How to Run “End of the Year” Inventory & Sales Reports for Tax Purposes

it_photo_107887I admit that this topic is not all that exciting, but it’s very necessary… in fact, if you don’t do this right it could have some negative impacts on your business.

Today’s FBA Q&A Question comes from Trina. She writes:

Hi Stephen. 
I was wondering the best way to get a “end of year snapshot of inventory” report from Amazon? I am kind of new to this and not sure the best way to do this and what program to put it in for best viewing or printing. Thanks for your help!   Trina
 

Thanks for your question. Yes, there are several reports you should be sure to print off for your CPA (or whoever is doing your taxes).

Before we go any further I want you to know that I am not a tax specialist or giving you any tax advice. I highly recommend hiring a CPA who is knowledgable of online sales and all the tax implications. Today, I’m only showing you how to get the reports that you need to add to all of your other 2015 tax documents.

dec-31-calendarOk, there is one report that you MUST run on December 31st (or at the very latest, early in the morning on January 1st). This report will let you know how much inventory you have still stored at Amazon at the end of the year. The reason you need to run this report on December 31st is because Amazon does not currently have a report that tells you what inventory you had in their FBA warehouses on specific dates in the past. The only way to get an accurate printout of the inventory you are rolling over into 2015 is to run this report on December 31st or early on January 1st.

Screen Shot 2014-12-23 at 12.09.38 PMTo pull this report, follow these simple steps:

  1. Log in to Seller Central.
  2. Hover your pointer over “Reports,” and then select “Fulfillment.”
  3. Click on “Amazon Fulfilled Inventory” on the left side of your screen.
  4. Click on the “Request Download” button.
  5. The report status column will state that this report is “In Progress” until it’s completed.
  6. Once the report is completed (usually a minute later), a “Download” button will appear. Press it.
  7. Your report is now downloaded to your computer as a .txt file. Open up the file.
  8. Screen Shot 2014-12-23 at 11.11.07 AMThe text is hard to read, so select all the text (Control A for PC users or Command A for Mac users).
  9. Open up an Excel type spreadsheet and paste the text you just copied. The data will now be more organized.
  10. Save the file with a name like “2015 Amazon Year End Inventory.”

Note: Do not print this document out. If I would have printed my document out, it would have used 784 pages. That’s because the document also contains all of the items in your inventory that are sold out and are at zero quantity. If you rarely (or never) delete any of your MSKUs that you no longer use (because you’re sold out and don’t plan on selling again), then you may have a file even longer than mine. So, don’t print the file, but do save it and email it to your CPA (or whoever is doing your taxes).

Other reports on the same Reports/Fulfillment page that your CPA would probably like to see are the following:

 – Monthly Inventory History – Found under Reports, then Fulfillment, then Show More, then Monthly Inventory History. Run this report for the full year (choose “last 12 months” for the report time period) and it will show you a monthly breakdown of what you sold each month.

Screen Shot 2014-12-23 at 12.08.03 PM– Received Inventory – Found under Reports, then Fulfillment, then Show More, then Received Inventory. This shows what inventory items Amazon received from you this year.

Note: On the above two reports, be sure you click on the Download tab so you can easily download these reports. As with the “Year End Inventory” report, be sure to move the report over to Excel so that it’s easier for your CPA to read.

When you run these reports, don’t forget to choose “last 365 days” or “last 12 months”  for your report dates. You want the reports for the whole year, not just the current month.

Screen Shot 2014-12-23 at 11.04.28 AMYour CPA would also like to see a report of your sales, fees, and income from Amazon. The way to find and run this report is a little different, so here is how you do it:

  1. Log in to Seller Central.
  2. Hover your mouse over “Reports,” and then select “Payment.”
  3. Click on the “Date Range Reports” tab.
  4. Click on the “Generate Report” button.
  5. Select Report Type: Summary
  6. Select Date Range: Custom
  7. Enter in the date range you want. For tax purposes enter “01/01/2015 – 12/31/2015”
  8. Click “Generate” to get the report started.
  9. Once the report is ready, it will be available to download.

Screen Shot 2014-12-23 at 11.06.03 AMNote: If you are running this report before December 31st, then the report will not be ready to download until January 1st. Set a reminder somewhere to come back and download the report on January 1st. If you are running this report after January 1st, then it should be ready to download in a few minutes.

Get all of these reports to your CPA ASAP. You really don’t want to be late on getting the tax process started. Again, if you don’t have a CPA, I highly recommend getting one as soon as possible. It’s costly, but you want to be sure your numbers are right, and you want a professional to do the work that would eat up way too much of your time if you did it yourself.

Of course, these aren’t the only numbers you’ll need to give to your CPA. They will also need to know your cost of goods (you logged your receipts, right?) and any other business related expenses that will deduct from your sales numbers.

ISTFrontCoverGREAT BOOK ON SALES TAX

With tax season upon us, I wanted to let you know that you can download a copy of Introduction to Sales Tax for FBA Sellers by Kat Simpson and Michael Rice. This book is usually $16.99 but you can get it today for only $9.99. Click here or on the cover image to the right to get your copy. Remember, you don’t need a Kindle device to read Kindle books. There are many free Kindle reading apps for your PC, Mac, Smartphone, and Tablet.

