Be aware that in some jurisdictions (including Germany), credits and cancellations have different legal foundations and taxation effects, and must therefore be applied properly.
You can issue a (partial) credit if you want to withdraw one or more individual invoice line items from an invoice. This way, you reduce the original invoice amount, cutting your customer's debt.
Withdrawing an invoice line item, issuing a partial credit
You can cancel an invoice in case of formal invoice errors like a wrong recipient address or if a customer has returned a complete purchase. Canceling an invoice creates a credit with the reversed amount of the original invoice, this way revoking the original claim to your customer.
Canceling an invoice including all invoice line items, creating a credit for the complete invoice
Be aware that you cannot cancel a cancellation. To undo a wrong cancellation, you repeat the original operation – that is, you create a new invoice for the originally invoiced items.
Regenerating the invoice PDF does not constitute a suitable means to correct an invoice. In case of wrong billing data or formal invoice errors, you usually
- cancel the invoice
- correct the source data as necessary, and
- create a new invoice.
For details, see How to correct an invoice.
Typical use cases
You usually must correct (cancel and recreate) an invoice if one of the legally required information is wrong or missing, including, among others
- Recipient address
- Seller information like VAT number
- Invoice date
- Invoice line item information
- Invoice amount
When correcting any information that does not involve legally binding invoice data, recreating the invoice PDF may be sufficient. Use cases may include, for example
- Correcting typos
Registering a partial payment, which reduces the payment amount
This may be illegal in some jurisdictions.