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Tax Invoice, GST and other things that need fixing for Australian Magento users
 
Roland Quast
Jr. Member
 
Total Posts:  19
Joined:  2008-08-27
 

Hi All,

It’s been about 3 weeks so far of learning Magento… great system, love it heaps! Chris’s patches have helped out a huge deal. Thanks Chris!

However, there are a number of issues I’ve run into for us Australian developers.

1. There isn’t an easy/upgradable way to have tax invoices formatted the way the ATO legally requires us to!

Problems:… The issues are: 1. No ABN or Organisation Name in invoices, 2. The words “Invoice” instead of “TAX INVOICE”, 3. “Tax” with a plus symbol appearing next to it to show the GST component rather than just showing GST and nothing else. 4. No invoice date set in invoice emails (ATO requires an invoice date). 5. No invoice date in Tax Invoice printout (ATO requires a tax invoice date, not an order date). 6. The system by default sends out only a new order email, when it should send both the new order and tax invoice emails out (or at least the tax invoice email). 7. The link to print invoice should say “print tax invoice”, as for any other area where it meets the criteria. 8. Tax invoice columns need to have an option to show the GST component per item, and the heading to be GST and not tax if that is the case. 9. Recording of ABN numbers in the customer account is available if you use the Tax/VAT field built into magento, they should change this to Tax/VAT/ABN field instead (so its not just for the UK, but also Australia and all other countries)… possibly this field should be locale specific. If the Tax/VAT field is populated, it should appear in the TAX INVOICES sent out. 10. The email html templates don’t exist for the Australian Locale, have had to modify the US ones. 11. The words “Grand Total” and “Sub Total” should say “Total (Inc. GST) or Total (Ex. GST)” and “Sub Total ex GST"… these words will also need to be dependent on the invoice being GST inclusive or GST exclusive (eg, FRE).

Solutions: .... There is no easy way for us to fix this. If we modify the en_AU locale files and an update happens, the new words may not be picked up or get changed. Also, if we modify the code directly (like I had to do), then we can’t upgrade our version of Magento without doing a universal diff and patch on the entire sourcecode each time we upgrade. For now, we have to manually edit all the source files (I would rather do that than hack up things like “Grand Total”, “Total (Inc. GST)” in the en_AU locale csv files… that could lead to problems of new code (or other code) that uses that string and then populates its area with your replacement when it shouldn’t… Actually when I think about it.. theres no solution except for biting the dust on this one and hope that one day, magento will meet our LEGAL requirements… otherwise the product will suffer a lot in this country because no developer is going to want to patch it each time a new version is released.

2. I wrote a magento payment gateway for Westpac’s PayWay Net and based it on the PayPal Standard checkout code (already in magento). However, I don’t know if I can release this code as it includes the skeleton PHP files that westpac provide (and they hold the copyright to it). But I’m happy to answer questions about how to get it to work if anyone wants to know. The payment gateway seems to be one of the easier things to write.

3. I hate how magento doesn’t have the option to remove “compare products” and newsletter subscriptions from ALL parts of the system. We use vision6 for our newsletters and don’t want to use the built in newsletter code to do this.. the display code needs to be more modular for components like wishlist, newslettters, compare products, etc etc. anything that just generally isn’t “core” to a shopping cart system.

4. The XML layouts are spagetti. Grep is the only way to figure out how stuff appears throughout the site… EG. you can have newsletter sidebars appearing in 3 different layout files, but you wouldn’t know that if you didn’t grep the xml. There needs to be some kind of interface to manipulate these XML files and view the layers. One of the things i did was to echo the names being called for each block in List.php… this helped heaps in the grep process!

5. Theres no way to purge existing data in the system from the admin panel, eg, orders (especially ones that were done for test purposes), or any way to flush out the whole system without reinstalling the databases (and losing your settings). I found a few answers on other forums ... but the db schema changes often.

6. Virtual product support sucks! This is the most essential component that we need for our products. We don’t sell anything that ships.. we sell courses online and this requires a task to run on the order “processing” status to turn that order that contains tasks that require an action (eg, create course users) and then set the order as “complete” once this is done. Secondly, there is no way to sell any pdf files etc online, nor serial numbers which we also require to sell online.

7. The outdated documentation isn’t a great “starting point” and is too complex.. it took me a while and a few forums to figure out how it all “hung together” when I first learnt about the code. There needs to be some kind of “quick start” guide to everything, that is FAR less complicated and more to the point rather than discussing the philosophy of why things were done a certain way. Some more pages on basic grid views and how to implement a basic site (maybe a screencast) would be good too! I mean they don’t even talk about how to theme the front page in a decent way.. you gotta dig around to figure that one out. I know you can edit the static pages, but it would be nice to have a list of blocks and resources that people can generally “plug in”.. and this comes back to the whole ugly XML interface thing… (but they are probably working on an elaborate solution for this anyway).

Anyway, that’s my rant. Great system, lots of potential.. but im on that cusp of wondering if “its worth it” or if something else would be more simple (but everything else on the market looks crap anyway, so what else can you do?).

