Assignigng VAT values to accounts

Klaus Ridder
Sun, 27 May 2001 09:45:47 +0200

Dear Robert,

tghank you very much for your mail.

Of course, having this implemented the way you told would be perfect.
Especially, if this will be in the near future.

However, please consider the following points:

1.) "private / business expenses"
Take, for example, the phone bill: In germany, you have to book a certain
amount of money for private use, if the phone is used by business AND
privately. This is calculated at the end of the year, and would be quite a
mess if I had to split all prior phone bills. (I't a bit difficult to
discribe, I see.)

2.) "lately not accepted expenses"
Example: You bought a business magazine "XY", which you thought can be
claimed as business expenses. Now the tax office or your tax consultant tell
you something else. You now have to alter ALL single transactions in the
account "Magazine XY".

3.) "Forgotten VAT":
What happended to me quite often, and why I hate QUICKEN:
With hundreds of transactions in your account, you sometime forget to set
VAT correct. You then compare ethe total an the 16% of the VAT report, they
don't match, and you manually search for the forgotten transaction.

I would suggest the following:
You are absolutely right, the tax office wants a report where the VAT is
shown for every transaction. But this isn't different in my model, the
report will be alsolutely the same:

            NET    VAT    GROSS (= "Brutto")
Produtct1   100     16    116

The only diffenence is how gnucash stores it: If every transaction in a
certain account will have 16% VAT anyway, it is not necessary to store trhis
for every transaction.
Another big advantage of a "default VAT value" will be that I don't have to
manually alter thousands of transactions I have already entered - I would
have to reopen books, which I definitely don't to.

I propose the following way, which would probably perfect for you and me:
1.) VAT for every transaction:
Do it as you proposed, store VAT for every transaction: The user can now
switch every single split from "unset" to whatever he wants. I see it the
following way; that's also how quicken handles it:

                    gross   VAT    net        vat
PC-Superstore       1080           1000       80
|-- PC 1             580    16%
|-- PC 2 private     580     0%     580        0

Gnucash now ony stores "gross" and "VAT" (not net, because this also hasn't
been stored before in older versions of gnucash, and it would mess up
things, I guess).

That far your model, It would be great if cou could implement it that way; a
display like

|-- PC 1             500
    Tax               80

would make things very complex ("unübersichtlich").
For example: when I just bought a single PC in QUICKEN, he didn't show "PC1"
anymore, but "split", and I had to open the split, which was not a very good

Do I see it right when that is your model?

2.) VAT for accounts (optional feature):
Now here comes my feature, which would be especially important to easily use
prior entered transactions whithout having to alter them manually:
You CAN (you don't have to!!!) assign a "DEFAULT VAT" value to every
account, which is taken by EVERY transaction that has stored the VAT value
"unset". Gnucash doesn't reset all of them but just behaves the following
"IF Vat-calue == "unset" THEN look up if "DEFALULT VAT" is set in the
Account or (very important!!) in any of the father-accounts.  If so, take
that value for calculation".

What do you think: would it be possible to implement it that way?
The user could now decide by himself what method to use (or even mix them).

I am looking forward to hear your opinion and doing beta-testing for this

Klaus Ridder