Do Your Tax Invoices Say The Right Things?

In the intricate world of small business finances, there are a few things which should always be leading, showing your professionalism and attention to detail, one being your Tax Invoices.

Imagine this, you receive a hand written invoice from a supplier. No ABN not electronically sent, and crucial contact information missing. It might seem like a minor detail, but in the moment, you’re left wondering about their professionalism. Can you trust a business when they can’t provide a proper invoice?

If you’ve had this thought, imagine what your customers might be pondering if your invoices fall short. Elevating your invoicing not only showcases your professionalism but also sets you apart in the eyes of your clients.

Two paper invoices, on a pink notepad with a boss lady desk sign and clock in the background

Here at Accounted For You, we often encounter a familiar stumbling block, well-meaning (and sometimes not so well meaning) suppliers issuing non compliant invoices to our clients. To guide you on the must-haves for your invoices, we’ve dissected the ATO’s requirements right here.

If you are registered for GST – you must issue a ‘Tax Invoice’ and have:

  1. words ‘Tax Invoice’ (or the intent of being an invoice)
  2. seller’s identity
  3. seller’s Australian Business Number (ABN)
  4. the date the invoice was issued
  5. brief description and price
  6. GST amount (if any) payable – this can be shown separately or, if the GST amount is exactly one-eleventh of the total price, as a statement such as ‘Total price includes GST’ and
  7. the extent of GST on each part of the sale
  8. sales over $1000 must also show the buyers identity and / or ABN

If you are NOT registered for GST – you must issue an ‘Invoice’

  • it is misleading and therefore not allowed to say Tax Invoice, because there is no tax involved in the sale.
  • you also need to have all of the above (except the GST info of course!)

Ensuring your invoices meet the ATO’s standards isn’t only about compliance; it’s a testament to your professionalism. Including vital details like the ABN allows us (your trusty bookkeeper) to verify its currency and the seller’s GST registration, ensuring accurate claims for our clients. Keep in mind that ATO regulations require a periodic recheck of these ABNs every 12 months to check they are still active and valid.

Check out the full details here and examples from the ATO here and delve into additional information on GST Free items and RCTIs – which we can assist in setting up, and more.

Remember, claiming as a business expense hinges on a valid Invoice/Tax Invoice. Missing out on these essential documents could mean forfeiting a legitimate claim, highlighting the critical need for meticulous invoicing practices!

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