Author Topic: Too late to invoice for something I wrote in 2011?  (Read 1442 times)

GDT101

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Too late to invoice for something I wrote in 2011?
« on: January 26, 2013, 08:19:03 PM »
I wrote a piece for a women's glossy in August 2011 which I have just realised (while doing my 2011/12 tax return) that I forgot to invoice them for.

The magazine say it is too late to ask for the money, but I'm not convinced. If it's not too late for HMRC to tax me for it, how can it be too late for the magazine to pay me for it?! I work for them pretty regularly, so I'm really disappointed they won't cut me some slack as this really was just a one-off. I have tried using charm etc but it has got me nowhere and the managing editor is point blank refusing to pay.

Any thoughts about my legal position here? Thanks all!

John Thompson

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Re: Too late to invoice for something I wrote in 2011?
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2013, 10:07:35 AM »
This is a really interesting question.

Were you sent a purchase order at any time for this work? I have no legal training, but any terms and conditions attached to that order might be binding if you have been deemed to accept them in some way.

Otherwise, it does appear that you have up to six years to send and invoice and expect payment within 30 days of its date - see this thread.

For more definitive advice, if you are an NUJ member, it might be worth contacting its freelance organiser. The NUJ is, I believe, able to offer free legal advice to its members.

GDT101

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Re: Too late to invoice for something I wrote in 2011?
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2013, 12:29:54 PM »
Thanks John.

There was a commissioning form for the article (which I also forgot to sign and send back until now, oh dear..!) but it says nothing about me having to invoice by a certain date so I don't think I've signed away any of my legal rights or anything.

That link is really interesting too. you're right that it definitely seems that the law is on my side. But of course whether I want to upset a good client for 250 quid is another matter...

I guess the lesson here is - invoice in good time, everyone!

John Thompson

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Re: Too late to invoice for something I wrote in 2011?
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2013, 01:46:09 PM »
Might still be worth politely pointing out the law to the client as they may be under a false impression. And this surely cuts both ways - is it worth them upsetting you for £250?

Also, if they are going to be unreasonable about this, what other problems might lie in store for you or other freelancers down the line?

Ideally you should get to the bottom of their reasoning on this. Perhaps they have already allocated a budget for the last financial year and are worried about eating into the next one. Could there be a compromise that leaves everyone happy?