The date of issue of the invoice, also called the date of issuance, although it may seem to be a very simple concept, is of vital importance: the issue of an invoice without a date has no legal validity and will not be accepted by the tax authorities. In addition, this date will sometimes determine when collection may be required.
We can define the date of the invoice as the day on which the company or freelancer issues this commercial document, with all the truthful and regulatory information, regarding the sale of a product or service. Every business must ensure that it is issuing its invoices correctly and that they comply with the essential legal requirements. If this is not done properly, they may not be accepted and may give rise to conflicts with the tax authorities, even leading to penalties.
The date of issue of the invoice is the basis on which all the accounting of your economic activity is built. Under this precept, there are two very relevant aspects:
- The General Accounting Plan stipulates the “accrual principle”, whereby every transaction must be registered when it has taken place and not when it has been paid or collected, so the date of issue of the invoice is the date on which the accounting is based.
- The date stated on the invoice is the date on which all fiscal obligations with their stipulated taxes – VAT and Personal Income Tax being the most important ones – are derived and is the one that counts for the closing of the accounting year.
As can be seen in the image, the invoice we have chosen as an example was issued on 2nd March 2023 and is due on 2nd April 2023. This means that the client to whom we provide our services should pay the amount before this due date is reached.
As the issue date is 2nd March, this means that both VAT and Personal Income Tax must be self-assessed in the first quarter of 2023, specifically from 1st to 20th April 2023 on form 303 and form 130, respectively.
It is important to highlight that the date of issue of this invoice determines its numbering. The invoice number must always be correlative and in chronological order, which means that, in this series (2023), we cannot issue an invoice of a later date with the same numbering (1541) or with an earlier numbering (from 1 to 1540).
Is an invoice without an issue date valid?
The Invoicing Regulation in force in Spain establishes that an invoice without an issue date is not legally valid. It could even result in penalties.
What should I do if the date on my invoice is not correct?
You can only correct the error in the date of issue of an invoice by issuing a corrective invoice that complies with the following characteristics:
- It must have its own series.
- The date of the rectifying invoice will be that of the day on which it is issued or made, not the same as the date of the invoice it rectifies.
- It must state the number of the invoice to which it is correcting.
Can I change the date of issue of my invoice?
No, it is not possible. The Tax Office is very clear regarding this issue and does not allow you to change the date of an invoice. In this case it has to be replaced by a corrective invoice.
At Imont Legal Services we can help you to resolve these and other doubts that may arise when issuing invoices for your company or as a self-employed person.
You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org