Simplified invoice – What is a simplified invoice?

A simplified invoice is a type of VAT invoice that can be issued by a business when the total amount due is under £250. 

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A simplified invoice can also be known as a ‘ticket’. This ‘ticket’ doesn’t need to include the customer’s billing information.

What needs to be included on a simplified invoice?

As the name suggests, simplified invoices contain less information than an ordinary invoice or a modified invoice. 

Simplified invoices only need to include the following information: 

  • The name, address and VAT registration number of the supplier

  • A unique invoice number

  • The tax point, also known as the ‘time of supply’ - (This is the date that the transaction actually takes place and is used for VAT purposes. The tax point may be different from the invoice date.) 

  • A description of the products or services that are sold

  • The VAT rate of each invoiced item - (If an item is VAT exempt or zero-rated, then the invoice must show that there's no VAT charged on that item.)

  • The total amount, including VAT

Unlike an ordinary invoice, it’s not necessary to include your customer’s name and address, or the date the invoice was issued. Other information about prices and VAT, such as the total amount of VAT, the price of each item without VAT and the pre-tax total, can be omitted. 

When to offer a simplified invoice

If your customer requests an invoice, you can only issue a simplified invoice if the total value (including VAT) is £250 or less. However, if the total amount is more than £250, you’re required to issue either a full VAT invoice or a modified VAT invoice, which will show VAT inclusive values (rather than VAT exclusive values).

Claiming VAT back with simplified invoices

It’s essential that you always have the right evidence when you claim your tax back. For every VAT invoice that is lost, the cost of your purchase will increase by 1/6th. This increase comes from the VAT that is added to your purchases. 

HMRC will only recognise three types of VAT invoices for you to claim your tax back. These are full VAT invoices (most commonly used in transactions), simplified invoices or 'tickets' and receipts.