What must be content of a bill in Germany?

A correct bill that is approved by German finance authorities needs the following content:

  • sender with full address
  • addresser with full address (customer, addresser of the bill, purchaser)
  • Date of the bill
  • A billing number (consecutive, for an easy identification of every single bill)
  • Tax number of the supplier (the tax number given by the tax office or the purchase tax identification number)
  • List of the type, location and date of the accomplishment
  • Amounts of the accomplishment, sum of the amounts
  • In case of purchase tax exemption an advice
  • In case of a purchase tax duty the applying tax amount and the resulting tax for the accomplishment
  • In case of different applying taxes: the fee apportioned by the different taxes and tax exemptions
  • Payment target not necessary but reasonable
  • Signature nice but not mandatory (only if it is clearly demanded by the customer)

Since November 1st 2011 an electronic transmission of the bill is allowed, for example as Email or PDF. A special validation of digital signatures is now no more necessary because of the tax simplification law 2011 of November 1st 2011. In consequence a mandatory transmission by post or fax does not exist. These new condition is applicable for bills starting with the date of July 1st 2011. The simplified electronic transmission of bills needs the agreement of the addressor.

This information is no legal or tax advice. For secured information please contact your tax accountant or fiscal authority.


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