Amazon third-party seller refused to provide an invoice

Hi guys, got this problem. I purchased a device for work and hope to claim tax. But a third-party seller just sent me a useless receipt, no company information, no Australian ABN, no details of my information either. I asked further, but they refused to provide a formal invoice.

My question is, without the proper invoice, can I claim tax return for this item? As I did pay for it, and Amazon and bank both have records.

And what can I do with this seller?


Related Stores

Amazon AU
Amazon AU


  • +3

    Have you google company name + ABN to see if the company is gst registered? If not registered that document you download from Amazon order page is enough for proof of purchase but no gst credit.

    • +3

      Dana Scully would be proud of this answer.

    • Thanks! Actually, from the receipt they sent to me, they are a company in Hong Kong. In such a case, what kind of proof should I ask for tax purpose?

      • +1

        You cannot claim tax on anything bought overseas, i bought a ssd back in 2010 from a hong kong based company also, i found out the hard way you cannot claim it locally for tax purposes.

        • +3

          You can't claim gst rebate, TRS. You can assuredly claim the value on your tax return if it is a business expense.

          • +1

            @mskeggs: Sure you can try it, but any invoice from an overseas company will not fulfil the requirements of the ato to tax deduct it. As none of these companies have an abn, so there is no way the ato can cross check the transaction.

            I have tried it myself, and my accountant said it is not tax deductible, albeit this was in 2010, maybe the rules have changed since then.

            • @garetz: Yes, this is exactly what worries me. Thanks!

            • @garetz: The issue, I believe, is really the credibility of the overseas invoice, and whether ATO believes the expense was incurred. If there are other forms of substantiation, e.g. credit card statement, delivery notes etc – they could all work to bolster the claim.

              Lots of people/businesses buy stuff from overseas, which are used to generate taxable income – plant, equipment, inputs etc. It would not make sense if they are all not deductible, because the invoices are by overseas companies.

              So I think it is just about making sure it can be credibly substantiated.

              • @bluesky: And you obviously don't need any paperwork to make the claim, only if you are audited.
                But your account's advice was incorrect. You most certainly can claim business expenses incurred overseas, and as bluesky says this is very routine.

                If you don't have a suitable record of the purchase you might fail an audit, but it definitely does not require a GST tax invoice.
                At the most simple example, consider a business traveller. They need to claim their food, lodging etc, but Jim's steakhouse in Tucson isn't going to give them a gst tax invoice.

                • @mskeggs: Ato works on proof, technically you can claim anything you want to claim, if you cannot prove it to their requirement/satisfaction then it never happened. They do not need to audit you to question the validity of any claim. If they see a pattern of unjustifiable claims, then you will definitely get audited.

                  If you buy something for cash without an invoice, it works the exact same way, you can not deduct that. The ato cannot read your mind, nor will they chase up a claim where there is no proof. Not only do you have to prove the transaction took place, you also have to prove it is a valid tax deduction. Then if you get audited the ato will cross check the transaction took place with the place you transacted with.

                  • @garetz: Your experience of the ATO is very different to mine.
                    They are extremely reasonable with evidence of expenses, I have found. A series of diary entries that says you buy the Fin Review every weekday for cash. A monthly credit card debit in USD for web hosting overseas. A hand written bill on a restaurant waiter’s order book for a business lunch.
                    I’ve never been asked for a formal tax invoice, except when seeking to claim GST. I’ve claimed many international expenses, and expenses from non-GST registered suppliers in Australia that don’t issue tax invoices (like cleaners, secondhand goods from private sellers, stuff from a corner store).
                    I guess if your claims are for thousands of dollars the burden of proof might be difficult, but if I’m claiming $300 for 12 monthly website fees, or $160 for a secondhand office chair, insisting on some higher burden of proof isn’t protecting taxpayers, its ripping off genuine claims.

  • +2

    Can't you just print one out from Amazon webpage?

    • Amazon has an order detail page, but it clearly states that, this is not a GST tax invoice. Can I use it for tax return?

      • +1

        Yes, but you can't claim is at a gst tax input if you are a business.

  • +2

    Getting a tax invoice from Amazon third party sellers is not always easy. I shared my experience here. If you are not trying to claim GST, I don't think there is an issue using the other payment records as evidence.

    • Thanks! Good to know that.

Login or Join to leave a comment