We have a store based in UK. The prices we list include tax. When we have an international order we need to remove tax. I've been told this can't be done? Is this correct?
This then flags up a huge problem: we shouldn't be charging VAT on international sales, and it’s also illegal to show ex-VAT prices to retail customers in the UK. So we’re stuck with not being able to sell internationally.
This is the same problem we are having here at Germany. We just had a lengthy chat with an "expert" saying that only Shopify Plus customers have that option to change their Checkout.liquid file to allow them to remove VAT from international orders. Apparently that is a $2000 + per month option, because that is what Shopify Plus account costs. The "expert" said that for security reason they do not allow merchants to have access to their Checkout.liquid (I guess if you pay $2000/month, then you get access to it). So we asked the "expert" to make the change for us. We don't need access to the Checkout.liquid, we just need the change to be made, and he kept saying they can't do it. The problem for us is that we are a young brand are generating more interest internationally. So we are losing potential business, which is also potential business for Shopify. This is VERY frustrating.
Hi Sak7, yes very frutsrating isn't it. It's more frustarting when you get so little help from Shopify to rectify the situation.
However we've now found a way to make it work. We now list all prices in Shopify ex VAT. Shopify can work out whether or not to include the VAT at the checkout depending on teh address that the customer enters. The missing link is how to make the prices show VAT on the product pages (In the UK it is illegal to show ex VAT prices only) We did that by following this advice https://community.shopify.com/c/Shopify-Design/Product-pages-Show-VAT-prices-on-your-product-pages/m...
Hope that helps?
Exactly. In Europe the customer is used to seeing the price with VAT, so to show it without VAT only to add it at checkout is not a good look. And what makes this worst is that Shopify posted the code to have the VAT removed at checkout. LOL!! So all the "expert" had to do is take that code and post it in our Checkout.liquid for us, and the problem would be solved. SMH!
Thank you for the advice. I shall give your suggestion a go. I'll let you know how it turns out.
Thank you for reaching out with your questions, and I know that this is a pain point for merchants in the UK and elsewhere in Europe. By default, when you have prices set to include tax (as you likely would in the UK), customers from countries where you do not need to charge VAT will still pay the VAT-inclusive price, although at checkout they will not see any taxes included in their order. I have addressed this issue in greater detail in the regional support thread we offer on the topic of taxes for UK-based merchants.
The best solution for this problem is what @Phishtitz recommended—namely, setting your prices to not include VAT, and then doing some custom coding to show the VAT-inclusive price on the product pages alongside the default VAT-exclusive price. This means customers not eligible to pay tax will be able to buy the product at the VAT-exclusive rate, but customers who are required to pay tax will be able to see the VAT-inclusive price as well, which they will be charged at checkout. It's not a perfect solution, I know, but it does allow your international customers to buy products at their correct prices when they don't have to pay tax, whilst also meeting the requirement of displaying VAT-inclusive rates on the website as well.
One other option I feel is worth mentioning is setting up a second store for international markets, which many businesses on Shopify decide to do as they grow in scale. This allows merchants to better tailor their sites to the different regions they are selling to, and would also allow you to show tax-inclusive prices on one store and tax-exclusive ones on the other. This may not be a suitable solution for either of your stores but I wanted to mention it just incase.
I hope this has helped but please let me know if you've any further questions.
Victor | Shopify Social Care
Honestly, the simplest solution is to have Shopify offer solution to everyone that has a paid account and not only to those that are paying $2000 + /month, because with online stores, the world becomes the customer, and not just the local market. And considering that Shopify posted the code on how to have VAT removed from the Checkout process on the Checkout.liquid, if it really is a security issue of not letting the merchant access the Checkout.liquid (except for those willing to pay $2000 + /month) at the very least Shopify should make the change for the merchant, so that the merchant personally doesn't have to make that change. That is common sense. What Shopify is saying is that the smaller merchants do not matter as much as the larger merchants, when in reality the larger merchants need less assistance because they already have a footing the market.
And to be even more honest we were literally on the woo commerce website looking to change hosts when we received the reply from Phishtitz.
So we have tried this new technique of getting our website to update the international pricing and ... it is not working. Only the collection pages display the 2 prices, but not the singular product page. And on the Cart page it doesn't either. And we have been working at it for 2 days now. On the product page, when the page is loading, the price information flashes and then disappears.
This is what we mean with common sense. Make that one option available to all, or, have Shopify make the changes for the merchant is it really is a security issue.
I've also been trying to find workarounds for this problem for a while and I wanted to make you aware of some of the pain points that come from listing prices ex-VAT and calculating the total price in the theme:
Shopify really needs a more rigorous solution for handling VAT. No workaround I've seen so far comes without significant disadvantages.
Thank you for making this point, and yes, in the scenarios you've referenced it would be difficult/ impossible to display both VAT-inclusive and VAT-exclusive prices simultaneously. It's a known issue and limitation, and I will be sure to submit your feedback to our development team for their consideration.
Victor | Shopify Social Care