In Germany, invoice mistakes can be corrected in three simple ways.
1. Rectification directly on the invoice
Each correction must be confirmed by the invoicing party with its company stamp, date and signature. If an invoice is corrected, the amended data must still be visible on the invoice. It is not permitted to use stickers to overlay data or to overwrite them.
2. Invoice supplement
Issue of a supplementary document with the date of issue, clearly and specifically related to the invoice to be amended. The invoice supplement shall contain the missing information or correct wrong data. It must have a reference to the original invoice by naming the original invoice number. Only the original invoice together with the invoice supplement allow the input tax deduction.
3. Credit note and reissue of a new invoice
Cancellation of the old invoice by means of a credit note and issue of a new invoice with a new invoice number and invoice date. The invoice must contain a clear reference to the original invoice. This is typically done by referring to the original invoice number. The credit note and the new invoice are normally generated in the current period and therefore do not require a company to re-open past accounting periods. It is the most common way to correct in particular when the financials of an invoice (e.g. net amount, VAT amount or gross amount) have been changed.