I'm not sure how to put in a features request - please can someone tell me if this way doesn't work.
I have been looking into how as a small business I can improve the experience for my EU customers of purchasing from myself, post Brexit as a UK business.
Royal Mail have recommended a company called Taxamo assure which acts as a IOSS. They calculate and charge the customer VAT and pay it to the EU on our behalf without us having to fill in the VAT return. They charge £2 for each transaction. It sounds like the perfect solution but unless you are a shopify plus business one cannot get access to the Shopify checkout and do the API integration. The irony is if you are a shopify plus customer you will be big enough and it will be more cost effective to set up your own IOSS.
I have spoken to support about this who have suggested that I put in a feature request. So here it is. If more people can also express an interest in this feature it may have more chance of being implemented and go somewhere to ease the Brexit headache of doing business with the EU.
Solved! Go to the solution
This is an accepted solution.
I understand that you don't have Registration Based Taxes setup on your store at this time. If you are selling to the UK/EU this will be an important step for you to complete. Depending on your tax setup you had on your store when we rolled this feature out, you may not have been automatically opted in for it. If that is the case you will want to contact our live support and let them know that you need to enable "Registration Based Taxes" on your store. From there, they can reach out to the appropriate support teams internally to get that feature enabled (Feel free to share this forum post for context). You can also see more information on this here: Manage Your UK Taxes.
To contact our live support please follow this link: Shopify Help Center - Contact Support, sign into your store account, search for your issue and use the contact support button at the bottom of the search results to see all our live support options.
As @Savvy_Paul shared in their screenshots, registration based taxes allows you to provide your tax registration ID for the appropriate countries/states/provinces you sell to and uses our automated tax system to check the appropriate tax and apply it at the checkout. After July 1st, this will be updated to include your OSS/IOSS registration information to capture taxes on orders that meet the specific threshold requirements put in place by Brexit.
In regards to the integration of an external services to work as your intermediary for businesses using the IOSS model, I want to reiterate that your feedback here is being shared with the appropriate teams.
I know that while IOSS registration is not mandatory, the simplification of the checkout experience it provides is definitely the ideal option for businesses with a lot of sales to the UK/EU. At this time, because IOSS is not a legal requirement Shopify does not provide a built in integration for an IOSS intermediary.
Based on the information that has been shared in this thread, Taxamo does offer an integration solution but that is restricted to our PLUS store plans as it requires access to the checkout API. If there are other options available for this integration, the ability to offer it is entirely in Taxamo's, or any external providers, hands to create. They have full access to our API documentation and can develop and list their app in our app store. If they require any support from our developers, that is something handled by a team outside of my own and I am not able to provide additional insight into that process on the back end. Shopify does not control the integration of third party apps and services and if you would like to have features provided by a third party company (Like Taxamo), you will need to contact them directly to ask them to create a suitable app integration.
I am going to mark this response as the "Solution" to make it easier for other merchants to see the information shared here. Please feel free to continue sharing your feedback and I will answer any questions I am able to.
If we were to build a plugin that integrates Taxamo with your Shopify store, whereby you're able to just input your Taxamo details and have it automatically integrate with the Taxamo system would this be of interest to anyone?
We'd probably have to charge $5 / month or something similar to cover our development costs - separate to the costs form Taxamo. Would this be of interest to anyone?
Good luck with that. Taxamo has *extremely* strict requirements and won't use Shopify/Avalara data for tax calculation *or* display. Also, as currently built, it doesn't work at all with discounts (although that's coming). I've been deep deep down this development rabbit hole. Happy to chat if you'd like (PM me) but don't get it in your head that you are just going to pull Shopify/Avalara tax data (which is easy and what CBIT does). It's a non-starter for Taxamo for compliance/liability reasons (their legal interpretation of compliance differs greatly from CBIT's- I'm not going to opine on that but Taxamo is very firm on it).
That’s because Taxamo are a ‘deemed supplier’ like EBay or Etsy rather than an Intermediary. If the VAT collected isn’t right, only Taxamo are liable. Do they have a method of recouping under-collected VAT from their sellers?
Speaking of incorrect VAT amounts, I got a reply from the Swedish Tax agency. They confirmed the VAT must be collected on goods and shipping for IOSS consignments, as expected. Crossborderit are registered through Sweden, so I guess we're getting different advice. Weird huh.
"That’s because Taxamo are a ‘deemed supplier’ like EBay or Etsy rather than an Intermediary. If the VAT collected isn’t right, only Taxamo are liable. Do they have a method of recouping under-collected VAT from their sellers?"
Ohhh that's super interesting and makes a lot of sense. Taxamo only collects and remits VAT based on *their* calculation of the liability but that calculation is based on store entered HTS information in the product config... so, yes, a store could deliberately enter advantageous HTS codes and leave Taxamo liable- but their vendor agreement is pretty substantial so I'm sure that they have the ability to charge the credit card on file or otherwise go after the store for a liability. On the shipping- I haven't run into that but nor do I charge shipping (so there is nothing to tax).