If you liked this post and found it helpful, scroll back up to the top and subscribe to the blog. I’ll update you about once a week with helpful tips on how you can make a full-time income with FBA.

Ok, the 2015 year is almost over. What other things are you doing during the last week of the year in order to prepare for 2016? I’d love to hear what you’re up to this week!

75 responses to “How to Run “End of the Year” Inventory & Sales Reports for Tax Purposes

  1. This is awesome information especially for a noob and my first Q4! Thank you!

  2. Georgene Harkness

    In order to get the absolutely most accurate data for the Amazon Fulfilled Inventory Report, keep in mind that Amazon closes things out at midnight PACIFIC time. So, if you are in Eastern Time zone, that would be 3:00 AM, Central: 2:00 AM, and 1:00 AM Mountain Time.

    Sellers from other countries and time zones should also take this timing into consideration. While many won’t want to actually stay up for the event, it’s nice to know in case you really want to, what time to actually download the report.

  3. Thanks Stephen! As always very helpful!

  4. Stephen,

    You’ve just made my CPA very happy, me too!!

    Thank you so much for this organizational plan.

    First year for FBA, this information helps so much.

    Thank you for all you do.

    All the best for a wonder-filled holiday season!

  5. Georgene Harkness

    Yes, just to be clear, I wouldn’t be doing this for anyone but myself. Just because I’m a numbers geek. I KNOW your CPA wouldn’t expect it, hahaha!

  6. Thank you very much!
    This will be my first year dealing with Amazon and taxes.
    Your information is right on time.
    Taking your advice and working with a CPA.
    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and yours….

  7. Stephen, this information was just what I was looking for. You’ve saved me a lot of time and much grief trying to navigate Amazon looking for this information. Your blog is a treasure trove of helpful tips and time-savers. Thank you so much!

  8. This is a fantastic article and will actually help me answer the non-sales tax questions I sometimes see in our Sales Tax for eCommerce Sellers group. Thanks for this resource!

  9. Thank you so much. I am new to Amazon, but I know I will need this information eventually.

  10. Thank you. Very timely indeed. I almost forgot I needed to find out what reports I needed to run. I just happened across this on FB. I so appreciate it.

  11. When I try to generate my Monthly Inventory History report, I get “No Data Available”, no matter the dates I select.

  12. Hello Stephen
    This information is right on time!
    Thank you very much.
    The free gift on Taxes is appreciated too.
    Will have to see if my CPA can help me with that.
    Not quite understanding how that works.
    Happy New Year to You and Yours….

  13. Michael Belfield

    Thank you so much Stephen! I hope you have a very Happy New Year!!!

  14. First the Board Games book and now this help with FBA end of year accounting!
    Stephen rocks!

  15. Thanks for another great post. Can you do one that calculates sales tax? I have only run through tax jar’s system and have not looked at it on my own, but for those of us who do… that report is a little daunting to look at. Happy new year!

    • I rely on Taxjar for all my sales tax information, so that’s the only thing I can recommend to you. But don’t worry, after you take car of it, it gets easier every year. Happy new year to you as well!

  16. Thanks Stephen. I see how to download the FBA inventory, but is there a report that shows my current list of MF inventory?

    • Stacy, the only way I can think of showing a list of your Merchant Fulfilled inventory is to go to Seller Central, click on Inventory, then Manage Inventory. Click to show active listings (on the left), and then click on “Fulfilled by” on the far right. Then you can see all of the MF together.

      I hope this helps!

  17. Thanks for taking the time to blog this Stephen!
    I am sure it has been helpful to many Amazon sellers. 🙂

  18. Thank you for the information and, especially, for the reminder Stephen (as I almost forgot!) Have a great New Year and 2015!

  19. Thanks for this article! I couldn’t remember which of those reports I needed but I knew it was time! The names all sound the same to me…

  20. Thank you SO much. I just followed step by step to print out all my reports. I just have one question, if you know. I forgot to do this in the morning, and only downloaded this reports close to 11 PM on 1/1. I did make some sales today – if I wanted to go back and reconstruct the report as it should have been this morning, do you know if the inventory report includes items that are in reserve status or not? Thanks so much for your help!!

    • Martha, don’t worry about needing to get the report “perfect.” The report will not include any items in reserve as you are not officially paid for these items yet. Just use what you have and your CPA will be able to take care of everything for you the right way.

  21. Mom recommended this to me, and I am so glad she reminded me, because I never would have remembered. Thanks for writing this!

  22. Hey guys,

    Great information! I’ve been running FBA part time for almost 4 years now and made the leap to full time in the beginning of 2014. I stumbled across your blog today and it’s great to see some like minded individuals having success in the program.

