A licensed immigration adviser must, each time a fee and/or disbursement is payable, provide the client with an invoice containing a full description of the services the fee relates to and/or disbursements that the invoice relates to.
When to issue an invoice
An invoice notifies the client of their obligation to make payment (of either a fee or disbursement) to the adviser. A written agreement cannot act in place of an invoice.
The adviser must issue an invoice for each payment milestone as it becomes payable. A single invoice for the entire fee does not meet the requirements of clause 22 unless an adviser charges the entire fee at the conclusion of their services.
An invoice should also be issued when any advance payments held in the client account fall due, before the money is transferred to a practice account.
Paying an invoice in instalments
If an invoice is provided to the client for an amount and the adviser and the client agree on a payment plan so that the amount can be paid to the adviser in instalments until it is paid off, there is no requirement to issue an invoice for each of these instalments.
What to include on an invoice
It is helpful to include the following items on an invoice:
- identification that the document is an invoice
- date of issue
- identity of the client
- a full description of services that the invoice relates to (this should match a payment milestone description in the written agreement)
- a full description of any disbursements included in the invoice
- the total amount payable
- the New Zealand Goods and Services Tax (GST) amount, if any, payable in relation to the amount being invoiced.
Below is an example of a tax invoice:
Invoice or tax invoice
The difference between an invoice and a tax invoice involves the charging of GST. If an adviser is charging GST, they must be GST registered with the Inland Revenue Department (IRD).
Overseas based advisers must ensure that they clearly set out any additional tax or levy that the client must pay.
Advisers should contact IRD directly at www.ird.govt.nz, or an accountant, if they are unclear about GST requirements.
Here are decisions from the Immigration Advisers Complaints and Disciplinary Tribunal that refers to invoices: