When they're used
If an agent buys or sells goods or services on behalf of their client (the principal) they may be able to issue or get a tax invoice on their client's behalf.
The agent's name and GST number can be on the tax invoice.
Rules for agents issuing or getting tax invoices
- The agent and the client must be GST-registered.
- The agent must keep a record of their client's name, address and GST number for each sale or purchase.
- Although the tax invoice is in the agent's name, their client is the seller or buyer of the goods or services.
- The client cannot issue a tax invoice for the same sale.
- The same rules apply for agents issuing or getting debit notes or credit notes.
When the agent is an employee
An employee may buy goods or services on behalf of their employer.
The employer can claim back the GST on the goods or services if:
- they have reimbursed their employee for the exact cost of the goods or services
- they are GST-registered
- the employee has a tax invoice with the employee's name and address on it.
The employer cannot claim back the GST if they pay the employee an allowance to cover the expense.