In other words, it is the translation in the form of a document of a commercial transaction carried out between a seller and a buyer.
The invoice represents the proof of any commercial operation. Without an invoice, the operation is not valid for formal purposes. Therefore, although the operation has been carried out effectively, it does not meet the requirements to be considered legal. This has a series of consequences that we will analyze in later sections.
Characteristics of the invoice: what concepts should it include?
Although there is no standard model, all of them must include a series of minimum contents:
Place and date of issue:
All invoices must indicate the place and date of issue. Usually, it is indicated in the header.
Next to the place and date, the numbering of the invoice must be indicated. This numbering is chronological based on the issuer’s billing.
Identification of buyer and seller:
The buyer and the seller must be identified. Usually the issuer of the invoice (that is, the one who makes it) is the seller, although on certain occasions it is the buyer (in cases of self-invoicing).
Description of the operation:
In the body of the online invoice payment system, a brief description of the operation or operations that are part of the invoice is made. This description usually consists of the physical units of a product sold or the dates on which the services are provided. For example: sale of 4,000 screws or provision of a training course held on February 3 and 4.
Tax base of the operation (or consideration without taxes):
Next to the description of the operation, the tax base of each of the operations must be indicated. The tax base constitutes, as a general rule, the consideration without including indirect taxes, that is, the value added tax (VAT). This amount represents the income for the seller.
Indirect taxes levied on the operation (VAT):
On the total tax base obtained in the previous section, the indirect taxes levied on the operation (VAT) are calculated. This amount does not imply any income for the seller, since it is an amount that must be paid to the Public Treasury. If the operation is exempt (that is, it is not taxed by VAT), the article that regulates it must be expressly indicated.
The total consideration includes the tax base of the operation and the taxes levied on it. This is the amount that the buyer must pay the seller.
Form of payment:
Although it is not an essential requirement, the form of payment is usually indicated (in cash, by bank transfer, etc.), as well as the due dates if the payment is in installments.
It is also necessary to point out that, as a result of the technological revolution, the electronic invoice has the same validity as the physical invoice. In other words, the invoice sent by electronic means is just as valid as the “paper” invoice sent by ordinary mail.
Why is it necessary to be in possession of the invoice?
As previously mentioned, the invoice is the means of proof of any operation. When a company deducts input VAT or records an operation as income, it must have the invoices, since it is the only valid proof before a possible inspection by the Tax Agency.
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