Hello - I am hoping that someone has solved this problem already...
We are a specialty publishing company, and we sell books to speech-language pathologists. Often, our customers purchase their books through their school districts, which means that their purchase is exempt from sales tax, even if they are in the same state as our business nexuses (nexi?).
I know how to go to the "Customer" listing and set an existing customer as tax-exempt; however, this requires that the customer be registered first, and it disrupts the natural purchasing process for them to have to let us know and have us set them as exempt before they can complete their purchase.
It would be far easier for customers to simply be able to indicate their tax-exempt status while they are entering their order. In our current website, we simply have them enter their tax-certificate number along with their address. This is routine for school districts and Universities; it works seamlessly.
I have not yet discovered a way to do this within Shopify. It seems like it should be easy - and it seems to me like a tremendous oversight. Surely, I am note the first person to run into this.
Any suggestions for ways that customers could indicate - DURING CHECKOUT - that they are tax-exempt so that the system will know not to charge them sales tax even when they are in our state(s)?
Thank you in advance for any input.
Okay, figured out what Shopify Plus is. Sorry, no. I’m just a small little publishing company. And, I see that I can’t edit the checkout template. That’s a shame.
Thanks for your response. I've spent hours, now, trying to find a workaround, but no such luck. It is frankly stunning to me that such a basic aspect of business for what I assume is not a trivial number of shops is not supported by this platform. Even though I have devoted an unbelievable amount of time to preparing my Shopify store, I am considering scrapping this project and moving to a different platform because of this (and a few other) basic issues that Shopify simply hasn't attempted to address. (I collect this information routinely on my current Joomla-based shop.)
For example, I'm also having trouble collecting purchase order information (most of these tax exempt customers pay with POs.) The only recommendations that people have suggested is to collect the PO number in the cart field, but that is not an appropriate place for it.
Even more frustrating is that I have just discovered that even if I add in the purchase order in the admin for orders by hand via Metafields, I still can't get that information to print on the invoice! That's a non-starter for me, because the school districts won't pay the invoice if the purchase order is not included on the invoice. Heck, I can't put it on the shipping label either, as I currently do. (And, I can't even get my favicon on the shipping label, as I currently do.)
I know that I'm just a small customer, nothing of importance to Shopify, but seeing how such fundamental issues have been ignored for years despite a fair number of requests from others does not give me confidence that I selected the right platform. Sigh.
I'll be sure to post back here if I figure anything else out... I wish you luck!!! - Scott
Thanks, Achieveapplabs -- Yes, that might be the only solution, though it disrupts the checkout flow.
These tax-exempt customers generally pay with a purchase order. I have discovered that there is also no way to collect the purchase order number during checkout. Even if I enter that by hand in the admin section using metafields, I still have a problem with not being able to print that PO number on the invoice or receipt. That basically means that I cannot get paid unless I write the PO number by hand on the invoice. If you happen to know of a solution to that, I'd be thrilled.
Thanks again for responding to my post.
Don't give up on Shopify just yet. I've read through your requirements again and my suggestion is let a developer help you. A custom app can bundle the whole solution with both online store and back-office functionality.
You need customers to be able to update their account as tax-exempt. This is so tax is removed on the order. That option could be built into your My Account page, but recommended not to be automatic as it could be abused. So you would approve the action within the app. For tax-exempt customers a new PO# field should display in the Cart page when placing new orders. That PO# will technically be an Order or Cart attribute https://shopify.dev/docs/themes/liquid/reference/objects/cart#cart-attributes.
Your invoices, I'm not sure how that currently works but not impossible to carry the PO# from the order to your invoice. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and would be happy to help further and provide an estimate.