Debit Note: Understanding Its Meaning and How Does It Work

Debit notes are official accounting documents like credit notes, particularly for entrepreneurs. Unlike an invoice, these notes notify customers of their available company credit and the amount they owe. A debit note is vital for monitoring shipments, ascertaining when payments are due and if any credit is there on the account. While there are multiple notes, one of the most crucial forms of notes that business organisations should be familiar with is debit notes. These notes operate as receipts for organisations if there is a sales mistake. It is significant for a business enterprise’s selling and buying transactions, so it should be collected and stored. The article comprises essential details about a debit note meaning. Keep reading to know more!

What Is a Debit Note?

A debit note also called a debit memo, is a document that a purchaser gets from a seller telling them about their financial responsibilities. This debit note will help you decrease the purchaser’s overuse trade obligations. Business-to-business transactions use these notes when one firm supplies products and services to another company before submitting an official invoice. A debit note is a significant part of following the best accounting practices as a small, medium-sized enterprise manufacturing business in India.

The debit note may remind you that it is now outstanding or offer details about an open invoice. The message will comprise the following:-

  • The overall expected credit
  • An inventory of the products returned
  • The reason for the return of the returned products.

Debit notes and invoices differ because they are written in letter form and do not require immediate payment. These notes serve as a purchaser’s formal request for a credit note. It is true when a debit note is utilised to notify purchasers of impending responsibilities depending on amounts that haven’t been appropriately invoiced. Whether operating a business on a large or small scale, purchasers and sellers utilise these notes to rectify accounting mistakes that occur in doing business.

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How Does a Debit Note Work?

From an accounting context, there is an altogether new book that your accounts team will manage to keep track of the debit note and the information linked to it. Usually, two copies of these notes are generated, and each side has one copy. Suppose a supplier is generating a debit note. In that case, they must furnish the information in this note or memo while revealing their monthly tax returns. It should ideally be done within the following month of the memo being issued.

There is no specific time when the debit note meaning must be issued to address accounting inaccuracies. Nevertheless, according to Goods and Services Tax laws, issuing it within the fiscal year the business transaction occurred is advisable to ensure you receive the eligible tax liability amendments. Debits and credits are signed into the accounting system to track shipped products and owed payments. 

There is another alternative to issuing a debit note, i.e., issuing the memo on or before 30th September in the fiscal year following the year the sale occurred. These notes are issued for business transactions, including an extension of credit, meaning a firm receives a shipment of products from a vendor before paying a purchaser’s price. The debit note informs purchasers that the seller has debited their bank accounts. Even though actual goods are getting transferred from one hand to another, the actual money isn’t transferred until the issuance of an invoice.

Functions of a Debit Note

A purchaser furnishes the debit note meaning while transacting with a seller. A debit note performs vital roles in the finance sector, including the following:-

  • Decreases the seller’s debt or use it to request a decrease in the owed amount to the seller for dispatched items
  • Seek cost amendment on a particular product.
  • Seek changes to the number of products agreed upon between the purchaser and seller.
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To conclude, a debit note meaning is a document commonly utilised for business-to-business transactions. It helps you keep track of your debt obligations towards the products or services supplier. Debit memos aid suppliers in rectifying undervalued invoices. A debit memo is evidence of an important and genuine financial transaction or accounting for a purchaser and seller. Getting information related to pricing and proper proof of payment is tricky without the debit note record. A debit note serves various additional tasks vital in a sales transaction. These notes are vital for business transactions. Sometimes, sellers forward such notes mentioning the purchaser’s debt obligations. Both sides issue such documents to correct the inaccurate values in the invoice. Usually, these are issued when products are bought on credit.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Is a debit note or memo the same as an invoice?

A debit note or memo is identical to an invoice. Nevertheless, there are subtle differences between the two, which include invoices showcasing sales. On the other hand, a debit note mirrors returns or amendments on transactions that have already occurred.

2. When is a debit note issued, and can a debit note be issued without a credit note?

A debit note issuance occurs when products are required to be returned following the issuance of a credit note if the return is accepted. A debit and credit note are interlinked and can not be issued without the other.

3. What are a few common reasons for issuing a debit note?

4. For how long a debit note should be retained?

The records of debit notes or supplementary invoices should be maintained until the expiry of 72 months from the deadline of an endowment of the yearly return for a year of furnished records and accounts.

5. What details are to be included in a debit note?

The following details are to be included in a debit note:-

  • Issuer’s name and residence address
  • Debit note or memo number
  • Invoice date and deadline
  • Recipient’s name and address
  • Information about products, such as name, number, unit cost, quantity, overall cost, etc
  • Total
  • Tax
  • Bank information

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