In an invoice template, is it essential to distinguish between the issue date and delivery date?
When creating invoices as a self-employed person or an entrepreneur, there are some requirements and demands you need to be clear about and meet in order for your invoice to be considered a legal document. These requirements entail including certain mandatory content on the invoice, as requested by the tax authorities.
Issue date in an invoice template
One important requirement of an invoice is to state the date of issue. This, surprise surprise, is nothing more than the date on which the invoice is sent to the customer.
In any invoicing software, the invoice issue date is automatically added. If I create an invoice in Debitoor right now, for example, then the date of issue by default will be today’s date.
Delivery date in invoice template
Perhaps the name ‘delivery date’ can be a bit ambiguous, and is often confused with issue date. But the delivery date is the term that is used by the tax authorities for both goods and services, so it is important you know what it is.
Delivery date is the date in which the service was provided (or completed), or when goods were delivered to the customer. If the delivery date does not coincide with the issue date of the invoice, then it is important that the two dates are clearly indicated on the invoice.
Normally, the service description area on an invoice is used to indicate the date of execution (delivery), although the tax authorities have not specified that it needs to be done like this. The only specification they have is that the delivery date must be indicated on the invoice, if it differs from the issue date.
As a result, and to answer our initial question: Yes, it is essential and obligatory to include the two dates (issue and delivery) on an invoice, when both do not coincide.