VAT Invoicing - different sequential numbering schemes for Amazon vs non-Amazon

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Pish_Pash

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So I'm an Amazon Business seller & they are just about to launch a program where they issue all invoices (full VAT invoices) for all my Amazon sales - yay, that's a whole lot of grief gone for me (a lot of my time is sumped attending to Invoice requests from 5 countries - in their local language ....euggh).

But here's the thing ...presently all of my online sales come into my Access database & are given a sequential number....but Amazon are now going to be issuing VAt invoices using their own local numbering system akin to this.....

Inv-GB-[MyVATNumber]-2017-123456

...so I guess from a nominated date, I'm going to have to stop VAT Invoice numbering/issuing for all Amazon sales ...but still generate a sequential VAT Invoice number those sales originating from my website/direct & ebay .....I'm figuring this is going to be ok with the VAT man? (i.e. two numbering schemes...depending on the marketplace) ...if it isn't ok, then someone ought to tell Amazon!
 
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Pish_Pash

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I think that as long as both numbering systems are logical then HMRC should have no problem.

Exactly...when I go to my local Argos & ask for a VAT receipt, after much furrowed brow & chin scratching they whip out an old school 1980 paper book & issue one...that infers each store has a different numbering scheme for VAt invoices (there's not a chance that - using such a paper book scheme 'per store - that Argos can therefore issue sequential numbers across all stores - it's going to have to be in 'blocks of numbers' per store)
 
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Pish_Pash

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VAT information Sheet 10/07 is your point of reference.

Thanks (how foolish of me not to have remembered the snazzy entitled "VAT Information Sheet 10/07"!), extracts here...

Q: I currently use a unique customer reference number as the identifying number on the invoice. If I add an additional consecutive number will this be acceptable?
A: Yes, this would have the affect of creating a unique and sequential series
.

Q: I have several customers and I wish to run several separate sequences of invoices at the same time. Is this possible?

A: Yes, it is acceptable to operate more than one sequence at the same time.

Q: My business operates as several separate business units or divisions. Is it possible for each unit or division to operate its own sequence of invoices?

A: Yes, it is acceptable to operate more than one sequence at the same time.

s'cool.
 
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finest123

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Hi Pish Pash,

Where did you hear Amazon were going to start doing this? and when?

I had a meeting with my accountant this morning and mentioned this and he said it would be best to carry on creating invoices yourself and then link the two together. More Admin,

However,I am pleased to read the information you have provided, it will save a bit of admin our end
 
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Pish_Pash

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I was contacted by Amazon late last year to say they were going to be doing this (I can't say too much more as it's related/intertwined with some other new news they've not publicly released), then it all went a bit quiet, then I was emailed again just yesterday asking what date I wanted to launch (i.e. the date at which I hand over all direct customer invoicing responsibilities to Amazon)....I've chosen April 1st as this is the beginning of a new VAT quarter & gives me more breathing space to iron out the quirks before my next VAT return is due! I think I'm on a pilot scheme...but it'll be rolled out to every one in good time.

Frankly it's a blessing (less time answering a plethora of invoice requests from Amazon customers - I'll simply have one email in five different languages that goes along the lines of "You need to request an invoice from Amazon!"), but a short term curse...as I'm going to have to do an awful lot of coding to embrace these changes....& the info coming my way from Amazon is scant.

I had a meeting with my accountant this morning and mentioned this and he said it would be best to carry on creating invoices yourself and then link the two together.

The jury is still out as the best way to proceed...I will certainly be accounting for every sale in my accounts software, but using Amazon's generated invoice number for Amazon based sales (instead of generating one myself as I am doing presently)...I can't be full sure how to proceed until I see what I get from them relating to VAT/Amazon sales......my main worry is it's going to be log files in the early days (eeeugh)....vs. using an API.
 
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Pish_Pash

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There is nothing (at least not that I can find) in the current version of the API that will return the invoice number for an order.

John

I thought as much. That said, Amazon.de have just launched something called Pay By Invoice (where customers can defer paying for an order for a few weeks). I had to delve to get the right info for that (so that I could ID/trap such orders & handle them a little differently in my accounts software) ...it wasn't documented! (in the end it was tucked away under
<PaymentMethodDetail>PaybyInvoice</PaymentMethodDetail> using their GetOrder API)

Amazon seller support are useless when it comes to anything relating to their API...they refer it to a specialist team who take a few weeks to come back to me...usually with another question!

