eInvoice formats

According to the latest EU VAT directive all invoices must contain a minimum set of data. This is also true for other VAT regimes outside of Europe, such as Brazil or Mexico for example, and the fields required vary by country.

Essentially, an eInvoice must contain exactly the same information as its paper-based equivalent. The EU allows for two invoice types – the full invoice and the simplified invoice. Below is a table of the minimum data-set that each must include.

Full eInvoice Simplified eInvoice
Sequential Invoice number Invoice date
Invoice date/date of creation Your name and address
Your name and address Quantity and type of product
Name and address of your customer Currency
Your VAT number Total amount to be paid
VAT number of your customer The amount of payable or deductible VAT
Date the supply of goods or services was made or completed Any discounts or rebates
Quantity and type of product/service delivered
The unit price exclusive of VAT
Any discounts or rebates if they are not included in the unit price
The VAT rate applied
The VAT amount payable, unless exempt
If exempt, reference to the applicable directive,
or any other reference indicating that the supply is exempt or subject to reverse charge
When payments are made (if in advance)
IBAN/SEPA number (for international deliveries)
BIC/SWIFT code (for international deliveries)

The simplified invoice has been designed to make it easier for organisations – such as SMEs – to reduce the administrative burden of issuing invoices below the value of €100.

National formats

While the EU directives stipulate minimum data sets for both full and simplified invoices, this directive is then interpreted by individual member states who can apply their own criteria. It is important to understand that minimum data for invoices varies from country to country.

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