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Old 20.08.2019, 21:56
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Received a late invoice

I have today received an invoice from the school my child left in June 2018. I wrote after the child left and asked if I owned any outstanding money and the finance officer wrote to me stating clearly that there were no outstanding amounts owed.

The invoice relates to a charge for pupils from outside the canton that the school say they had overlooked.

What, if any right do I have not to pay this - being that the school put in writing that I owed nothing?

Thank you in advance.
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Old 20.08.2019, 21:59
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Re: Received a late invoice

I believe the school has 5 years in which to invoice you for services provided. It's likely you need to pay.
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Old 20.08.2019, 22:09
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Re: Received a late invoice

You could try writing to the school, and attaching a copy of the letter saying you owe nothing more. Something along these lines:

I refer to your invoice of DATE in the amount of FRANCS, which I believe has been sent to me in error.

I attach the letter of DATE, by your Finance Officer Mr/Ms NAME, which sets out that there are no further amounts owed by me to SCHOOL.

As that letter is binding, I hereby return your invoice to you.

Yours sincerely


Keep copies of everything, including the invoice. Wait and see what happens.

Decide for yourself whether the amount is significant and worth doing battle over. Even though you try such a letter, you might inwardly decide just to pay it, if that might cost you less work in the long run.
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Old 20.08.2019, 22:23
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Re: Received a late invoice

Also decide whether the charge is in fact reasonable. If it is, then you need to decide whether you're the kind of person who profits from legal technicalities*.




*The fact that they might is irrelevant. You're better than them.
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Old 20.08.2019, 23:03
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Re: Received a late invoice

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I have today received an invoice from the school my child left in June 2018. I wrote after the child left and asked if I owned any outstanding money and the finance officer wrote to me stating clearly that there were no outstanding amounts owed.

The invoice relates to a charge for pupils from outside the canton that the school say they had overlooked.

What, if any right do I have not to pay this - being that the school put in writing that I owed nothing?

Thank you in advance.
Is the bill incorrect? Have you already paid the charge for that year? You may get away on a technicality, but it will come at a price, refusing to pay a community bill will not be seen in a good light for any C permit or citizenship application later in case you’re planning to stick around.
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Old 20.08.2019, 23:44
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Re: Received a late invoice

If my English serves that letter from last year is useless. What hasn't been billed for isn't outstanding, the recent charge bill is out of that letter's scope.

Last edited by Urs Max; 21.08.2019 at 01:07. Reason: Bill, not charge
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Old 21.08.2019, 00:49
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Re: Received a late invoice

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If my English serves that letter from last year is useless. What hasn't been billed for isn't outstanding, the recent charge is out of that letter's scope.
I don't think it's a recent charge. It is a charge that relates to when the child was there, but that they forgot to bill.

I was once in a similar situation (though less legally strong). I saw a doctor, and she sent me a bill which I paid promptly. About three years later, I received a bill for a bit extra for the same service (not for additional, as yet unbilled services).

I wrote back, with a copy of the original bill I had received, and proof of payment.

Her accountant then wrote to me explaining that, for the time that she had seen me, she had used the wrong Tax Point (a set amount, per service, agreed between the government, the medical insurers and the medical service providers) and had thereby undercharged me.

I asked an accountant what I should do. He advised me to write a letter something along the lines I suggested in Post 3 above, which is what I did. The doctor's accountants then wrote back to say that since the error had been the doctor's, the belated extra amount billed to me would be cancelled, and I owed her nothing.

I am all for paying what is due, and I don't believe there is any merit or correctness in trying to get out of paying what one owes, and I say so, often. Yet in that particular case it seemed petty to me that they were asking for that extra little bit, years later. Besides that, the doctor had been of no help - she had said so herself - and I suppose that's why I felt doubly stung.

Since this was all within the 5 years I expect that, had the doctor's accountants pushed the matter, they could have demanded that extra amount from me. And I would have given in and paid.

There's the legal issue, the moral one and the practical. Even when one is in the right, sometimes it's not worth the effort of the squabble. Sometimes it's a challenge to balance the opposing pulls at one's pocket, one's heart and one's mind. I agree with NotAllThere... where possible, be the better person.
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Old 21.08.2019, 10:35
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Re: Received a late invoice

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If my English serves that letter from last year is useless. What hasn't been billed for isn't outstanding, the recent charge bill is out of that letter's scope.

Urs - I am not quite with you.
The finance director wrote Feb 2019 "Gerne bestätige ich Ihnen, dass Ihre Zahlung bei uns eingetroffen ist und die Ausstände somit beglichen sind."
And in July the bill for 3'000 arrived - as it is due 4 x a year, half of it relates to 2017 - so 4 times they forgot to bill it and then in the final bill for outstanding amounts, they forgot again. It is not a piddling amount - it is like a whole new school year.


Doropfiz - I will try that, thank you.


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Old 21.08.2019, 11:02
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Re: Received a late invoice

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"Gerne bestätige ich Ihnen, dass Ihre Zahlung bei uns eingetroffen ist und die Ausstände somit beglichen sind."
Which means nothing more that any overdue payments (Ausstände) at time of writing have been paid. It does not say anything about the future or if there is still a debt (Ansprüche).

An all clear would have been:
"Gerne bestätige ich Ihnen, dass Ihre Zahlung bei uns eingetroffen ist und damit alle gegenseitigen Ansprüche abgegolten sind"
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Old 21.08.2019, 19:33
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Re: Received a late invoice

for me the original letter was referring to the original outstanding bill that you paid and they confirmed payment for through that very letter.

Besides, even if they wrote that "you never have to pay anything to us ever again", I wouldn't count on it having legal value.
In that case I would try getting out of it using something like doropfiz's format, but if the letter you got says "Gerne bestätige ich Ihnen, dass Ihre Zahlung bei uns eingetroffen ist und die Ausstände somit beglichen sind." and you know for a fact that you owe that money according to the rules you knew of at the time, I'm not sure it's even worth trying, for 3k CHF they're unlikely to apply "Kulanz" just because they're late.
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