young woman working with computer while consulting some invoices and documents in the kitchen

The importance of keeping delivery and billing address separate

Even though life slowly gets back to normal, many people are continuing to work from home. With no or only limited access to company offices, the need for ordering stationery or other office supplies for daily work comes up. When those are delivered to an employee’s home address, there is a high possibility that invoices might not be correctly issued because no or little attention was paid to it when ordering supplies in the first place. This leads to non-compliant invoices which are not eligible for VAT reclaim. Therefore, companies miss out on significant savings.

Unfortunately, when ordering stationery to their homes, many employees do not distinguish between delivery and invoice address. This is where the error comes into play. The delivery address is the physical place where ordered items will arrive at, also known as the shipping address. In contrast, the invoice address refers to the account that is being billed. Even if employees pay for supplies in advance, it is very important to fill in the company’s address as the invoice address, because ultimately the company is going to pay for the office supplies.

This is highly relevant for a company’s finance and accounting department being responsible for compliant billings. When the invoice states the employee’s name and address, it is not possible to include it in the company’s tax reporting – neither for domestic nor cross-border VAT recovery. Companies are still able to reimburse their employees, but lose out on the possibility to recover VAT due to non-compliant invoices. Even if there are three ways to rectify a wrongly issued invoice (in Germany), it requires a great effort to do so which is often not worth it due to the usually small amount of a single office supply order.

As Amazon gained more and more popularity during the pandemic, most office supplies may be ordered on this platform. It is easy to change the invoice address in the last step when reviewing an order. Please refer to the screenshot below to see how to adjust it.

With an online VAT recovery platform like VAT4U’s, wrongly issued invoices are automatically detected to make sure that your VAT refund claims are compliant with current regulations. Find out more about how your company can benefit from a technology that saves not only time but also delivers significant savings, contact us.

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