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iTunes GST receipts

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Started by Mark Herring 11 Aug 2014 7:25pm () Replies (13)

Here's a quick answer potentially and something I may have just missed.

Our financial report recently asked if we could provide GST receipts for the apps we're buying. Is there one attached somewhere that I'm missing? All I can usually see is an email notifying you that you've bought them.

Thanks in advance!


  • Gillian Ellison (View all users posts) 11 Aug 2014 8:59pm ()

    You should be able to login to your account thru iTunes on your laptop.select store then Sign in , then select store and View Account, you have to provide your password again. halfway down is Purchase History it shows all the apps purchased, if you click the wee arrow on the left hand side of the row it will expand to a complete list purchased on that day with pricing. ( it includes free apps)......but have just checked and there is no GST number. we usually purchase iTunes vouchers and this purchase has a GST receipt. It can then be supported with this list, if required.

  • Mark Herring (View all users posts) 11 Aug 2014 9:05pm ()

    Thanks, Gillian.

    So... is there no way to get a GST receipt if paying on a credit card? Seem's strange.

    Does anyone have this issue or been asked this by their auditors? Could be a potentially larger problem than we realise with the growth in apps in schools?

  • KathC (View all users posts) 11 Aug 2014 9:34pm ()

    You need to log into the email account that you used to set up your itunes account. Full gst receipts are emailed there when you buy apps. I have just gone through this with our accounts person after using school credit card, so hope it works the same for you too.

  • Mark Herring (View all users posts) 13 Aug 2014 1:39pm ()

    Hi Kath

    I'd LOVE to see a screenshot of that if you can get one? I've just been looking and I must need glasses... ha.

    Thanks in advance!

  • KathC (View all users posts) 13 Aug 2014 8:07pm ()

    I had another look, and must correct myself. It isn't a GST receipt, just a receipt. This receipt has been enough for our accounts person as proof of purchase alongside the visa statement. 

  • Heather Bell (View all users posts) 13 Aug 2014 9:29pm ()

    Apps are purchased from overseas. We don't pay GST on overseas purchases so you won't have a gst receipt. 

  • Ian Williams (View all users posts) 14 Aug 2014 11:13am ()

    The issue of GST on iTunes is confusing.  The iTunes (NZ) terms and conditions say that GST is (or maybe?) included in your payment.

    Services Transactions may be subject to GST. If GST is payable, the amount deducted from your credit card, iTunes Card, iTunes Store Gift Certificate, or Allowance Account balance (as the case may be) at the time of purchase will include applicable GST.

    I also see there is a recent discussion on Geekzone on this topic:






  • Innes Kennard (View all users posts) 14 Aug 2014 6:37am ()

    This is me thinking a little outside the 4 sided thing.
    Heather and Gillian are correct - a credit card linked to an iTunes account is like any overseas purchase (think Amazon) and is ex GST and needs to be shown that way on your accounts, tough!
    However if you purchase  iTunes cards in NZ and then redeem those for credit,  then you will get a GST receipt so your $50 credit costs about $44. You still get $50 worth of apps.
    Now the interesting bit. ITunes cards are often specialed eg. Countdown had $50 for $30 late last year (I will be using them up for quite a while yet!) and you can claim GST so you get $50 worth of apps for approx $26 ($30 - GST).
    And now the not sure, but maybe even more interesting bit. If you can redeem cards against your VPP account then can you get your apps for about 25% of their price. For example, you purchase 20 of an app at $4 you will get them for half price. You will need $50 credit, so using the above Countdown scenario, therefore you will get $100 worth of apps for approx $26???
    Thoughts anyone?

  • grahamp (View all users posts) 14 Aug 2014 9:32am ()

    Hi Guys.. back to the original premise... state schools are exempt GST.. so why is a GST receipt required in the first place?

    VPP credits: a local reseller is able to purchase on behalf of organisations.. in that way a GST invoice and the management of account (ie invoice not CC) is available.

