Invoices must be prepared in compliance with the formal criteria imposed by law.
If an invoice (to a creditor/supplier/service) does not comply with the formal invoicing criteria (VAT), the input tax may not be deducted. It is therefore recommended to always request a compliant invoice from service providers (suppliers).
As a rule, an invoice must contain the following elements:
- Name and address of the supplier, and their VAT number. Since January 1, 2014, this will be a Unique Enterprise Identification Number (UID) with the addition of VAT;
- Name and address of the recipient (for receipts over CHF 400, status 2012);
- Delivery date (if different from the invoice date);
- Accurate description of the goods or service;
- Price (consideration) of the delivery or service;
- VAT rate (for example, “7.7% VAT in addition”)
- Signature (see the explanatory notes in the following paragraph).
Optional electronic signature
For a company, it is essential to prove the authenticity and integrity of data that is transmitted and stored on paper or electronically. This applies, in particular, to documents which have an impact on input tax deduction or on tax collection or tax levy.
For electronic data, this proof can be established using the electronic signature of the data. This signature offers the best protection against unidentifiable changes. However, in view of the freedom of proof principle, compliance with the principle of regularity of accounts, as stipulated in Article 957a CO, can also be used to verify the authenticity and integrity of the data. Paper invoices, digital invoices and electronic invoices all have the same evidentiary value, since the regularity of accounts principle applies to all forms of accounting records.