What Is the Difference Between Invoice and Receipt?

We hear about invoices and receipts every day, but do we know exactly what they mean. Several people confuse these two terms, thinking that one is synonymous with the other, but they are mistaken.

In this article, we try to answer the most common questions about invoices and receipts, what their differences are. Good reading!

What is an invoice?

An invoice is a mandatory document issued by the seller whenever a customer purchases a product or service subject to VAT, even if not requested by the seller.

Thus, an invoice represents a commercial exchange between two parties and serves as proof of the buyer’s rights and obligations of the seller. However, it is worth noting that the invoice itself does not serve as proof of payment to the invoice issuer.

There are three types of invoices that can be issued:

  • Invoice-receipt: aggregates the invoice and the receipt. It is a final document that serves as proof of payment for a product or service. The invoice-receipt avoids the issue of two separate documents (the invoice and the receipt).
  • Simplified invoice: it is a self-paid sales document, that is, it is automatically settled as soon as it is issued. The same does not happen with normal invoices, in which it is necessary to issue a receipt to settle them.
  • Proforma invoice: it is an informative document with no fiscal validity that is issued before the exchange of products or services.
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What elements make up the invoice?

An invoice needs to include the following elements:

  • Issue date;
  • Invoice number;
  • Seller’s name;
  • Seller’s TIN;
  • Buyer’s name;
  • Buyer’s TIN
  • Designation and quantity of products and services;
  • Value of the sale of products or provision of services;
  • Applicable fees;
  • Amount of VAT paid;
  • Date from which the buyer can use the products/services (if, for some reason, it differs from the date of issue).

What is a receipt?

The receipt is a document that serves as proof of payment, having fiscal validity. Receipt is only issued when a seller receives the full value of a product or service paid for by a specific customer, thus proving that the customer has paid the required amount. The receipt must be validated in two ways: the original is for the customer and the duplicate for the seller.

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What elements make up the receipt?

Typically, a receipt needs to include the following elements:

  • Transaction date;
  • Seller data: name, address and tax identification;
  • Customer data: name, address and tax identification;
  • Description of the products or services concerned;
  • Quantities, price without tax, VAT rate of products/services.

What is the difference between invoice and receipt?

The big difference between an invoice and a receipt is that the first serves as a payment request, while the second serves as proof of payment. In other words, the invoice is issued before payment and the receipt after.

We prepared a summary table to better understand the differences:

MeaningDocument of a mandatory issue by the seller for the customer to request payment.Document issued by the supplier after the customer’s payment is made.
EmissionBefore payment.After payment.
PurposeTo register the products/services sold, and payment has not yet been made.Proof of payment from the customer to seller.

What are the similarities between invoice and receipt?

Despite the difference between an invoice and a receipt, these two documents also have some similarities, namely the fact that:

  • both are business documents;
  • they both include details about the buyer and seller;
  • they are legally non-negotiable instruments.
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What distinguishes the invoice-receipt from an invoice and a receipt?

After explaining the difference between invoice and receipt, we will now focus on the receipt invoice and how it differs from the other two documents. As already mentioned, an invoice-receipt, as the name implies, is a document that brings together an invoice and a receipt, and is issued only when the date of the invoice and payment is the same, that is, before payment.

In other words, this document gathers proof of purchase and payment for a given good or service. When the invoice-receipt is issued, it is automatically settled, that is, there is no need to issue a receipt, unlike a normal invoice. So this is an “all in one” document, which joins the data from an invoice and that of a receipt into one receipt.

How to communicate invoices?

All invoices issued by natural or legal persons who carry out transactions subject to VAT must be communicated to the Customs Tax Authority. To do this, one of the following methods can be used:

  • Manual insertion in the E-invoice;
  • Export and send the SAF-T file;
  • Automatic scheduling of the SAF-T file.

Now that you know the difference between the two terms kindly share the article with your friends via the social media share buttons below to educate your friends. Make use of the comment box if you have any addition or question. We hope this article has helped.


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