Purchase invoice - everything you need to know


Purchase invoice

An invoice is a document (paper or electronic) issued by active VAT payers, confirming that an activity subject to VAT has been carried out. It is issued in two copies, one of which stays with the seller, and the other goes to the buyer - for him it will be a purchase invoice, the value of which he will be able to post as tax deductible costs (if the purchase is related to the conducted business activity).

The invoice is therefore a formal confirmation of the transaction. It should be stored for a period of 5 years from the end of the calendar year in which the VAT payment deadline expired, and should be presented at the request of the tax authority.

Purchase invoice items

Information on what elements the purchase invoice should have can be found in the Regulation of the Minister of Finance of March 28, 2011 on tax refunds to certain taxpayers, issuing invoices, how to store them and the list of goods and services to which the tax exemption does not apply on goods and services.

Pursuant to the above regulation, the invoice should contain at least:

  • date of issue,
  • next number,
  • names and surnames or names of the seller and buyer and their addresses,
  • NIP numbers of the seller and the buyer,
  • the date of completion or completion of the delivery of the goods or the performance of the service, if such date is specified and differs from the invoice issue date; in the case of continuous sales, the invoice may include the month and year of sale,
  • name (type) of the goods sold or the service performed,
  • the measure and quantity of goods sold or the scope of services rendered,
  • the net unit price of a good or service,
  • net value of goods or services rendered to which the sale relates, tax rates,
  • the sum of the net sales value with the division into sales subject to individual tax rates and sales exempt from tax,
  • the amount of tax on the sum of the net sales value of goods (services), broken down into amounts related to individual tax rates,
  • the total amount due.

Which elements of the purchase invoice should you pay special attention to?

The recipient of the invoice is obliged to check its correctness. It should in particular pay attention to:

  • your company's data - whether they are consistent and complete. If an error is detected, the buyer has the right to issue a corrective note;
  • whether the document has information about the measurement unit and quantity of goods or services sold - in the case of manually issued invoices, these two fields are often omitted by the issuers, and according to the cited regulation, they are necessary. It is also important to check that the information about the quantity is consistent with the actual state;
  • net unit price - is it consistent with the information in the order; conversion from net to gross value - in the case of manually issued invoices, this is a place of frequent mistakes. Penny differences resulting from rounding are allowed, however, in the case of larger discrepancies, the seller may be required to correct the document;
  • NIP-EU number of sellers and buyers - in the case of intra-Community supply or import of services from contractors from the European Union and the application of 0% rates or "not subject to", the invoice must include the NIP-EU numbers of both parties to the transaction;
  • information on cleared advances - in case of receiving the final invoice.

In addition to invoices, buyers also receive purchase corrections from sellers. These documents should, first of all, have information about the original invoice (its number and date of issue) as well as specified items that are corrected.


The correction invoice is directly related to the original invoice and cannot be included in the accounting without entering the purchase invoice first.