Landscaping - No Invoice Provided

I build an investment home recently in VIC. As part of the final stages I got a Landscaping company to do the landscaping and the concrete work around the house. They did the job and I paid the agreed amount. The agreed amount was transferred to the Landscaping owners bank account. He agreed to provide an invoice and based on that I paid the amount to his account. Now he got all the amount (12k) and never provided an invoice. Have been calling texting and emailing with no response. Initially he did respond saying he will send the invoice but after that he doesn't even pick call.

Being an investment with the invoice I can show it as capital but without invoice how do we deal with this ? I got Landscaping Company ABN and wanted to send a registered post as well but I couldn't find the business address. Whom do we complain ? Should I be reporting it to ATO ?

Any suggestions ?


  • Do you have a quotation with their letterhead?

  • Is it a sole trader/partnership or a Pty Ltd? If it's the former there may not be a registered business address per se and be more difficult to track down.

    Usually, don't you get an invoice first and then you pay it?

  • An accoutant might be able to verify this, this is based of personal experience.

    We had the same situation. There was a dispute about the quality of the work and tradie dissapeared and refused to answer requests for an invoice. Our accountant at the time said to just put the deduction through and if it was ever audited you just hand over the transcripts requesting an invoice along with the tradies details.

  • The tax man may be interested to learn about this business, presumably not issuing invoices to evade tax…,-ta...

    • It was a bank transfer for $12k, the ATO and a number of other gov agencies already know about it…

  • I'd text him with

    "I've asked you multiple times for an invoice. If an invoice is not provided by COB dd/mm/yyyy further action will be taken via the ATO."

    It's not hard to provide an invoice, even if it's a largely cash business of the dodgy type.

  • "Should I be reporting it to ATO ?"

    Only if you are a jerk.

    But feel free to use it as a threat to get your invoice. On the other hand you probably wont actually need it unless you get audited, we had investment properties for years and never got audited once.

  • You can still deduct it. If you have the evidence of the transaction with the ABN or documentation you are safe. You need to make a request in writing for a tax invoice and then they must provide one within 28 days. Even if they dont you can still claim, it's the ATO's job after that point to chase them if you are ever audited.

  • Now he got all the amount (12k)

    How did you know it was $12K if you didn't get an invoice of some sort to pay for their services… were they a "friend"?

  • Thanks for all the replies. He didn't provide a quotation but he did send email about the landscaping plan etc.. via his email id ( this has got the ABN) and yes ABN says sole trader. For the record I had saved all their emails / whatsapp/ sms and works done in my CCTV and it's all saved just in case if it goes to dispute. I just wanted a receipt of the job done that's and don't intend to report him to ATO. I just want to report it as capital when I plan to sell it off.

    Basically the attitude of not responding is pissing me off. been chasing for almost three months now. I was wondering which department looks after these kind of disputes ? Is it vcat ?

    • I'd just call the ATO not just to report the company, but to ask about recording it as a deduction with all the evidence you have that you paid it and the work is done, like bank transfer and before and after photos of the work done, emails asking for invoice. Save all to the deductions app and call the ATO and it wouldn't surprise me if the ATO told you you've done your due diligence for your return and they will follow up with the company so you can forget it. ATO can be sometimes surprisingly chill and informal if you're a regular person trying to do the right thing and you speak to them yourself straight up.

  • There's a lot to go through here, but when push comes to shove you need to be able to provide "evidence" to support any deductions you want to make and be comfortable that you feel that evidence will stand up to an ATO audit if it came to it. A tax invoice with accompanying payment from your bank account is obviously the gold standard, but there are many others ways to get over the line.

    For future reference then, your action needs to be to receive a tax invoice prior to work being undertaken. Please note that a tax invoice can be issued at any point in time … whether or not it has been paid in part or in full is a separate matter.

    • Yeah, people are responsive before they get your money.

      Agree, at the very least receive an invoice before any money changes hands.

  • As long as you have the details written down then there's nothing stopping you from claiming it. You can easily prove where the money went without a final invoice.