A special invoice is a credit note / billing credit note. Unlike a traditional invoice, a credit note is not written by the service provider, but by the service recipient (“customer”). This is why the settlement credit note is also called a “reverse invoice”.
From a tax law perspective, the settlement credit note is the same as an invoice and therefore a credit note must also contain all of the following mandatory information in accordance with Section 14 (4) of the German Turnover Tax Act (UStG):
However, in common usage, the term “credit note” is not understood to mean the settlement credit note described above, but rather a correction or reversal invoice. These are what are called “commercial credit notes”. A small example: A customer requires, because of defects at the product, a purchase price reduction. The service provider accepts, cancels the invoice and issues a new one.