In het last few weeks, as promised I’ve set an inquiry to support as well, to ask if they could maybe retroactively provide a tax invoice (now, or maybe later if they improved their process), or if not that, a “commercial invoice” that also lists the software license I purchased (which is missing from the customs invoice).
Here’s what they told me (over a dozen or so messages):
- The commercial invoice is intended for customs only, not for " individual use or usage as a formal invoice of purchase".
- They pointed me to the order/shipping confirmation e-mails, which do contain the full list of products and prices (but not VAT).
- They provided me with a screenshot from their internal order system, which does list the (total) VAT amount for the order (it’s still not a proper tax invoice, lacking VAT tariff, invoice number, addresses, VAT number, etc. but I’m considering to use it in my books anyway).
- Framework is not currently VAT-registered in the Netherlands, that process is running but not complete yet. Apparently only the German registration is “far along in the process but still not fully complete”.
Especially the last point is weird, given that they do list a Dutch (and German) VAT number. I asked about this, which they escalated to the finance team, but I haven’t heard back from them yet.
I wonder if maybe they already have VAT numbers assigned, but not completed the full registration yet? And maybe they are collecting VAT already, but are keeping it for now until they finish VAT registration and will be paying the VAT to our local governments retroactively in bulk later or so?
Here’s one excerpt from a response that could suggest this, note the remark about “capturing VAT”.
We do not have a Dutch VAT number for Framework as we are not registered. That is all in process with the business infrastructure that is being
built out for launch, hopefully later this year. In order to have a VAT number/ID, you must be registered with the tax authorities and that in
itself is a process that takes time. As of right now, only our German registration is far along in the process but still not fully complete. We
capture VAT as is our duty by law in order to sell/ship our product to the Netherlands, but again, we do not have a dedicated VAT ID for your
country as of yet, per my previous messaging.
Looking at the Dutch rules, a tax invoice is only required when selling to businesses (plus some specific cases, like wholesale or new vehicles). Maybe some proof of purchase is still required, but not a full tax invoice (with all of its requirements).
See Wie zijn verplicht te factureren? (Dutch)
Seems EU rules are similar: VAT invoicing rules
That does include a tax invoice requirement for selling to consumers when “distance selling when taxable in another EU country”, but I suspect that in this case (and I think this is mandated for consumer purchases by the article 33 linked), the transactions are actually taxable in the country of the consumer and an invoice is not required (that would mean that Framework is required to pay local taxes, so there is no need to go through the hoops of getting a tax refund in another country).
This is also interesting, as it suggests that DHL pays the VAT on behalf of Framework after all, which would not be entirely consistent with my theory above…