What are the problems exactly?
They can all be worked around to a certain extent, it's just rough:
- Invoices are "supposed" to have for each line the exact VAT rate in effect stated (can be a symbol which is looked up in the index, or you can simply asterisk anything which is non-standard). The net and vat amount for each line are supposed to be shown. Then at the bottom you need to show net, vat for each rate in effect, and gross. In fact for 99% of common transactions the rate will always be 17.5%, but there are some 5% goods here, and also a peculiarity of some 0% goods...
- In particular the invoicing breaks down (in SL!) if you tick the "VAT Included" box when creating an invoice. The subtotals don't *appear* to allow the extraction of the net subtotal figure correctly?
- The 0% thing is actually interesting because we have both goods at 0% VAT and vat exempt items. The handling is slightly different for each even though they are arguably the same thing... It's a historic attempt to cheat the euro rules - basically it was required that we charge VAT on a whole bundle of goods that we never charged VAT on before, but we were also allowed to set the VAT rate, so we simply set a VAT rate of 0% on them instead... It's technically not the same as being VAT exempt on those items though...
- I think you will already cover shipping destinations as a tax calc, but in the UK at least tax is charged solely on where the customer is receiving the goods. Businesses are different, but this is true for indivuals (basically delivery inside EU charge VAT, delivery outside the EU charge nothing)
- Rounding is a pain. Suppose I agree a price of £X for something, there are several magic numbers where when you go a penny up or down then the total goes to £X +/- £0.01, but never exactly £X. It's a pain to have to convert the whole invoice to "VAT Included" due to it not quite printing correctly, simply in order to get the desired effect of rounding to the exact amount
- Same problem when entering invoices from suppliers. For sure we can probably chuck out the odd penny here and there, but really if the supplier incorrectly calculates tax then we should stick in what the supplier calculates into the system. For example I have one chap who obviously can't use his calculator and sends me invoices where the vat on a £20 item is often £2 out... Hard to imagine it's possible to be that wrong, but it's impossible to enter this into the system without using multiple transactions to straighten it all out.
The only workable solution I see to the last two points is that as per the "Transaction" pages you have an override box for each line item where once you tick it there is a (complicated) extra set of fields appear which allow you to override the tax for that line item. Probably it's a nightmare when you have lots of tax rates, but I guess most jurisdictions have only a few in practice...? I think it's a workable solution for the majority of countries...?
At the same time it would make sense to add fields to freeze all the VAT and address details for a given invoice. Right now they appear to get calculated each time and if you change something and then pull up an old invoice and reprint it you do NOT get the old figures!! This is a massive no no for an accounting system and I simply don't understand why SL ever did it this way?!! The whole invoice should really be stored and nothing ever recalculated for it...
Also I noticed that it's not easy to handle second hand sales where the VAT is based on a margin basis, ie you pay tax only on the amount of profit, not on the total sale priceThat may pose a little problem and may require some hooks beyond what we have. However, I wonder, what you do in the following circumstance:
No, it's easier than that. The "Margin Scheme" is only applicable where you have a seperate record book and specifically record each transaction, what you bought it for, what you paid for it and serial numbers, etc.
It's mainly designed for the motor industry, but it can be used in other areas as well.
Probably for these transactions you wouldn't give the customer a VAT receipt either (or else they would be figuring out your profit margin). It's for individual, unique items (with a serial number generally), so the manual override discussed above would solve this problem perfectly...
Thanks for listening.