I'm figuring at a push, they could press SellerOrderId into play for providing the invoice number via their GetOrder API (as presently - for me at least - that is just duplicated data of the Amazon order ID), but like I say, certainly in the early days, it looks like I'm going to be having to download/parse reporting files, here's what they're saying in the associated help file....

"For sellers who use our VAT Calculation Services, the following report will include tax calculation information for sellers to use in order to prepare any required tax reports and to remit VAT to the appropriate tax authorities:
  • Amazon VAT Calculation Report
Sellers should consult a tax advisor if assistance is needed in the compilation and filing of any tax-related returns"
 
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Amazon seller support are useless when it comes to anything relating to their API...they refer it to a specialist team who take a few weeks to come back to me...usually with another question!

Been there, done that, gave up a long time ago :)

John
 
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So I'm an Amazon Business seller & they are just about to launch a program where they issue all invoices (full VAT invoices) for all my Amazon sales - yay, that's a whole lot of grief gone for me (a lot of my time is sumped attending to Invoice requests from 5 countries - in their local language ....euggh).

@Pish_Pash

I don't know if you've looked in to this at all but there may be a problem to be aware of. I've just seen an Amazon Order file from a customer that, so far as I can tell, has an incorrect VAT calculation.

The gross order total shows as £107 and the VAT column shows as £17.80 but, by my calculations, with a gross order value of £107, the VAT should be £17.83...

The customer is concerned that the VAT Invoice produced by Amazon won't match the VAT invoice produced by his accounts software which would then open up a possible issue with HMRC...

John
 
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Pish_Pash

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Feb 1, 2013
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@Pish_Pash

I don't know if you've looked in to this at all but there may be a problem to be aware of. I've just seen an Amazon Order file from a customer that, so far as I can tell, has an incorrect VAT calculation.

The gross order total shows as £107 and the VAT column shows as £17.80 but, by my calculations, with a gross order value of £107, the VAT should be £17.83...

The customer is concerned that the VAT Invoice produced by Amazon won't match the VAT invoice produced by his accounts software which would then open up a possible issue with HMRC...

John
Hi JOhn,

Thanks for the heads up...it's issues like this that have made me hold back on importing orders from Amazon into quickbooks....I've not had Amazon's VAT calculation report yet (as I only launched with their VAT calculation service on April 1st ...beginning o a new VAT period)...alas, they won't produce the first report until the 3 May!
 
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Pish_Pash

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I was already figuring there'd be minuscule discrepancies (i.e. 1p here & there due to the way that Amazon will likely 'round' vs. the way that Quickbooks 'rounds')....but I wasn't expecting anything more out of whack than that.....I wonder how miffed HMRC will be that the VAT amount Amazon sellers have calculated (from the gross value) differs from Amazon's own calculation!
 
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Pish_Pash

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Further investigation would suggest that, so far at least, this issue only affects orders with multiple quantities and looks like it is a rounding issue...

John

...this actually came into my head yesterday & I thought "I bet it's down to rounding with orders containing quantities more than 1" (I don't get out much!!) ...because it seems Amazon don't do decimals in their calculations for net prices, therefore if there are 5pcs of the same item in an order, it could potentially lead to a miscalculation of 5p vs what the VAT should actually be.

One a side note...Amazon's API has bowled me a major googly ....I started with their new VAT calculationj/invoicing on April 1st....from that point the 'item price' contained in their API's XML changed from a previous 'gross' item price to a now 'net' item price - they didn't warn/inform about this ...all my follow on systems/procedures assume I get a gross price from Amazon's XML - messy!!
 
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One a side note...Amazon's API has bowled me a major googly ....I started with their new VAT calculationj/invoicing on April 1st....from that point the 'item price' contained in their API's XML changed from a previous 'gross' item price to a now 'net' item price - they didn't warn/inform about this ...all my follow on systems/procedures assume I get a gross price from Amazon's XML - messy!!

Now that's strange as, so far as I can tell (and we do have a number of users on a version of our program that uses the API rather than the reports) the price is still gross albeit we aren't reading the 'raw' XML, we are using the .NET API.

John
 
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Pish_Pash

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To clarify (as I re-checked the way I'm getting this data), I am actually pulling a report of Amazon FBA sales (called _GET_AMAZON_FULFILLED_SHIPMENTS_DATA_) & using the pricing in that - prior to using Amazon's VAT invoicing, it was gross...now it's Net - so I now have to to combine the item value & the item tax fields in that report to get the gross value again.
 
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