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Credit and debit notes

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When they’re used

A seller must issue a credit or debit note if the price of goods or services changes after they’ve issued a tax invoice or filed a return.

  • If the price goes down, the seller issues a credit note.
  • If the price goes up, the seller issues a debit note.

It does not matter whether the buyer has already paid for the goods or services.

A seller can combine a credit or debit note with a tax invoice. But the invoice must be for different goods or services than the credit or debit note.

The seller must include the credit or debit note in the GST return that covers the period the credit or debit note was issued.

Examples

A seller issues a credit note when a buyer:

  • cancels an order
  • returns faulty goods and the seller agrees to give them a credit.

A seller issues a debit note when:

  • a seller undercharges by mistake 
  • a buyer adds more items to their order.

What they must show

A credit or debit note must show:

  • the words ‘credit note’ or ‘debit note’ in a prominent place
  • the name (or trade name) and GST number of the seller
  • the name and address of the buyer
  • the date it was issued
  • a brief explanation of why it was issued
  • the words ‘copy only’ if it’s a duplicate credit or debit note.
  • the information in list A or list B
List A List B
  • price of goods or services shown on the original tax invoice (including GST)
  • correct price of goods or services (including GST)
  • difference between the two prices
  • GST on the difference.

  • where the original price included GST, show the differences between the original and the correct prices
  • statement that the difference includes GST.