The E-invoicing Checklist: content of the simple invoice [part 6]

July 12, 2012  |  Electronic Invoicing, Publications

In the previous part of the series on the E-invoicing Checklist we discussed what information has to be part of an invoice VAT requirement wise. Today we will focus on the simple invoice, because the new EU Directive will also allow the possibility to issue a simple or simplified invoice. The simplified invoice is developed to reduce the administrative burden for companies, especially SMEs, by making it easier to issue invoices. Check out what information has to be on this simplified invoice.

Invoice Date

Your name and address

Quantity and type of delivered product(s)

Size and type of service(s) provided


Total amount to be paid

Any discounts

The amount of payable or deductible VAT

Or data that allows the VAT to be calculated.


It is expected that each Member State has implemented this directive before 1-1-2013. Therefore, keep in contact with your local IRS, accountant or fiscal expert.

With the simplified invoice initiative the new European directive tries to balance the controlling needs of the Member States and the desire to reduce the burden on businesses.

Previously published articles in this series:
New series: The E-invoicing Checklist [part 1]
The E-invoicing Checklist: Manual [part 2]
The E-invoicing Checklist: Current EU e-invoicing basics [part 3]
The E-invoicing Checklist: The new EU E-invoicing Directive [part 4]
The E-invoicing Checklist: content – tax requirements [part 5]

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  1. Maybe the solution is not to get caught up in a discussion around peer-to-peer networks, like traditional EDI. Rather it seems that companies should invest in solutions that are able to design and format business documents according to any and all specifications & formats.
    Platforms like these already exist and they’re cheaper and a lot more flexible than peer-to-peer networks relying on a standardized set of specifications.

  2. Bergthor Skulason

    Good list, what catches my eye is that you leave out details of price calculations but include listing of discounts. That is inconsistent.
    Total to be paid is understandably mandatory, but it makes sense to enable receiver to verify unit prices and calculations of discounts and totals because the big savings from electronic procurement are in enabling the buyers to control prices and discounts and other terms of contracts. To do that, unit prices, discounts and additional charges need to be included and recommended as best practice.

  3. @bergthor, thanks for your valuable additions.

    And you’re right

    We left these out because these items contains the ‘minimum set’ required by the new EU VAT directive.

    Everyone is of course to add things necessary in their business(relationship) and/or what one is accustomed in a sector.

    Hope this helps.

    E-invoicing Platform