 
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Roland Quast
Jr. Member
 
Total Posts:  19
Joined:  2008-08-27
 

Just further to my last post here, if any Magento developer wants to come along and fix this problem.... here is a PDF file from the Australian Taxation Office on how a Tax Invoice should be laid out.

http://www.ato.gov.au/content/downloads/n11675.pdf

 
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Roland Quast
Jr. Member
 
Total Posts:  19
Joined:  2008-08-27
 

Oh and this is a list of bare minimum requirements that must be met or else you are breaking the law…

http://www.ato.gov.au/businesses/content.asp?doc=/content/50913.htm&page;=1#P38_2053

 
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Daworm
Jr. Member
 
Total Posts:  14
Joined:  2008-07-22
 

Anyone get this sorted at all?

 
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brendanb
Mentor
 
Total Posts:  1093
Joined:  2008-07-16
London, United Kingdom
 

hey all,

maybee you might want to take a step back and treat magento as a fullfillment system and leave the financials to other systems.

At first i thought magento “could replace” existing sales order systems we use. But taking a step back it made more sense just to treat magento as the front end. ie: get the orders from magento into an existing “fully functioning” accounting system. Magento can create invoices but my plan is to not use this functionality, its very tempting, but as the ATO has specific rules around invoices, this makes magento very hard to use as a complete end2end system.
Your points about tax issues are valid, but again every country has their own way tax is implemented, so its a lot of work to set all this up.

If your clients dont have an existing accounts system, you could suggest pushing the orders into something like quick books.? which has ATO compliance..?

just a thought

brendan

 
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fwhong
Member
 
Total Posts:  32
Joined:  2008-08-17
 

These are definitely issues we’ve encountered. Customers confusing tax and shipping is a result.

Hopefully this gets fixed in the future somehow.

 
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vianetz
Guru
 
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Total Posts:  537
Joined:  2008-04-13
Munich, Germany
 

Hi,

perhaps you want to take a look at our magento module AdvancedInvoiceLayout if it fits your needs.

Best regards

 
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ramccall
Jr. Member
 
Total Posts:  1
Joined:  2009-08-17
 

Hi guys,

Have been scouring the forums looking for answers to these issues (ATO compliance). I have managed to get full ATO compliance (details here by the way - http://www.ato.gov.au/businesses/content.asp?doc=/Content/50913.htm) except for “the date of issue of the tax invoice” in the email that gets sent to the customer.

I found two documents in the Magento Wiki that list all the available variables for the transactional emails:

- http://www.magentocommerce.com/wiki/modules_reference/english/mage_adminhtml/system_email_template/index
- http://www.magentocommerce.com/wiki/doc/list_of_variables_for_mail_template?do=show

One of these variables is {{var dateAndTime}} which I thought would be the answer to my problem. It sounds like it would be the ‘current’ date and time, i.e. the date of issue of the tax invoice - however, it doesn’t work!

Does anyone know if this is a bug? Has anyone found another solution to this problem? Any help would be appreciated, cheers.

 
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appel268576
Jr. Member
 
Total Posts:  20
Joined:  2008-09-21
 

Does anybody know how to add the customers tax/vat number to the email.

I tried the {{var customer.taxvat}}, however in the ORDER and INVOICE transactional emails it does not show…

 
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betterbatt
Member
 
Total Posts:  53
Joined:  2009-09-16
 

Has there been any updates to implementing GST compliance in Magento?

How did you go in the end Roland? What solution are you using?

Liam

 
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Soro
Jr. Member
 
Total Posts:  16
Joined:  2009-07-22
 

Hi betterbatt,

I have just implemented GST into my magento.

This is information taken from another guy from another thread.

Set up a tax group as “GST” @ 0.1 and another as “GST Exempt” and set this at 0

Within each product you can select which tax code you use. So foods might be exempt and your books will be set to GST

Now Im just working out how to change the word TAX to GST

 
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plu_australia
Sr. Member
 
Total Posts:  132
Joined:  2010-04-20
 

See this thread http://www.magentocommerce.com/boards/viewthread/15582/

The one about (bottom) duplicating en_US and changing the ‘tax’ to ‘GST’ works

 
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sanderbuijs
Jr. Member
 
Total Posts:  3
Joined:  2010-05-05
 

Hi there,

I’ve been looking for a long time but I found the way to get the the tax/vat rate into the transactional emails.

{{var order.getData(’customer_taxvat’)}}

This worked for me…

greetz,

sander

 
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Paulus
Guru
 
Total Posts:  335
Joined:  2008-07-21
 

Sander, do you also have a fix for VAT breakdown in the total on the pdf invoices?

Like this:
Subtotal 100
Shipping 5
VAT 6% 6
VAT 19% 0.95

Total 111.95

We’re not able to fix this ourselves (yet).

 
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Paulus
Guru
 
Total Posts:  335
Joined:  2008-07-21
 

It actually looks good when you watch order details/invoice from the sales tab, why not like that in the invoice pdf, weird.

Subtotaal € 40,52
Verzending en afhandeling € 8,36
Totaal (Excl. BTW) € 48,88
BTW BE Laag (6%)
€ 2,43
BTW BE Hoog (19%)
€ 1,59
Totaal BTW
€ 4,02
Totaal (Incl. BTW) € 52,90
Totaal betaald € 52,90

 
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Amasty
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Joined:  2009-11-10
 

Hi!

To change classic magento order numbers use Custom Order Number
Custom Order Number extension enables you set any starting numbers and prefixes for all types of store documents such as invoices, orders, shipments, credit memos. Protect your private business info from your competitors and make your store more user-friendly.

For more details, user guide and live demo please follow the link http://amasty.com/custom-order-number.html

 
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