    One point to add to this post is that you can get a snapshot of your inventory on 12/31 after the fact. It’s a little different but you can make it work. Go to Reports -> Fulfillment -> Daily Inventory History. From here select download and input the date range of 12/31-12/31 (or 1/1-1/1 I’m not sure which would be more accurate). You can then paste the information from the text file straight into an excel file. I personally like this report better as it shows the title of the items and only those items with units to be counted. You can have excel add up the units from different warehouses for each item to get usable totals by creating a quick pivot table (Click insert -> Pivot table -> Then select product-name OR sku, quantity, and fulfillment-center-id in that specific order in the box to the right).

    Phillip

  23. Thank you so much Stephen and Phillip K! I am new to Amazon FBA (since December) and hadn’t thought about getting this information until today when I found this post. I have my 2014 report being generated as I write this. Again thanks for all your help with this very fun and exciting business we all are fortunate to have found!

  24. Hello,

    Great article about downloading all these obscure reports! My CPA is not well versed in ecommerce businesses so I would like to know what I should do with these reports (calculate COGs?) to further along the tax necessities. I don’t know which report I need to use to multiply how many units I had in stock for the year 2014 vs. how many units were actually sold (another report)? I would like to crunch some numbers myself as I have not done this before and would love to learn!

    Thanks a lot, Stephen!
    TJ

    • TJ, The stats above are all I need to do my taxes. If your CPA is not well versed in e- commerce, it might be time to consider a new CPA. I don’t mean to sound harsh, but you need someone to do things the right way, so that you, your business, and your finances are protected.

  25. Uh oh… I read this blog post too late. I’m submitting my taxes for 2014 late so unfortunately, did not get to pull the Amazon Fulfilled Inventory on 12/31/14 nor 1/1/15. What should I do to get the information needed?

  26. Pingback: How To Run Year End Inventory Report For Amazon FBA | Arbitrage 411

  27. Stephen, great post and very helpful to new people like me. Do you know what the IRS is interested most in? For example if I made $100 sales but I spent $50 to purchase those items, are they going to tax me for the $100 or for the $50 profit that I made? Thanks for your help!

    • I’m not 100% sure, as I’m not a tax professional, and I pay my CPA to take are of all of this for me. I would only be able to guess and I don’t want to give out any advice on a guess.

  28. Stephen – Thanks very much for taking time out over the holidays to share this info! 2015 is the first year that my biz will need to know these details, the first year I will be using a CPA, and I had no idea where to find all this. It’s super helpful. Have a great New Year!

  29. Great article, very helpful. Do you have any idea what those of us who live outside the US but trade on Amazon.com should do regarding taxes?

    I have to say it all seems very complicated to me and I have to admit to being very confused by it all.

    Any ideas?

    • Taxes are usually the most complicated thing to understand. I’m sorry, but I’m not sure what you need to do in order to take care of taxes from outside of the states. Maybe open up a ticket with Amazon and see what they say… or contact an accountant in your area and ask them. I wish you nothing but success.

  30. Thank you so much for such great info!!!

  31. How do you find out the total inventory and sales from the different warehouses you sent your merchandise to? I also included my sales tax in my total cost. Where would I figure out how to get the sales tax amount?

  32. Pingback: Reminder: End of Year Reports | FBA Master

  33. What are your thoughts on Sales Tax Nexus for FBA? I was MF for the majority of ’15, but jumped in to FBA in November. Sales tax was easy when I was MF, but not quite sure how to handle it for FBA items, without purchasing something like Tax Jar.

  34. Great article and so helpful. You took the pain out of doing these reports for tax purposes especially on the last day of the year. Maybe this year my accountant will be impressed with me being more organized. Thanks Stephen.

  35. I used these instructions last year and now again this year. Thanks so much, Stephen, for sharing these.

  36. Thank you thank you!!!! So informative and you made it so simple!! I would have been struggling like crazy. I appreciate it so much. Happy New Year!
    Stacy

  37. Hi Stephen
    Not sure if I’m understanding correctly. Following your instructions above, I downloaded a report of my sales, fees, and income from Amazon. I downloaded on Jan 2nd. I live in EST time zone
    The report shows transfers to my bank account and it shows charges to my credit card. But everything else is labeled $0. I had 3 sales completed and they reimbussed me 2 lost items from the warehouse and yet the report shows everything as $0
    FBA product sales = $0 ( I had 3sales )
    FBA lost and damaged inventory credit = $0 ( they reimbused me for 2 items)
    FBA selling fees = $0 ( I paid fees on all items sold ) Is this normal?
    Thanks for all the great info.

  38. Just the info I needed – thank you! Love step by step instructions, and these were so easy to follow. Question: for cost of goods, do you include the cost of even those items you ended up not sending in? For example items I bought because they looked good when I scanned them at the yard sale / book sale but once I got home and took a closer look on Amazon, I realized that for various reasons it wasn’t, so I put it in my “yard sale” bin instead.

  39. Keep in mind folks that the account activity sheet you down load wont include pay per click advertising costs. It has a line item for it but mine was blank. These are fees that are not taken from my Amazon account like other fees, but charges seperately for some reason.

  40. Wow, this information was very helpful, and much needed. Thank you!!

  41. Pingback: ECommerce Taxes – Melissa Paz

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