Invoice

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An invoice is an accounting document that records the terms of purchase and sale of products, goods or services supplied.

An invoice issued by a self-employed professional is called an fee note.

Issuing a proper invoice is essential, as it:

  • serves as a supporting document for accounting entries;
  • is used to establish the amount of VAT (value added tax) to be deducted or paid;
  • constitutes evidence for the recovery of debts.

Who is concerned?

Invoices are issued by:

  • any person subject to VAT;
  • any sole trader or commercial company that:
    • sells a good; or
    • provides a service to another taxable person.

It is not customary to issue invoices for purely private and non-recurring transactions.

Deadlines

Transactions between professionals

In transactions with a professional, the seller or service provider must issue the invoice:

  • at the latest on the 15th day of the month:
    • following the month where the delivery of goods or services took place;
    • during which the delivery of goods or services took place in the event of periodic billing; or
  • at the latest upon payment of the deposit, if applicable.

However, a trader is free to issue an invoice sooner.

Any document which modifies the initial invoice in a specific and unequivocal manner is considered to be a new invoice.

Debtors, for their part, are bound by the contractual payment deadlines, or failing this, the legal payment deadlines.

In the event of late payments, the seller/service provider is entitled to claim late-payment interest.

Transactions with a consumer

In the context of a transaction with a consumer, the seller or service provider may, if applicable, claim late payment interest. To do this, applicants must:

  • issue the invoice within a month of receipt of the goods by the client, of completion of the works or provision of services;
  • clearly state on the invoice that the legal rate of late payment interest will be applied where necessary.

The debtor must comply with the legal payment deadlines, otherwise the seller/contractor can claim late payment interest.

How to proceed

Form

An invoice can be issued if it meets the conditions detailed below:

  • on paper; or
  • subject to the recipient's acceptance, by electronic means.

It must be drawn up in 2 copies, one for each party.

Important notes: In the context of a public procurement or concession contract, all economic operators must, with some exceptions, issue and submit their invoices as compliant electronic invoices. You can find all the information you need about electronic invoicing and its content on our pages dedicated to this subject.

Mandatory information

Invoice over EUR 100 (including all taxes)

Invoices for amounts in excess of EUR 100 (including all taxes) must state:

  • the identification of the seller or service provider, namely:
    • the company name and/or trading name;
    • the legal form of the business;
    • the exact address of its registered office;
    • the wording 'Registre de commerce et des sociétés, Luxembourg' (Trade and Companies Register, Luxembourg) or the initials 'R.C.S. Luxembourg' followed by the registration number (does not apply to cooperative companies);
    • its business permit number;
    • for craftsmen and traders working in their own name: their profession and the number of their business permit;
  • the date of issue;
  • a sequential number, based on one or more series, uniquely identifying the invoice;
  • a VAT identification number under which the supplier has carried out the supply of goods or services;
  • the full name and address of the supplier of goods or services and their taxable customer or non-taxable legal person;
  • the date on which:
    • the delivery of goods or the provision of services has been carried out or completed; or
    • a deposit has been paid, if this date is fixed and different from the date of issue of the invoice;
  • the quantity and nature of the goods supplied or the extent and nature of the services rendered, specifying the elements required to determine the applicable rate;
  • the price excluding tax and the other components of the taxable amount, broken down by rate if the invoiced transactions are subject to different rates;
  • the rates and amount of tax due, broken down by rate if the invoiced transactions are subject to different rates;
  • the reason why the invoiced transaction is not subject to tax.

Invoice under EUR 100 (including all taxes)

If an invoice does not exceed EUR 100 including all taxes, it may only include:

  • the date of issue;
  • the name and address of the supplier of the goods or the service provider;
  • the quantity and nature of the goods delivered or the extent and nature of the services rendered;
  • the price including tax;
  • the amount of VAT payable or the information needed to calculate it.

Additional information

In addition to the mandatory information, the invoice must contain, where appropriate, the following additional information:

  • 'auto-liquidation' (reverse charge mechanism) where the buyer or client is liable for VAT;
  • 'comptabilité de caisse' (cash-based accounting, for businesses that have opted for the revenue-based taxation system), if VAT becomes chargeable on payment of the price;
  • 'auto-facturation' (self-invoicing) when the client issues the invoice instead of the supplier or provider;
  • 'régime particulier - agences de voyage' (special scheme for travel agencies) for the application of the special scheme for travel agencies;
  • 'special scheme - (name of scheme)' for the application of the special profit margin scheme for the supply by a taxable dealer:
    • 'second-hand goods';
    • 'art objects';
    • 'collector's items or antiques';
  • 'intra-EU supply of a new means of transport'.

Invoice excluding VAT

In order to invoice excluding VAT the provision of services or supply of goods to professionals (B2B) in another EU Member State, the seller has to:

  • first, check the validity of the client's VAT number in the VIES VAT number validation database on the website of the European Commission;
  • if possible, print and keep the results page that shows the client's VAT number and the verification date;
  • indicate the client's valid VAT number on the invoice.

VAT payers are required to keep a duplicate of all invoices issued.

Optional information

Invoices can detail the terms of payment. Failing this, they are payable immediately, within the legal deadlines.

In the framework of transactions between professionals and in the absence of contractual provisions on payment deadlines and late payment interest, it is recommended to indicate on each invoice that late payment interest at the legal rate will apply in the event of late payment.

In the case of transactions with consumers, the invoice must contain an explicit statement that the trader intends to claim statutory interest for late payment if payment is not made before the set due date.

The concept of the accepted invoice

Between traders, the existence of a contract can be proven by an accepted invoice, whether acceptance is express or implied.

The invoice can be considered as accepted in case of payment without reserve or absence of response from the customer beyond the time necessary for:

  • taking note of the invoice; and
  • checking its references and the supplies to which it relates.

Failing legal provisions in this matter, the courts generally deem that an invoice has been accepted after a period of 4 to 8 weeks.

Certain jurisdictions have occasionally even ruled that mail exchanges between traders that have not given rise to a written dispute are deemed to have been accepted as regards their content.

Buyers can rebut this presumption by proving that:

  • they have disputed the invoice in due time; or
  • their silence is not related to the acceptance of the invoice.

The concept of an accepted invoice only exists between traders and does not concern private end consumers.

Disputing an invoice

Invoices and other commercial documents must be checked immediately upon receipt.

If an invoice or any other commercial document is not well-founded, the trader must dispute it, preferably in writing, failing which he may be bound by the concept of the accepted invoice (or mail).

Disputes must be formulated in a clear and precise fashion.

Who to contact

  • Chamber of Skilled Trades and Crafts 'Contact Entreprise' at the Chamber of Skilled Trades and Crafts - Luxembourg
    2, Circuit de la foire internationale L-1347 Luxembourg-Kirchberg Luxembourg
    B.P. 1604 / L-1016
    Email address: contact@cdm.lu

Related procedures and links

Procedures

Invoicing Capital companies Disputes Turnover: VAT Payment deadlines / Late payment interest Application for and modification of a business permit

Links

Further information

Contenu des factures en matière de TVA

sur le Portail de la fiscalité indirecte

Legal references

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