regardless of how this document is referred to in business transactions. The requirements for the content differ depending on whether it is a small invoice ( up to 400 euros), a normal invoice (over 400 euros) or a large invoice (over 10,000 euros).
In Switzerland the bill is colloquially called either “Invoice” or “Rächnig” in Swiss German. According to Art. 3k VAT Act, it is "any document with which a third party is billed for the payment for a service, regardless of how this document is referred to in business transactions." Art. 26 VAT Act sets out the content requirements for the invoice. The service provider has to issue the service recipient on request with an invoice that meets the requirements of Art. 26 Paragraphs 2 and 3 VAT Act. Most requirements do not apply to receipts up to CHF 400. The “ QR-bill ” standard has been in effect in Switzerland since July 2020, replacing bills with payment slips with a fully machine-readable format.
In France , the invoice ( French facture ) is based on the official tax announcement ( French Bulletin Officiel des Impôts ) 3 CA No. 136 of August 7, 2003. There are no small amount invoices, so the French VAT ( French Taxe sur la valeur ajoutée , TVA) must be disclosed openly. Invoices must be kept for at least 3 years after they have been issued.
The English invoice ( English invoice ) is valid up to a gross amount of 250 GBP as a small amount invoice ( English less detailed VAT invoice ). The British tax ( English value added tax , VAT) arises with performance of the delivery ( english point tax ); if the invoice has been issued within 14 days after the delivery has been made, the tax arises on the invoice date.
- Otto Palandt / Christian Grüneberg: Palandt . BGB Commentary, 73rd edition, 2014, § 286 Rn. 28.
- Hans Brox / Wolf-Dietrich Walker : General Law of Obligations, 2016 . Section 23 Rn. 23.
- Henrich Fabis: The law for the acceleration of due payments - content and effects, in: ZIP . 2000, p. 865 (867) .
- Gerhard Köbler , Etymological Legal Dictionary , 1995, p. 328
- Barbara Altweger, The oldest statutes of the city of Regensburg , in: Collection of historical writings and documents, 1836, p. 99
- Invoice, the. In: duden.de. Dudenverlag of the Bibliographical Institute , accessed on June 1, 2016 .
- Dagmar Coester-Waltjen : Law . 2000, p. 443 (445) .
- Otto Palandt // Christian Grüneberg, BGB Commentary , 74th edition, 2014 § 286 Rn. 28
- Manfred Löwisch (Ed.): Staudinger . BGB, § 286 Rn. 99
- Michael Heghmanns, Criminal Law for All Semesters - Special Part Volume 2, 2009, p. 405
- Saxony-Anhalt Finance Court ruling v. 03.03.2003, Az .: 1 K 476/99. In: jurion.de. Jurion , March 3, 2003, accessed on June 1, 2016 (JurionRS 2003, 12964; subscription service, principle / tenor free).
- Cordula Heldt / Jörg Berwanger: Gabler Wirtschaftslexikon, keyword: target purchase, online on the Internet. In : wirtschaftslexikon.gabler.de. Springer Gabler Verlag , accessed on November 8, 2016 : “Purchase on target. 1. General: Purchase for which a payment term is granted. "
- BGH, judgment of October 9, 2014 , Az .: IIII ZR 32/14, full text
- Jasmine Helbling: Swisscom now also charges fees for paper bills. In: observer.ch . July 25, 2019, accessed August 3, 2019 .
- Achim Bönninghaus: Law of Obligations General Part II - breach of duty (= Juriq success training . Civil law). 3rd, revised edition. CF Müller, Heidelberg / Munich / Landsberg / Frechen / Hamburg 2014, ISBN 978-3-8114-7212-9 , 3rd part - performance delay, p. 62–63 (181 p., Limited preview in Google Book Search [accessed November 8, 2016]).
- Jacob Joussen : Law of Obligations I - General Part . Ed .: Winfried Boecken , Stefan Korioth (= Law study series . General part). 3rd, revised edition. Verlag W. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 2015, ISBN 978-3-17-028567-5 , § 9 The non-performance despite the possibility, 539 ff. (466 pages, limited preview in the Google book search [accessed on November 8, 2016]) .
- BGH, judgment of October 25, 2007, Az .: III ZR 91/07
- Jacob Joussen : Law of Obligations I - General Part . Ed .: Winfried Boecken, Stefan Korioth (= Law study series . General part). 3rd, revised edition. Verlag W. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 2015, ISBN 978-3-17-028567-5 , § 6 The provisions of the modalities of the performance obligation, 254 ff. (466 pages, limited preview in the Google Book Search [accessed on November 8, 2016 ]).
- Otto Palandt / Walter Weidenkaff, BGB Commentary , 73rd edition, 2014, § 444, Rn. 15th
BGHZ . tape 103 . Carl Heymanns Verlag, Cologne, p. 284 ff ., On p. 287 . BGH - October 11, 1974 - VIII ZR 186/73 . In: Wolfgang Ewer u. a. (Ed.): NJW . Verlag CH Beck, 1975, p.
310 ( Judgment in full text on Jurion [accessed November 11, 2016]). BFHE . tape
135 . Stollfuß Medien, Bonn, p. 118 ff ., On p. 123 . BMF (Ed.): BFH , BStBl II . Stollfuß Medien, Bonn 1982, p.
315 ff ., On p. 316 .
- BGH - June 26, 2014 - VII ZR 247/13. In: juris.bundesgerichtshof.de. The President of the Federal Court of Justice, June 26, 2014, accessed on November 11, 2016 (full text).
- IHK Hamburg from June 2018, mandatory information in invoices
- Beate Trinks, Matthias Trink: The small amount invoice in sales tax. (PDF; 261 kB) In: kick-grosser.de. Kick-Grosser tax office, accessed on April 26, 2017 .
- see Oberfinanzdirektion Koblenz dated February 11, 2008, Az.S 7280 A - St. 44 5.
- BGH, judgment of April 24, 2008 , Az .: VII ZR 42/07, full text; BGH, judgment of April 24, 2008 , Az .: VII ZR 140/07, full text .; see. on the legal dispute: Jürgen Stamm, On the legal standardization of the illegal employment problem - A solution model with special consideration of the latest case law with special consideration of the no-account agreement , NZBAU 2009, p. 78 ff.