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Thread: Can supplier invoice me after 3-5 years??

  1. #1

    Question Can supplier invoice me after 3-5 years??

    Hi,

    I have a supplier who recently invoiced me for some charges which were incurred 3-5 years ago.
    They claimed that their system only picked up these figures lately (some big local company, ha!).
    Thing is, there is no way we can check if those charges have been paid back then or not (the regular invoices we pay timely do not show the breakdown charges they are now showing to us to claim the payments they had "missed out").

    The amount is not the issue, but are they allowed to invoice after so long?
    I think in some countries, suppliers have to invoice within a certain timeframe, but am not sure about here.

    Tried to google some info but not able to find answer to my question.
    If anyone can shed some light, or direct me where to find the info, I'd appreciate it.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Can supplier invoice me after 3-5 years??

    If you lent me $100,000 and I did not pay you for more than 10 years, can I say that since it has been so long already, and I "cannot remember" whether I had repaid the loan, can I insist that you just forget the whole thing ever happened?

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by ricohflex View Post
    If you lent me $100,000 and I did not pay you for more than 10 years, can I say that since it has been so long already, and I "cannot remember" whether I had repaid the loan, can I insist that you just forget the whole thing ever happened?
    10 years, yes. Financial documents have 6 years time limit after which you don't have to keep copies.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Can supplier invoice me after 3-5 years??

    It could be that they "spread out" the invoicing for GST reasons. My suggestion would be to call up IRAS and ask.
    Alpha

  5. #5

    Default Re: Can supplier invoice me after 3-5 years??

    "In general, it is to be issued within 30 days of the time of supply."

    https://www.iras.gov.sg/irasHome/page04.aspx?id=826
    Alpha

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by xaleysan View Post
    Hi,

    I have a supplier who recently invoiced me for some charges which were incurred 3-5 years ago.
    They claimed that their system only picked up these figures lately (some big local company, ha!).
    Thing is, there is no way we can check if those charges have been paid back then or not (the regular invoices we pay timely do not show the breakdown charges they are now showing to us to claim the payments they had "missed out").

    The amount is not the issue, but are they allowed to invoice after so long?
    I think in some countries, suppliers have to invoice within a certain timeframe, but am not sure about here.

    Tried to google some info but not able to find answer to my question.
    If anyone can shed some light, or direct me where to find the info, I'd appreciate it.

    Thanks!
    Then u tell the supplier that u will take another 3-5 years to pay back.

  7. #7

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    Iirc statutory time bar for debts for most commonwealth countries 3 years.

  8. #8

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    Is there a lawyer in the house? Lol

  9. #9

    Default Re: Can supplier invoice me after 3-5 years??

    If you do not have an Accountant to hep you out, get these 2 facts first;

    1. Can your supplier provide any proof of delivery of goods or performance of services? Either a delivery order showing your company has received the goods, or a job completion order acknowledged by an authorised person in your company.

    2. Are you able to proof that payment has been made, if in deed there was delivery of goods or performance of services?
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  10. #10

    Default Re: Can supplier invoice me after 3-5 years??

    Any debts that's accrued for too long, my Accounts will make noise and make us write to the other party to give reply in black & white whether there's any outstanding. Come think of it, isn't this done during auditing???

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Can supplier invoice me after 3-5 years??

    I think it is not a question of can or cannot.
    If you can remember clearly that you have not paid the supplier, then pay him as a matter of honour.
    There is such a thing as a receipt when payment is made.
    Last edited by ricohflex; 9th September 2013 at 10:54 PM.

  12. #12
    Moderator Octarine's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can supplier invoice me after 3-5 years??

    It all depends on the legal frame work. If there is a limit for outstanding amounts, after which these claims expire, then it should be written in the Singapore Laws or made clear by any court decision. It's not a matter of funky sums and housewife logic ("If I lent you $100k") but a matter of legal regulations. IRAS would be a good point to start, or any chamber of commerce.
    EOS

  13. #13

    Default Re: Can supplier invoice me after 3-5 years??

    your lawyer or accountant is the best person to ask
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    Moderator ed9119's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can supplier invoice me after 3-5 years??

    just open your books and in the annual balance sheet look under your short term liabilities or payments outstanding balances
    its embarassing and it does happen unfortunately .... lousy finance manager who allowed that (uncollected $) to happen

    i know its a sianz job ..... maybe demand a discount of invoice amount for the invoncenience caused if you have really not paid yet... after all they essentially screwed up both your Balance Sheet as well as your P&L statement for that year and you might have to park it under extraordinary item for this year
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  15. #15
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    Default Re: Can supplier invoice me after 3-5 years??

    Quote Originally Posted by xaleysan View Post
    Hi,

    I have a supplier who recently invoiced me for some charges which were incurred 3-5 years ago.
    They claimed that their system only picked up these figures lately (some big local company, ha!).
    Thing is, there is no way we can check if those charges have been paid back then or not (the regular invoices we pay timely do not show the breakdown charges they are now showing to us to claim the payments they had "missed out").
    I am surprised that "local big company" will chase such payments instead of writing it off as it is already long overdue the financial year/accounting period. Is it a significant sum or outstanding progress payments? Without knowing the contractual obligations, it would be hard for 3rd party to comment. But I would think it is possible, say for example your products sold are part of a long-term project, and the project has just been completed. The project accountants are wrapping up the project's books.

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    Default Re: Can supplier invoice me after 3-5 years??

    Quote Originally Posted by CamInit View Post
    Any debts that's accrued for too long, my Accounts will make noise and make us write to the other party to give reply in black & white whether there's any outstanding. Come think of it, isn't this done during auditing???

    This shows that their accounts dept and auditing firm are sleeping.Outstanding debts must be spotted immediately. Ask them
    to show proof.
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  17. #17

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    I'd tell you what my organization will say if we encounter this problem - "Ask legal." Haha!

    The best idea is to seek legal advice while you ask your accountant for the corresponding payable.
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  18. #18

    Default Re: Can supplier invoice me after 3-5 years??

    Quote Originally Posted by Octarine View Post
    It all depends on the legal frame work. If there is a limit for outstanding amounts, after which these claims expire, then it should be written in the Singapore Laws or made clear by any court decision. It's not a matter of funky sums and housewife logic ("If I lent you $100k") but a matter of legal regulations. IRAS would be a good point to start, or any chamber of commerce.
    That's exactly what I was trying to find out. Thanks!

  19. #19

    Default Re: Can supplier invoice me after 3-5 years??

    Quote Originally Posted by ManWearPants View Post
    I am surprised that "local big company" will chase such payments instead of writing it off as it is already long overdue the financial year/accounting period. Is it a significant sum or outstanding progress payments? Without knowing the contractual obligations, it would be hard for 3rd party to comment. But I would think it is possible, say for example your products sold are part of a long-term project, and the project has just been completed. The project accountants are wrapping up the project's books.
    It's definitely not project basis. But yes I am surprised they surface only now too. Seems like their auditors are sleeping?
    The amount is very small, it's even a waste of time to chase after the matter actually.
    But I want to know if there is any legal framework about matters like this.
    I wonder how many more companies they have contacted about their payments which "the system missed out".

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Can supplier invoice me after 3-5 years??

    If the amount is very small, what is stopping you from paying it. The legal framework is if you owe someone, pay it.
    The focus should not be on the supplier alone and whether their auditors are sleeping.
    Your auditors are also sleeping (if the amounts owing are indeed not paid). There should be tracking of accounts payable in your company.
    If the amounts have been paid, then your company should have the receipts and supporting documentation to prove it.
    Last edited by ricohflex; 10th September 2013 at 09:13 PM.

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