ChannelEngine: automated VAT invoices

About this document

This document describes ChannelEngine's value-added tax (VAT) invoice automation feature and how to configure it.

Table of contents





ChannelEngine offers the option to automatically send customers an invoice when their order is retrieved by from the marketplace. As most marketplaces do not calculate VAT themselves because of differences per country, you must create VAT invoices for businesses that require it, be it to reverse-charge the VAT or other tax purposes.

To make this possible, certain settings need to be configured on ChannelEngine.

NB: states in their invoice definitions that the delivery date should also be included in an invoice. However, this cannot be included because not every carrier and/or method offers delivery confirmation or automatically returns this information to ChannelEngine. Any date included would, therefore, be speculative.


Invoice settings

Go to  Settings > Invoice settings.

In this section you can enter your company name and logo, if desired, your address, your chamber of commerce and VAT numbers, and your customer service's email address and phone number.

ChannelEngine back-end: invoice settings

You can also add a header or footer to the invoice, if you want to further personalize it.

Email settings

Go to  Settings > Settings. Scroll down to the Outgoing mail settings (SMTP) section and enter your credentials.

ChannelEngine back-end: SMTP settings

ChannelEngine requires your mail server credentials so it can send emails on behalf of your company.

Due to common restrictions, such as SPF records, DKIM keys, and DMARC, ChannelEngine cannot easily send emails from your domain unless it uses your own email server and IP address – and customers would be confused if they received emails from ChannelEngine.

Note that if you use Gmail, you may have to set Access to less secure apps to On under your Gmail account settings

VAT settings

If you want to add VAT to an invoice, you also need to enable VAT calculations on ChannelEngine. To do so, go to  Settings > VAT rate settings.

A list of countries and their default VAT rates is displayed. Go to the countries for which you have a VAT number and select Edit. Bear in mind that ChannelEngine can only check and accept international VAT numbers, so no local VAT numbers such as the German Steuernummer.

ChannelEngine back-end: VAT rate settings

Enter your VAT number and select Save. Note that only invoices generated from this point on include the VAT calculation, it is not possible to apply this setting retroactively.

Channel settings

You can now enable automatic invoices per channel.

To do this, go to the Setup section in the settings of the channel you want to enable automatic VAT invoices for. Scroll down to the Invoice settings section and switch Send emails on.

ChannelEngine back-end: channel settings

From this point on, when an order for this channel comes in the customer automatically receives a VAT invoice in their inbox.

Language settings

The language on the invoice sent to the end customer is set to the language (aka locale) of the customer, if ChannelEngine has relevant translations for it. E.g.: if a customer in France places an order, they receive an invoice with French attributes. If there is no translation available, the template used defaults to English.

Invoice check

To check a translated invoice, download it from the ChannelEngine interface. There are two options for invoices and packing slips: an invoice in the language set in your ChannelEngine account; and one in the language of the billing customer. Depending on the situation, these could be the same.

ChannelEngine back-end: invoice details

  1. The translated invoice is based on the country of the invoice address. In the example above, this language is Russian. Selecting that option results in an invoice with attributes in Russian, as seen below. This is also the invoice sent to the buyer.
  2. Example of VAT invoice in Russian

  3. The other invoice is based on the language setting of the account. In the example, the result is an invoice with attributes in English.


Example of invoice generated by ChannelEngine

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