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Invoice vs. Tax Invoice — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Published on November 6, 2023
An invoice lists goods/services and their costs. A tax invoice, in addition, provides details required for tax claims, including tax amounts. Both serve as records of sale, but tax invoices facilitate tax credits.
Invoice vs. Tax Invoice — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Invoice and Tax Invoice


Key Differences

An invoice is a document issued by a seller to a buyer, indicating the products, quantities, and costs of products or services the seller has provided to the buyer. This document serves as a record of the transaction between the two parties. Conversely, a tax invoice is a specialized type of invoice, issued for taxable goods or services. It provides additional details like tax rates and tax amounts, which are necessary for claiming tax credits.
Invoice documents are essential for maintaining financial records, bookkeeping, and sales tracking. They represent a legal document that can be used as proof of a sale, and for businesses, they help in tracking revenue and monitoring outstanding payments. The tax invoice, while also serving these purposes, has an added function. This document is tailored for the needs of tax-related transactions and helps businesses claim input tax credits, given it includes tax-specific details.
For most businesses, issuing an invoice is a routine part of completing sales transactions. This document provides the buyer with a breakdown of what they're being charged for, facilitating transparency in the transaction. In contrast, a tax invoice is mandated by tax authorities in many jurisdictions for transactions that involve goods or services subject to value-added tax (VAT) or other forms of sales tax. This ensures that businesses have the necessary records to claim back the tax they've paid on their inputs.
While every tax invoice is essentially an invoice, not every invoice qualifies as a tax invoice. The core difference lies in the level of detail provided, especially concerning tax-related information. An invoice might simply list the total amount due without a breakdown of taxes. A tax invoice, on the other hand, needs to be more detailed, itemizing not just the base price of goods or services, but also the tax rate applied and the tax amount.

Comparison Chart

Primary Purpose

Record of sale listing goods/services and their costs.
Specialized record of sale with tax details for claiming tax credits.

Details Included

Product, quantity, price, total amount.
Product, quantity, price, tax rate, tax amount, total amount (incl. tax).


After every sales transaction.
For taxable goods/services as mandated by tax authorities.

Tax Details

May or may not include tax details.
Always includes specific tax-related details.

Use for Tax Claims

Cannot be used for tax claims.
Used for tax claims and credits.

Compare with Definitions


A record of transaction between a buyer and a seller.
Every month, the company sends an invoice for the services rendered.

Tax Invoice

An invoice with details necessary for tax claims.
The retailer provided a tax invoice so the business could claim input tax credits.


A document listing goods/services provided with their costs.
She received an invoice for the office supplies she ordered.

Tax Invoice

A document showing taxable amounts on goods/services sold.
For her taxable services, she always issues a tax invoice to clients.


A detailed list of goods shipped or services rendered, with an account of all costs; an itemized bill.

Tax Invoice

A specialized invoice required by tax authorities.
In some countries, a tax invoice is mandatory for all B2B transactions.


The goods or services itemized in an invoice.

Tax Invoice

A statement detailing goods/services, tax rates, and tax amounts.
The company's accounting team always checks tax invoices for accuracy.


To make an invoice of (goods or services).

Tax Invoice

A record facilitating tax credits on business purchases.
To get the VAT refund, he ensured he had the tax invoice from the supplier.


To send an invoice to; bill.


A bill; a commercial document issued by a seller to a buyer indicating the products, quantities and agreed prices for products or services that the seller has already provided the buyer with. An invoice indicates that, unless paid in advance, payment is due by the buyer to the seller, according to the agreed terms.


The lot or set of goods as shipped or received.
The merchant receives a large invoice of goods.


The price which a seller or dealer pays the manufacturer for goods to be sold.


(transitive) To bill; to issue an invoice to.
I will invoice my supplier tomorrow.


(transitive) To make an invoice for (goods or services).


A written account of the particulars of merchandise shipped or sent to a purchaser, consignee, factor, etc., with the value or prices and charges annexed.


The lot or set of goods as shipped or received; as, the merchant receives a large invoice of goods.


To make a written list or account of, as goods to be sent to a consignee; to insert in a priced list; to write or enter in an invoice.
Goods, wares, and merchandise imported from Norway, and invoiced in the current dollar of Norway.


An itemized statement of money owed for goods shipped or services rendered;
He paid his bill and left
Send me an account of what I owe


Send an bill to;
She invoiced the company for her expenses


A formal request for payment.
After completing the project, he sent the client an invoice.


A written account of items sold with their prices.
The customer asked for an invoice to submit for reimbursement.


A statement detailing financial transaction specifics.
Upon request, the vendor emailed the invoice for the event.

Common Curiosities

How does a tax invoice differ from a regular invoice?

A tax invoice provides specific tax details required for tax claims, like tax rates and amounts.

What's the main purpose of an invoice?

An invoice serves as a record of sale, listing goods/services and their costs.

Can any business issue a tax invoice?

Typically, only businesses registered for taxes like VAT can issue a tax invoice.

Are all invoices tax invoices?

No, while every tax invoice is an invoice, not every invoice is a tax invoice.

Can an invoice be electronic?

Yes, both invoices and tax invoices can be electronic or paper-based.

Does every sale require an invoice?

For proper financial tracking, it's advisable to issue invoices for all sales, but specifics vary by jurisdiction.

Can an invoice be revised?

Yes, businesses can issue revised or corrected invoices if errors are detected.

What's the difference between an invoice and a receipt?

An invoice is a request for payment, while a receipt is proof of payment.

Why is a tax invoice necessary?

A tax invoice is needed to claim input tax credits on business purchases.

Are invoices legally binding?

Invoices serve as a record of sale and can be used as evidence in disputes but aren't contracts in themselves.

Can an individual issue a tax invoice?

If the individual is registered for taxes and provides taxable goods/services, they can issue a tax invoice.

Is it mandatory to provide a tax invoice for all transactions?

It's mandatory for taxable transactions in jurisdictions with value-added or sales tax systems.

Can a customer ask for an invoice?

Yes, customers can request an invoice for any transaction as proof of purchase.

What details are exclusive to a tax invoice?

Details like tax rates, tax amounts, and sometimes tax registration numbers are specific to tax invoices.

What happens if a tax invoice is not provided for a taxable sale?

Failure to provide a tax invoice might prevent the buyer from claiming tax credits and can lead to penalties for the seller.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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