VAT invoice basis

V3.511 Introduction

Harmonisation of EU rules on invoicing

In December 2001, the Council of Ministers (ECOFIN)1 reached agreement on proposals to simplify and standardise invoicing arrangements throughout the EU.

The resultant Directive2, which amended Directive 77/388/EEC (now Directive 2006/112/EC), established a list of ten mandatory items which must be included on every invoice, plus a further four items which may be required in specific cases. The changes came into force on 1 January 2004.

Further harmonisation of the invoicing rules took effect from 1 January 2013. These changes include3


    (i)     provisions relating to the issue of simplified invoices;


    (ii)     similar treatment of paper and electronic invoices (ie no requirement for the e-invoice to be by advance e-signature or EDI);

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