Business Challenge

Verify VAT configuration A SAP review should highlight where the VAT configuration could be improved or if additional control measures should be added to the business’s Tax Control Framework. 

Such review can also identify where errors occurs and there are increased risks allowing a more focused data analysis to take place. After the quantification and evaluation of the risks and errors, these are assigned a risk profile for further testing of risk tolerance.

During a SAP review for VAT and GST the proper working of the implemented VAT configuration has to be vericated. This will provide understanding of how changes in the business model, master data or legislation will have an impact on the implemented VAT configuration. In practice often the best way, with respect to testing an effective control framework, is to limit the initial scope of the review and focus on the top 3-5 indirect tax risks that exceed the company’s indirect tax appetite.

These risks may include:

  • Intercompany transactions
  • Cross-border transactions
  • Correct deduction of input VAT (VAT paid)

SAP errors


Ineffective use of the proper partner functions in SAP for a supplier who provides services in multiple countries and invoices VAT locally. This can result in the standard VAT calculation generating incorrect results.


Incorrect derivation of VAT registration numbers for cross-border transactions caused by incorrect SAP configuration.


Missing/improper VAT registration numbers in customer master data, such that invoicing requirements are not satisfied for cross-border transactions.


Master data is adjusted and tested in the test environment, but the changes are not reflected in the production system.


The logic of the tax code structure is disrupted by VAT rate changes. This can be mitigated using the correct SAP configuration.


When performing reverse charge bookings, VAT rate changes do not get changed. For cross-border A-B-C transactions, a VAT mismatch between the VAT on procurement and the VAT on sales arises for party B.


Blocked iDocs (electronic interface documents) because of errors in the OBCD design.


Suppliers with invoices in other currencies and the VAT amount shown in Euro. This results in an incorrect VAT amount due to an incorrect FX conversion.

Written by Richard Cornelisse
 Richard LinkedIn

Richard advises multinational businesses in improving the efficiency and effectiveness of their Indirect Tax Function and Tax Control Framework.

He started his career as a manager at Arthur Andersen and then became an EY partner where he led the indirect tax performance team for Netherlands and Belgium. Currently, he is a managing director of SAP Tax Consultancy Firm.

Richard has over 20 years of experience advising clients on international VAT issues. He is specialized in the tax aspects of financial transformations, shared service center migration, and post-merger integration work.