Italian tax laws permit a company or freelance to anticipate expenses "in the name and on behalf of the client" provided that these expenses are highlighted in (and relevant documents attached to) the final invoice.


Let's assume I am Freelance working for Customer and it has been agreed that Customer pays me a train ticket. In order to avoid paying extraneous taxes and social security contributions on the price of the ticket, it needs to be accounted for separately from my work.

Let's also assume my VAT rate is 0%.

In this case, Freelance would buy the ticket from Train company but provide the billing information of Customer to said company. This way the invoice for the ticket will contain Customer as the purchaser.

Freelance would pay the ticket and then ask the money back by listing this expense in the invoice.

A typical invoice of Freelance then would look like this:

Description                                             Amount
Did some stuff                                          100.00

Expenses paid in the name and on behalf of the client   Amount
Train ticket                                              5.00

Sub-Total (net)                                         100.00
VAT                                                       0.00
Sub-Total (expenses)                                      5.00

Total                                                   105.00

Having the train ticket invoice attached as well.

Software I am looking for

I would like to use a software that is capable of generating invoices and can handle two different sub-totals, one for taxable items (if applicable) and one for expenses.


  • free or open source
  • multi-platform support
  • support for two different sections with sub-totals
  • possible to translate strings easily (either by setting the language or editing a template file)
  • PDF generation
  • keeping a list of invoices

Nice to have:

  • preferrably online or self-hosted web based solution
  • tracking paid/unpaid invoices (manually)
  • sending invoices via email
  • ability to show/hide some text notes on the bottom, w.r.t. the total reaching a certain threshold

1 Answer 1


You can use Clappia to create this Invoicing application. Clappia is a cloud-based platform that you can use to design custom apps within minutes, and without writing any code. I tried to create an application based on the use case you mentioned. It looks something like this.

enter image description here

I was able to create this within 10 minutes and it can be further customised as per the needs. Once designed on the website, this can be used on the Clappia mobile app as well. You can print the invoices providing any template doc files. Refer this for more details on how to print a submission. Also, you can create the app in any language you want. All the submissions made on this app will be available to you for viewing/downloading at any point of time.

Disclosure: I am associated with Clappia.

  • Thank you, it looks interesting. I will have a look. I have to ask, though: is the query string in the link a tracking code? These are generally discouraged on SE. Commented Aug 29, 2018 at 12:07
  • Sorry wasn't aware. Removed the tracking part of the URL. Commented Dec 14, 2018 at 10:26
  • Is this free and open source as the OP requests?
    – Eric S
    Commented Sep 4, 2020 at 17:09
  • @EricS it was free when I wrote this answer :) But that was 1.5 years back. Some parts of it are still under the free plan, but things like Print Dynamic invoices, send custom emails are under the paid plan. However the price is quite low, its $7/user/month. You can refer to www.clappia.com/pricing. Commented Sep 5, 2020 at 19:20
  • 1
    Free and open source are two different things. Clappia doesn't seem to be open source even if some aspects of its use is free. Your answer would be better if you clearly point this out. Since things have changed, it is perfectly reasonable for you to update your answer.
    – Eric S
    Commented Sep 5, 2020 at 23:40

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