Invoice at the request of the buyer - by when?


General regulations on documenting sales seem transparent: a private person receives a receipt, an invoice - an enterprise. However, practice shows that this topic can be very confusing - especially when it is necessary to issue an invoice for a transaction that has already been documented with a fiscal receipt. What does the amended Act on Value Added Tax say about the rules in this matter?

Invoice and receipt - in what situations together?

There are exceptions to the rule presented at the beginning of the article - an invoice for the company, a receipt for the consumer - where the buyer receives both of these documents.

One of the situations is when the buyer does not ask for an invoice and only after some time reports to obtain this additional document.

In large commercial establishments (hypermarkets, discounters), invoices are usually issued in a separate place (e.g. customer service point) - the customer goes there after leaving the cash register and receives the invoice with a fiscal receipt. The cashier will not note the fact whose purchases have been loaded onto the cash register - in each case, a receipt is issued first, which can then be the basis for issuing an invoice.

There may be a situation in which an invoice will be issued to a private person. As you know, an entrepreneur who runs a cash register must issue such a person with a receipt - in turn, the invoice will be required if the customer requests it.

The given examples show that cases of double documentation of a transaction - a receipt and an invoice - are quite common. Thus, the question arises about the date - does the entrepreneur always have to issue an invoice, even if the buyer's request was expressed long time after the economic event?

Dates from January 2014

The most important regulations concerning the issue of invoices from the beginning of 2014 are detailed in the VAT Act.

When reading the regulations, it can be noticed that the entrepreneur is not always obliged to issue an invoice at each request of the buyer. Art. 106b sec. 3 of the VAT Act says that such an obligation occurs only when such a request is made no later than three months from the end of the month of delivery of the goods, performance of the service or receipt of all or part of the payment.

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Such regulation means that the buyer will in fact receive up to four months on request, because the time here is only counted from the end of the month in which the transaction was made. For example, in the event of an economic event on April 1, the buyer will have until July 31.

"Out-of-date" invoices

So there are questions as to whether the failure to request an invoice within the above-mentioned deadline equals the complete impossibility of obtaining it? The answer is no - although in this situation there is no guarantee that you will be able to get it.

The thing is that the obligation to issue an invoice at the request of the buyer will arise when the request is submitted within three months. When this deadline expires, this obligation changes to the law - whether the seller issues an invoice will depend only on his good will.