Friday, 27 June 2014

Sales Invoice Requirements in Canada


Just opened up a new business?  Not sure how to create sales invoices for your customers?

In this short post, we’re going to provide an overview of information on what needs to be detailed on sales invoices in Canada.

Our Findings

In Canada, you must inform your customers if GST/HST applies to their purchases (1).  “For taxable supplies, you have to show:

- that the total amount paid or payable for a supply includes the GST/HST;
- the amount paid or payable for the supply and show the amount of the GST/HST payable on the supply separately; or
- the GST/HST rate that applies to the supply” (1)

For information on what is taxable and what is exempt, click here.

You also need “to give customers who are GST/HST registrants specific information on the invoices, receipts, contracts, or other business papers that you use when you provide taxable goods and services.  This information lets them support their claims for input tax credits (ITCs) or rebates for the GST/HST you charged” (1).

“If your customers ask you for an invoice or receipt to claim an ITC, depending on the amount of the sale, you are required by law to give them [specific] information” (1).  Click here and scroll down to the “Information requirements for sales invoices” chart for a clear and helpful guide on these requirements.

For all other information on the subject of invoicing, review this webpage provided by the Canada Revenue Agency.


(1)- Invoicing requirements from the Canada Revenue Agency:

Links to More Information

Check out some of our past posts on GST/HST, including:

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Understanding Your Eyeglass Prescription: What the Numbers and Letters Mean


Do you have glasses?  Wondering what the numbers and letters on your prescription mean?

In this post, we’re going to explain what the numbers and letters on eyeglass prescriptions mean.

Our Findings

Acronyms/Words on Your Prescription

On an eyeglass prescription, there are a few different acronyms/words that all have important meanings.  Here is what the main letters/words of an eye prescription mean:

OD (oculus dexter)—“ Latin for ‘right eye.’  Your prescription may just say ‘right’ or ‘RE’” (1).

OS (oculus sinister)—Latin for “left eye” (2).  Your prescription may just say “left” or “LE” (1).

SPH (sphere)—“Indicates the prescription power, or how strong your lenses need to be to correct your vision.  For an indicator of how much magnifying power is needed in a bifocal or progressive lens to correct your vision problems, look for ‘ADD’” (2).

CYL (cylinder)—“Denotes astigmatism (a condition where the cornea is irregularly shaped causing blurred or distorted vision). It also tells the lens strength needed to fix it” (2).

AXIS—“Describes the degree and direction of your astigmatism” (2).

PRISM—“Tells you the amount of prismatic power needed to correct eye alignment problems.  However, only a small percentage of eyeglass prescriptions have this” (2).

Other letters you may see and what they mean include:

DV—“stands for ‘distance vision’” (1).

NV—“stands for ‘near vision’” (1).

Numbers on Your Prescription

In order to understand the numbers on your prescription, you need to know what they stand for.  To start, the “standard unit of measurement on eyeglass prescriptions [is] called a diopter” (1).  “A diopter can be a negative number ([indicating] nearsightedness and a lens that minimizes things), or it can be a positive number ([indicating] farsightedness and a lens that magnifies)” (1).  “[This number] indicates how powerful a lens is in order to properly focus light on a person’s retina” and “is the distance [in metres within which] you [can] see an object clearly for a fine-detail task” (1).  For example, “a nearsighted person who needs a -1.00 diopter lens can see objects at one metre clearly, but anything farther is blurred,” whereas “a farsighted person who needs a +1.00 diopter lens can see objects at one metre clearly, but anything closer than that is blurred” (1).  For a more detailed explanation and other examples, click here and go to the end of the “What is a Diopter?” section.

Next, there are numbers that denote the correction and axes for astigmatism, known as “cylindrical correction” and “axis,” respectively (1).  Under axis, this number “is the direction [in degrees] that the person’s vision is not distorted by astigmatism” and where the correction listed under “spherical” is applied (1).  Perpendicular to this place on the eye (the number listed plus or minus 90 degrees to equal less than 180 degrees), the amount of correction required is the sum of the numbers under “spherical” and “cylindrical” (1).  For an example and more explanation, click here and go to the “Putting It All Together” section.

And that’s it!  Hopefully this helps you better understand your eyeglass prescription!


(1)- Information on “How to Read Your Eyeglass Prescription” from the Canadian National Institute for the Blind:

(2)- Information on “Eyeglasses Prescription” from LensCrafters:

Links to More Information

If you’re wondering what 20/20 vision means, check out our past post titled, “20/20 Vision: What the Numbers Mean and Other Information on Visual Acuity.”

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