I made a mistake on my invoice. Now what?

Correct wrong invoices and avoid fines

Your work is done! Your product has been delivered; your service has been carried out. You click on 'send', and off goes your invoice. That is always satisfying. But—oops—there appears to be an error on your invoice. And whoever notices this, you or your customer, you want to correct it as soon as possible. In this article, you will learn how to elegantly correct errors on invoices.

mistake on invoice


What does a correct invoice look like?

An invoice is nothing more than a request to your customer for payment. Consider it as a formal confirmation of the agreements you have made with your customer. For each sale to another VAT payer, you are obliged to draw up an invoice according to legal requirements. When you sell to a private individual, you do not need to draw up an invoice.

You don't have to be Einstein to draw up a correct invoice. Have a good example to hand, and there is little you can do wrong. However, do pay attention to the details when writing an invoice because a small error can cause you (financial) headaches.

An incorrect invoice will, at the very least, result in administrative hassle. In a worst-case scenario, the tax authorities can punish you with fines of up to 5,000 euros. So, avoid it!

But, if a mistake does slip through the net, there is no reason to panic. Below is how you deal with it.

How do you correct an incorrect invoice?

1. Call your customer

You cannot simply correct an error on your invoice. This is because it is now an official document that you can only correct with an official credit or debit note. Before you do that, it is best to call your client. Explain what went wrong and suggest how you want to solve it. Have you come to an agreement? Then send this to your customer by e-mail.

fout op factuur bellen met klant

2. Send a credit note or debit note

  • Credit note

Was the amount on your invoice too high? Did you overlook the fact that your customer had returned something? Or did you use the wrong VAT rate or make some other mistake?

Then you should issue a credit note to offset the invoice. The credit note states the amount by which the original invoice amount must be reduced. The original invoice and the credit note together indicate the amount to be paid.

  • Debit note

A debit note is the opposite of a credit note. A debit note is sent when the amount on the original invoice was too low. For example, when an order consisted of several products and you did not include all of them on the invoice. Your customer has to pay an extra amount on top of the amount on the original invoice.

Correct invoices get paid faster

It is to your advantage to double-check your invoices before you send them because an invoice with a mistake on it will remain unpaid for longer. If you do make a mistake, correct it quickly. That way, you avoid headaches, and your money will be in your account sooner.

Is your invoice still unpaid even after the necessary corrections?

We can help you to collect them in a legally correct way.

Ready to start collecting?

Enter your VAT number and we will handle the rest.