    VPP numbers: 20+ per app (ie not related to home user 5 users)

  • Innes Kennard (View all users posts) 14 Aug 2014 9:49am ()

    Wow Heather this is the big legal and ethical question and I have to say I spend quite a bit of time talking it through with schools as they work towards management of multiple devices.

    This is how I read it - love to get other opinions.


    legally when you read the fine print, a school 'can' only link ONE iPad to one account unless they use a Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution like  Configurator or Meraki to assign (supervise) codes purchased through VPP. The 1-5 or even worse 1-more does not apply to schools. So you either use an MDM  to asign 40 codes (your example) or you should have 40 iTunes accounts and you should redeem the VPP codes individually on each one - legal, half price, long job.

    Ethically if you have 40 iPads you should purchase 40 copies of an app (think buying a book and then photocopying it for a class set!) even if you are going to (illegally) use 8 accounts to then manage them. I can understand the logistics of this for syndicates etc. even if it can cause major downstream headaches. Schools are legal entities managed by professionals. App developers including a number of dedicated Kiwis, spend huge amounts of time developing and refining their apps, this is about copyright and theft.

    Some schools have 40 VPP codes sitting in a 'drawer' even if they have used 8 of them - sort of ethical while they get their management sorted. Just remember when you use this approach that when you use up the 8 codes they are gone and when you use an MDM in the future you will still need 41 (one for iTunes and 40 for the iPads) codes. You can't get the 8 back.

    So a tangled web we weave. It needs planning and thought and a very good dose of realism. Free costs- get a life, we must use the best app for the learning. We whitter about free apps - most cost a dollar!

    Schools need quality PD and advice.

    I do hope this makes sense (even from Frankfurt, Germany - nice summer) and I welcome comment and questions.

    Happy to talk about this offline



  • Andy Parker (View all users posts) 14 Aug 2014 10:09am ()

    Hi all,

    Innes is correct - schools need to have a license of an app for each iPad that the app is installed on. VPP is the best way to purchase these licenses, even if the school only needs <20 copies. The VPP method is a good way to keep a track of the number of licenses purchased. There is the advantage that when purchasing more than 20 copies there is a discount available. VPP can also be used to get licenses of Free Apps for use with Managed Distribution.

    This does make VPP attractive if you need 15 copies, as 20 copies at half-price will cost less than 15 copies at full price.

    The confusion occurs around the number of AppleIDs needed to install these apps onto iPads.

    Is it OK to use the same Apple ID on multiple iPads? - The answer is Yes providing the correct number of licenses have been purchased, whether this be through Redemption Codes, or Managed Distribution.

    Apple's preferred way for iPads to be used is as an individual device with a unique AppleID on each device. For most of us this isn't practical.

    The best option at present, I believe, is for schools to have an MDM in place (free or paid), and use the Managed Distribution licensing option. There may be some work involved in setting up individual AppleIDs for each iPad (Room1-iPad1@my.school.nz, Room1-iPad2@my.school.nz etc), but the payback over time in being able to reuse licenses, and install new apps (paid or free) over the air wirelessly more than outweighs this initial setup time.

    Having wrestled with Apple Configurator in the past with installing VPP apps and updates, spending the holidays converting to the MDM with Managed Distribution method has been a blessing.



  • Heather Bell (View all users posts) 19 Aug 2014 12:45pm ()

    Thanks Innes et. al. for this.  Important information to know. Sorry - I took my question off as i realised there was another discussion thread on this topic but you've answered here anyway :)  

    Several schools I work with are quite small / isolated or have decided to start with just a handful (<10) ipads. Perhaps they should legally purchase apps per device in preference to buying the VPP at this point in their development, at least until they know where they are going.  Many also haven't got people available to set up MDMs properly and I do hear horror stories around this process too so i'm not going there.  

    I'll take you up on the chat offer when it suits though.  

    thanks, Heather 

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