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Must a VAT invoice be provided if requested?

Client ordered a Kindle from Amazon and asked for a valid VAT invoice as the Kindle will be used for business purposes.

 Amazon replied:

Please note that , Kindle content and services are for personal use
only, therefore VAT invoices or refunds are not provided to VAT
registered customers.

To learn more please see the "Managing Your Kindle on Amazon.co.uk" and
"Amazon Kindle Terms, Warranties, & Notices" sections on our Kindle
Support pages:

Have you  or your clients had this problem?

Replies

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By BKD
15th Aug 2012 19:45

Interesting question

Their terms are quite clear as regards Kindle content, but I can't find anything that restricts the use of the device itself (though, assuming that it is intended only to load Kindle content, the restriction to content logically extends to the device).

But I understand that it is possible to load non-Kindle content, and so - in the absence of any express condition to the contrary - it should be possible to use a Kindle device for business purposes. Amazon probably wouldn't be too happy at being told you want to use it for non-Kindle content, but that's tough - I can't see anything that says the device must be used for Kindle content.

In any event, regardless of the restrictions in use, the law says (Reg 13) that where a taxable person makes a supply to a UK registered person they must provide a VAT invoice. Of course, this request may lead Amazon to conclude that you are going to use the device and content in a manner that breaches their terms. But that is a separate matter for them to pursue. If the law says they've got to provide a VAT invoice .......

Thanks (1)
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15th Aug 2012 15:29

A bigger picture

I think you are missing the bigger picture here. I heard that individuals are buying such electronic goods as kindles and selling them onto a company. The company is then arranging export of the goods to the EU and claiming the VAT back. HMRC are concerned that these types of transactions are fueling the MTIC carousel fraud, hence the reason why Amazon may be reluctant to issue valid VAT invoices!

Malcolm McFarlin

www.mandrtaxadvisers.com

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15th Aug 2012 16:20

VAT on content

What happens if client buys content eg accountancy manual or other business text - VAT is charged on this.  The cost of the kindle is insignignificant compared with purchasing the content so why are they selling such content if it is only for personal use.

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100% agree with BKD

If there's a taxable supply, then the person making that supply has an obligation to provide a tax invoice. Any licensing issues are an entirely separate issue.

Report Amazon to HMRC for failing to comply with their VAT obligations (or at least threaten it); they're not best friends!

I'm not sure where Malcom's coming from. In MTIC situations, the onus is on the recipient of the supply to ensure that they've got a genuine right to recovery of the input VAT.

It's not really a format to purchase proper business content in though. and the Kindle's more expensive and more limited than a base level generic android device.

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16th Aug 2012 09:17

Amazon forum

There are 167 posts about this on Amazon's forums... see here

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By taxguru
16th Aug 2012 14:09

Simplified VAT invoice

Bear in mind that a simplified VAT invoice could be issued for items costing less than £250 http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/vat/managing/charging/vat-invoices.htm#6 

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