After already posting a couple ways in which the Sales Tax report is wrong, I've discovered another: when you process a return, Shopify includes the original sales tax in the total for the refund to the customer but does not subtract the sales tax from that return from the sales tax total for the day. For example, say a customer bought a vase from you last week for $100 - with tax here in Maryland, the total would be $106 - and then they returned that vase today and bought a $100 bowl instead. You'd refund the original transaction for $106 in store credit and then use the store credit to pay for the bowl, also at $106 with tax, and you'd think everything was fine. But you'd be wrong. Shopify's Sales Tax reports are still going to include the $6 in sales tax on the original transaction AND add the $6 tax from the second transaction on today's report. In total this customer bought $100 in merchandise and paid $6 in sales tax, but Shopify's Sales Tax reports are going to say you owe the state $6 from a week ago and $6 more from today.
Hey John, I just switched to shopify and went live a few days ago. While I am impressed with many many parts of the shopify platform (that is why we switched) some things like the sales tax collection is just unbelievable. I didn't even realize the situation that you describe above, and can see that being very confusing, not to mention the retailer is supposed to be coughing up 2x the sales tax (according to shopify).
Here is another thing to add to the WTF? category...I have 2 retail locations - one in Aspen, one in Carbondale Colorado. On our website we have an option "in-store pickup" and the customer can select which store they would like to pick up their jewelry. Its a convenience factor I guess...anyway, if the customer has a Colorado address, Shopify will charge the state tax rate, but there is no way for me to charge/collect the actual total sales tax due at my retail location- Shopify support says there is only ONE location attributed to a shopify online store. Additionally, if the customer is, say, from NY but happens to be visiting our towns & wants to do in-store pick up NO tax is collected because their account info somehow overrides the fact that the items are being picked up from a retail location in Colorado. AAARGH. This seems like a simple coding issue. I can't believe this hasn't been addressed! And, yes, this Does happen. I just launched my shopify site 3 days ago and already have had two in-store pickup orders.
I only have one shop (lucky me!), and we haven't made our new Shopify website "live" yet, so I haven't had the pleasure of experiencing yet another SWTF -- maybe we should start a SWTF blog! Here's one more to add to the list: this forum thread. I posted this note 5 days ago and no one from Shopify has bothered to respond ... Shopify, WTF?
Don't know if you can, so this is just a thought ... but would it be possible for you not to process in-store pickup orders online and instead, wait to put their order through once they're in the shop?
We're muddling through, so I'm sure you will too, but it is amazing (and very frustrating) that we're relying on (and paying real money for) a POS system that can't manage to get so many simple things right. Best of luck out in Colorado -- hey, at least you live in Colorado!
Hey John, I realized I posted this in wrong spot...I don't have the POS, just ecommerce (I guess I am grateful for that) tried to delete this post but it didn't work. Anyway, the whole point of "in-store pickup" is so they dont have to pay in-store, but can pay onlin run in quickly,...or purchase a gift for a local friend and have them pick it up etc. and not pay for shipping. Anyway, your scenario above would make smoke come out of my ears and then explode- we have so many exchanges and store credits issued I would be furious to be paying sales tax 2x, or have to pay my bookkeeper to unravel a basic issue like this. Good luck...shopify better get on this one. Or I would drop it like a hot potato.
Aaron is not right. I have spent two weeks on this issue and even upgraded to get full reporting to fully get to the heart of the problem. Here are the facts:
1. Reports - Orders - Location - default setting is to include all positive transactions. What this means is that there is no filter for 'Paid' transactions. When you refund an order for instance if there is a Paid filter then this transaction will be excluded but you do not get control over this filter option unless you are on the unlimited plan. Once upgraded you can create your own report that filters of for Paid transactions. However this does not really solve the problem because you cannot track refunds as a check and your sales as reported in Order reports will not match those in Product reports; see next point.
2. Reports - Products - these reports do not have a filter option under any plan for inclusion of only 'Paid' transactions. The only way to get Sales out of these reports for those that were refunded is to cancel the refunded order after the refund (note: if sale was from POS then refund must be done from POS and not admin and then cancel from admin is ok). Once order is canceled then and only then will your sales under Product reports match up with Sales from Order reports. You can also see total Canceled transaction in Order reports as a broken out line item in reports. But there is still yet another caveat; see #3 below.
3. Discounts are never reflected in Products reports. So if you sell a product at a discount your dollar sales in Product reports will not reflect this reality and instead reflect an inflated number. This is because despite the option to apply discounts to a specific product, the default interpretation is a basket discount and for basket discounts there is no way of knowing which product was discounted and as the report implies these are Product specific reports and therefore without an ability to discount the correct product it does not do so at all. However, you can get a breakdown of discounts in Order reports; only if you pay full freight.