Recording partial refunds

If you're only refunding part of an invoice, read this guide!

Emily avatar
Written by Emily
Updated this week

Need to refund only a portion of a patient's invoice? Whether you have an invoice with one item or multiple items, it's fortunately easy to do this directly from the original invoice by creating what we call a 'credit note.' Below, we'll guide you through the steps.

This guide is for recording refunds in Cliniko. If your patient has paid online (meaning the payment was recorded in Stripe), you will still need to manually process the refund in Stripe in order to ensure the patient gets their money back. Recording the refund in Cliniko will not automatically reverse the payment in Stripe.

Stripe has an overview on how to process a refund on their support site.


Record a partial refund with one invoice item

If you're recording a partial refund for a patient’s invoice that only has one invoice item on it, you’ll want to do the following:

First, find the invoice you need to refund. In the example we're using, we can see that this patient had paid for their standard consultation and treatment for a total of $50:

To start the refund process, you'll now select the Reverse button at the top of the invoice:

This will bring you to a screen that looks very similar to an invoice, but it will say New credit note, and it will have the date that you're issuing it (which will usually be today's date):

From here, scroll down a bit, and you'll see credit note item fields that also look very similar to an invoice, except the invoice item quantity will be a negative number:

You'll now edit the unit price on the invoice item to match the partial amount you want to refund. For example, if the invoice item was originally $50 and you want to refund $25 of that, then set the unit price of the credit note item to be 25:

Please note that if your invoice item includes tax, adjusting the unit price will automatically factor in the tax rate, affecting the total. So make sure to adjust the partial refund amount to reflect the pre-tax value.

For example, if the tax rate is 10% for your invoice item, in order to refund $25, you would have to set the unit price to $22.73:

Alternatively, you could set up a separate billable item in your settings for partial refunds that doesn't apply tax so it's easier to adjust and apply the partial refund amount.

If you want to save that amount as account credit, then click "Create credit." If you returned the money to the patient and want to record that, click "Credit credit and refund."

Now you're all set! If you selected "Create credit & refund" make sure to save your refund (which appears as a negative payment). You'll also see this refund listed in your Payments list, where it will have a "refund" flag next to it:

The partial refund will also be recorded in the payment reports as a negative number.

Keep in mind, the refund process for invoices with multiple invoice items is slightly different.


Record a partial refund with multiple invoice items

If a patient purchases some additional items when they come in for treatment—for example, maybe a yoga mat or some sort of at-home therapy device. You'll most likely have all of those things on the same invoice—but what happens if they want to return one of the multiple items they purchased? You'll have to record a partial refund.

To do this, find the invoice you need to refund. In the example we're using, we can see that this patient has purchased three things for a total of $65 (their treatment session, a neck pillow, and a spiky ball):

The patient has come back and said they'd like to return the spiky ball, because they realised they already have one. Not a problem! What you'll want to do first is press that Reverse button at the top of the invoice:

This will bring you to a screen that looks very similar to an invoice, but it will say New credit note, and it will have the date that you're issuing it (which will usually be today's date):

Scroll down a bit, and you'll see item fields that also look very similar to an invoice, except everything will have a negative number for the quantity:

Now, if you were refunding everything, you'd leave all those fields as they are, and simply press the Create credit & refund button (if you were giving money back to the patient), or the Create credit button (if you were converting what they'd paid into account credit to use towards something in the future).

However, in this case, we're only refunding one item—the spiky ball. What we're going to do is remove the items that we don't want to record a refund for, by pressing the "Remove" buttons until only the item we wish to refund remains.

Below is an example of of this process in action:

We've removed the items we don't need, therefore recording a refund only for the spiky ball ($5). At the end of the process, we can see that we have a new credit note, and it indicates what was refunded, as well as which invoice it's a reversal of:

And that's it! We've now recorded a partial refund! 🎉 We can also see this refund in the overall Payments list, where it will have a "refund" flag next to it:

This refund will also be recorded in the payment reports as a negative number.


If you have more questions about refunds, head over here, and also feel free to reach out to our support team for assistance!

Did this answer your question?