Merchants selling via Buy on Google are the merchants of record, which makes them responsible for issuing any required tax documents (for example, tax invoices) to the buyers. There are many reasons why a customer would request an invoice document:
- Business customers may need an invoice stating the paid VAT amount for their own tax or accounting process.
- Customers may want to file a warranty request to a manufacturer and need an invoice to prove ownership, source, and date of purchase.
- Customers may want to participate in cashback promotions, such as those offered by manufacturers, that require the invoice as proof of ownership.
- Customers may want to resell their purchased products and need the invoice as proof of ownership.
Manual invoicing process through Customer Support
A customer can reach out to Google’s Customer Support, and the Google CS agent in turn reaches out to the merchant’s CS to retrieve the invoice document and then forward it to the customer. This process is time and cost intensive, and does not scale to a larger number of merchants.
The situation on the merchant side is similar, as CS there is also costly and the solution does not scale with a larger number of orders.
Automated VAT invoicing process
Automated VAT provides an automated way for merchants to provide invoice documents to customers who need them. The Automated VAT invoicing process works by:
- Reusing existing functionality of merchants to send invoices to a billing contact address.
- Capturing those emails and retrieving the attached or embedded invoices from them.
- Storing the resulting document alongside the order data before making it available to the customer.
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