Only a credit note will change the buyer on the invoice

Service-Tax

In accordance with the regulations, formal errors in the invoice regarding the buyer's data can be corrected in two ways: a note or a correcting invoice. However, if there is a complete change of the entity, the only correct solution is for the seller to issue a correcting invoice.

Correction note and correction invoice

Pursuant to the Ordinance of the Minister of Finance of March 28, 2011 on issuing invoices, the recipient of an invoice containing errors, related to errors, including in:

  • the name and surname or the name of the taxpayer and the buyer of the goods or services and their addresses,
  • the number by which the buyer of goods or services is identified for the tax or value added tax under which he received the goods or services, i.e. the tax identification number.

In order to conclude that the incorrect data has been corrected, it is necessary to obtain approval of the correcting note from the invoice issuer.

A correcting invoice is issued by the seller when a discount was granted or when the price was increased after the invoice was issued or a mistake in the price, rate, tax amount or any other item of the invoice was found. The range of elements that can be used to correct an incorrect invoice is therefore wide and means that the buyer's details can also be altered in this way.

When it is indisputable that the corrective note may be used

The recipients of invoices are entitled to issue a corrective note in the event of minor errors, e.g. such as:

  • incorrect or missing NIP number,
  • a typo in the name or company name,
  • no company name,
  • wrong zip code,
  • incorrect street name or apartment / house number.

Complete subject change only with correction

Minor errors related to the buyer can be changed by both the note and the correction invoice. However, in the case of a note, entrepreneurs should remember that it cannot change the entity into a completely different entity. Such a right is granted only by a corrective invoice, which was confirmed, inter alia, by by the judgment of 4 April 2013 issued by the Provincial Administrative Court in Poznań (I SA / Po 15/13).

In the case analyzed by the court, the company asked the invoice issuer to prepare corrective invoices changing the buyer to a different one, which would reflect the actual state of affairs. However, the seller refused to issue the documents due to the closed reporting period. Therefore, the company asked the tax authority whether the buyer's data could be changed through the corrective note document. However, the taxpayer's position was found to be incorrect. As noted by the court, the provision of § 15 of the Invoicing Regulation refers to a document containing errors. In this case, the original document did not contain them, and the possible change of the entity appearing on the invoice does not constitute a correction of a mistake, but the creation of a completely different entity.

To sum up, changing the buyer's data to a completely different one means indicating the new entity. Such action is possible only by issuing a corrective invoice by the issuer of the original invoice and provided that it is consistent with the facts.