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Invoice information: must it be static over time?



First, the/my background: in my country (Romania) the law states that once an electronic invoice is generated it must not change over time, so whatever solution is implemented, that must always generate the same invoice in the same way (same information).


Now the problem: I recenly changed my business information here on upwork (about 1-2 weeks ago) and today I wanted to download all the invoices for last year, once to have them "just in case" and second, to link/group them with my own invoices.

I noticed that the invoices were generated with my current business name instead of the old one.

Going to support, they claim this is as designed and I should instead change my business name on tax information page, where there is also a required chakbox stating " I certify, under penalties of perjury, that the representations in this Tax Certificate are true and correct. "

That makes me reluctant on applying the suggestion from support.


Finally, the question: is there any EU law/directive/whatever that states something similar to the law in my country regarding re-generation of old invoices and the data/information they contain?

If so, can someone direct me to it?


Thank you.

delphi freelancer
Community Member

Issued invoices cannot change in many jurisdictions. This is poor design. What you can do is to revert to your former business name, edit them, these will be your duplicates and then put your new business name again.



"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Mircea,


This is currently working as designed and invoices are generated with the information currently on file. However, we'll share this feedback with the team.


Thank you.

~ Aleksandar



thank you for your input, that did not answer my question though.


I did a little searching, and as I have no knowledge in the area I may be off, but I was able to find an EU directive in this regards, not sure how applicable is, or not, in case of upwork.



On page 6 it says

"The Directive recognises the obligation for invoices to accurately reflect actual supplies of goods and services and therefore requires that the authenticity of the origin, the integrity of the content and the legibility of invoices are insured from their issue until the end of the period of storage. This can be achieved through business controls that provide a reliable audit trail between the invoice and the supply, and that assure the identity of the supplier or issuer of the invoice (authenticity of origin), that the VAT details (the invoice content required by the VAT Directive) on the invoice are unchanged (integrity of content) and that the invoice is legible. "


On page 14:

"The integrity of the content of an invoice is an obligation for both the taxable person making the supply as well as for the taxable person receiving the supply. They can both independently of each other choose the way in which they fulfil this obligation, or they can agree together through for instance a certain technology like EDI or advanced electronic signatures, to ensure the content is unchanged."


I suspect that whatever EU country upwork has an office in (Ireland maybe?) has transposed this directive in their national law and has kept these invoice information "unchange" requriements and thus upwork must have this process in place in regards to EU invoices at least. And if my assumption is right, then saying "it is as designed' is not going to fly. "Thank you for your feedback" is also not an acceptable answer.


So if this "as by design" is breaking the law (again, I'm just assuming), I guess the right answer would be something along the lines "we will fix it in the following X days/weeks".


So, no, my raised issue is not "feedback material".

When it comes to feedback, the following is my feedback:

- if top rated freelancers, which I am just guessing are 5-10% of the community, are not getting properly looked at when raising issues, if their complaints are not properly escalated, who is upwork listening to? Becuase this is not the first time I am raising a real issue and am being blown off by support with answers like above.

I am only guessing, but top rated should be something that puts those freelancers apart from the mass, meaning they have something in their heads that most of the rest don't.

So not listening to problems coming from people that you aknowledge to have something extra in their brains just raises more conern.

Again, I'm only guessing, but I would expect that the amount of complaints/issues raised by top rated freelancers to be in the same 10% region (give or take a few points) from the mass of complaints. So again making it hard to understand why a proper escalation is not in place for top rated freelancers that (rarely) raise issues not previously escalated or decided upon by decision making people above support.


How I would have seen my issue properly handled is:

- support informs me that they escalated to accounting/judicial or whatever

- that later comes back with an answer that yes, it's an issue or no, we are not obligated by law in country X to have this

- and if it's an issue, with a timeframe to fix.


Is it too much to ask for a top rated frelancers issues to be handled a little different than the masses?


Sorry for the apparent arrogance or what not, but seems I'm not getting through if I'm not blunt. Or maybe I'm not getting through, period.


And yes, I know it's not the little people's fault, and they can't to anything but follow their assigned rules, so my feedback above is nto to the support people or moderators here, it's on the process upwork as a company uses.



delphi freelancer

Upwork is incorporated and operates out of California. The accounting rules in the US are perhaps different from those in the EU and Upwork doesn't adapt itself to please EU clients' and freelancers' needs. They are under no obligation of doing so.


More generally, Upwork has consistently demonstrated that when it comes to interface usability, they are not interested in what their users think.





"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless

Upwork merely generates the invoices for you, it does not provide accounting/storage services.

The invoices are generated in your name, so you have full responsibility for registering & declaring them as needed.


If you feel you need to download the invoices from a year ago, something's wrong. You should have downloaded & processed those documents at the end of each month, and be able to retrieve them now from your old company's accounting archives.



Community Member

@Andrei T


I understand all that. It's in the "as designed" category I was told already at least 2 times before.

My question was whether this "as designed" was breaking any laws. Because if it is, I think you can agree that, upwork will be required to fix it sooner rather than later.

Because obviously nobody is above the law (at least in theory)


I was just hoping people from the community with relevant expertise in the subject would shed some light on this.

delphi freelancer

@Rene K.

Upwork may be incorporated in the US, but it is dealing with people/companies from the EU and as such thye must abide by some rules/laws/etc on some aspects.

(How else would the EU be able to file the untitrust thingie against MS?)

You can read a bit more on EU VAT stuff regarding upworks responsibilities here: https://community.upwork.com/t5/Announcements/Frequently-asked-questions-about-VAT-for-EU-freelancer...

Bottom line, given that upwork is responsible for collecting and remitting VAT for EU citizens/companies, I assume they must also abide by some further rules in this regards, specifically when it comes to invoicing since you need some "paper trail" for showing the VAT you collected, from who, what was it for, etc. So I think you can see how that information needs to be consitent over time.


So it's not really about what the users think (although this stems from what I as a user think and assume), it's about whether upwork is breaking EU laws or not in this particular case.

So while I appreciate your time on this, I think you can agree that this issue is well above both of our heads. Of course, we can barely discuss it and some of us may learn new things; I personally hope this will get a proper answer from somebody who knows their stuff in this regards since I've read in the past comments from such people here in the community.

delphi freelancer

Hi Mircea,


I'm sorry you feel the concern you raised here didn't receive adequate attention from our team. We do appreciate the experience you shared with us, related to using invoices we provide. I can assure you Aleksandar did forward the information you shared, which is the process we use when sharing feedback we receive from our users. The feedback was shared with a dedicated team working on improving invoices so they are compliant in as many countries as possible. I see our team explained the process on your support ticket, shared additional information about using Upwork invoices to meet your preferences as well as using that information to create your own invoices in case the current ones do not meet your requirements. I see the team confirmed the VAT ID displayed on invoices prior to the update you've made will remain unchanged and we'll ask our team to follow-up on your ticket and share more information regarding your request about the way your new company name is displayed on invoices. 

~ Vladimir

Thank you for the details, Vladimir.


delphi freelancer
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