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What is a simplified invoice?

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simplified invoice

The simplified invoice and the complete invoice usually generate doubts as to when to use them and what content each of them has. Let’s see what a simplified invoice is, what it should include and when it should be issued.

What is a simplified invoice?

The simplified invoice is an invoice used to deduct a company’s expenses and only includes the fiscal data of the issuer. That is, we don’t have to include the recipient’s data, unlike the complete invoice, where it is necessary to specify all the fiscal data of both parties.

Content of the simplified invoice 

For a simplified invoice to be valid, it must contain the following:

  • Number and correlative series. 
  • Issue date
  • Name or business name and NIF of the issuer only.
  • Concept. 
  • Applied tax rate. 
  • Total amount to pay.

Content of a complete invoice

However, to make a complete invoice, it is necessary to include the following:

  • Complete invoice number and correlative series. It is possible to issue invoices with separate series whenever there are reasons to justify it.
  • Full invoice date. Invoices must be correlative in number but also date.
  • Name and surname or business name of the issuer of the invoice and also of the recipient. 
  • Tax Identification Number of the one who issues the invoice and the one who receives it in some cases, such as the delivery of goods in another member state exempt from VAT.
  • Address of the one who issues the invoice and the one who receives it. The place where the merchandise is delivered or the service is provided will be indicated if they have several.
  • Description of operations in as much detail as possible. It is essential to include all the data to determine the tax base. In addition, in case of re-invoicing, you must indicate the original invoice number. 
  • Type of tax applied. It refers to VAT or personal income tax, if applicable, and the applied percentage. 
  • Tax rate. The amount corresponds to taxes, which we calculate by applying the percentage to the tax base. 
  • Date of operations. It will differ from the invoice date when an advance payment has been received. 

When is the simplified invoice used?

We can only use the simplified invoice in cases where we meet specific requirements. 

The main requirement is that the amount invoiced does not exceed 400 euros, VAT included. 

In addition, corrective invoices can also be simplified invoices. 

But there are exceptions to the rule, and there are cases in which the simplified invoice can be for an amount of up to 3,000 euros, VAT included. These cases are as follows:

  • Retail sales of personal property or livestock to individuals.
  • Ambulance services or sales.
  • Sales or home-based services of the consumer.
  • Transportation of people and their luggage.
  • Hotel and restaurant services. That includes both bars and restaurants, as well as any supply of drinks and/or food intended to be consumed simultaneously.
  • Dance halls and nightclubs.
  • Telephone services provided through booths or rechargeable magnetic or electronic cards that don’t allow the bearer’s identification.
  • Hairdressing services and beauty institutes.
  • Use of sports facilities.
  • Development of photographs and services provided by photographic studios.
  • Vehicle parking.
  • Video store services.
  • Dry cleaners and laundries.
  • Toll roads.

When can a simplified invoice not be issued?

In the same way that there are exceptions to the general rule, there are also cases in which we cannot issue a simplified invoice, despite complying with the main requirement: 

  • Intra-community deliveries of goods.
  • Distance sales.
  • Operations carried out outside the territory of application of the applied tax rates.
  • Operations with investment of the passive subject. That is those situations in which it is the recipient who has to issue the invoice instead of the issuer.

In these cases, even if the invoiced amount is less than €400, you will not be able to issue a simplified invoice.

Differences between the complete invoice and the simplified invoice

The main differences between the complete invoice and the simplified invoice are:

  • We don’t need to include the recipient’s invoice data in simplified invoices. Meanwhile, in the complete invoice, it is mandatory to include both data, the issuer and the recipient of the invoice. 
  • Simplified invoices must include the total amount, while complete invoices don’t. In this second case, it is absolutely crucial breaking down the total amount into tax base, VAT rate and VAT rate.
  • We don’t have to include the VAT tax rate in simplified invoices. However, in complete invoices, yes.
  • In the simplified invoices, you only have to identify the type of delivered goods or provided services in the operation. In the complete invoices, we should make a complete description that includes the data of the operations carried out.

We can use the simplified invoice to deduct tax expenses and only includes the issuer’s data. It must contain the number, date, name, concept, tax rate and total. We use it when the amount doesn’t exceed €400, although there are cases in which it can reach up to €3,000. 

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