CBIT seems like it has a bunch of internal risk- it's fully dependent on *store* data, not it's own, that means that it's basically remitting "on trust." Ask yourself, "how many SMB Shopify stores would I fully "trust?" Their app helps a lot but bad data in is still bad data. That would keep me up at night. But they are moving fast and are easy to work with, so good job guys, hope that it doesn't blow up on you!
I am late to this thread and just trying to get the gist! And I would be SO grateful for some help.
Prior to Brexit we sold about 20% of our business to Europe.
Prior to 01 July I ended up switching off shipping to Europe as people were being charged massive amounts, despite the value of the package being under the threshold value. For example, I had a large corporate order to Ireland. The packages were worth about £17 and they were all charged about £40 to receive the packages! The company were really pissed off and I ended up covering all of the charges and making a massive loss. The commodity codes and costs were all correct on the customs invoices.
So I switched our European shipping off.
I desperately want to reinstate it on my site, but more pressingly, I have a large corporate order who want to confirm, but it includes 300+ parcels to Europe and I am worried about confirming it with them and then it turning into a nightmare.
We are registered with Crossborderit, but I see here that people have had problems with them too! Agh!
What an absolute mess this is! So frustrating!
I'd love to join your thread please! And if anyone has any advice, I would be ever so grateful.
Not very helpful I know but yesterday I was speaking to the operations manager of a UK courier company about the situation in the EU and he referred to it as carnage. Overflowing warehouses and mountains of paperwork. One factor that was pointed out to me was that even if I had completed the paperwork correctly there were countless others who had not done so and that was causing immense problems. Personally, while I might be prepared to take the chance of the odd package the idea of 300+ packages to the EU at this time would be a nightmare I wouldn't even want to contemplate!
Has anybody heard from CBIT regarding billing and the actual VAT filing dates etc. We've had our account for over a month now and the IOSS requirement is to file VAT on a monthly basis but we haven't had anything from CBIT so far plus no replies from the support.
@lukehastorun "we haven't had anything from CBIT so far plus no replies from the support." That seems to be a common complaint on this thread, an app is only as good as it's support,
@Dbaca "You are free to contact me or my customer service group at email@example.com if you have specific questions."
That's the problem, people are contacting your "support" and getting zero. Go back through this thread and see how many people have the same complaint. Stop the waffle and get on with it.
I got a response from Royal Mail saying that I had done everything correctly and so it was an issue with the tax authorities in the countries. I have had a holding email from the Austrian tax people saying they are looking into it. I haven't had any documentation from the other affected order so will leave that one as it is.
One more comment on there were no taxes levied below 150 there was a variable De Minimis in each country. Taxes were not levied on that but not the De Minimis for Duties is up to 150. So that is confusing and I will find a new way to Phrase it but neither of these statements are wholly false more so simplifications.
I too have just wanted information from crossbordersit., but they used my information to subscibe me without my permission. I have never signed any contract, nor did they make it clear that by filling out a information, leads to subsciption??that is a blindsided way to do business. I have also received an invoice which I have nothing to do with and am now fighting for them to take me off the subsciption list which I Never signed up for in the first place.
Yikes these recent posts are super unfair.
For those us us shipping real volume to EU (I do 3k-10k packages a month from UK to EU) CBIT has been a godsend and at the moment Taxamo basically doesn't work because of conflicts with discounts (despite us spending at least $5k internally on API development) You are stressed over a 19.99 fee because you are shipping a handful of products to EU? No offense but this product wasn't designed for you (even if it *is* being marketed to you). If 19.99/month is a dealbreaker, either stop shipping to the EU or ship DDU and deal with the customer pain.
FWIW I've found them genuine (if a bit flustered by the volume) and the fee is posted all over this thread and right on their website.
@GuyWilliams Genuine question (which might sound snide but isn't meant to be): Why are you using CBIT for that kind of IOSS volume? Wouldn't flat-rate intermediary services be more cost effective?
@ Morning Deloitte has a many weeks long delay in application and other avenues ended in dead ends. We are in the queue but were really late to the party reacting- like mid-June.
I have to agree that if you find 19.99 a problem for an app to help you ship to the EU then you should probably be concentrating your efforts on the home market. In fact, you should probably be on a different platform given the cost of Shopify apps needed to get your website running properly. I can tell you one thing, that going down the DDU route has so many problems at present, even when the customer is prepared to accept it. 2 or 3 weeks ago I mentioned on this thread that I had packages sitting in Frankfurt awaiting clearance; they are still there. DDU was my only option because they exceeded €150. I'll be down around €800 if I have to refund to customers who so far been very patient.
CBIT really seems to be the only game in town for IOSS on Shopify. It would be interesting to hear from @GuyWilliams with the volume that he is shipping with IOSS, any non CBIT related problems, eg volume of customers being charged twice by customs or other hiccups.
Issues that we've had (most are just a general IOSS mess or Recharge related, not CBIT specifically)
-Recharge accepting non verifiable addresses with incorrect country codes (Like Munich but in Afghanistan because it's the first country on the country list)- also some related issue with "Deutschland" not equating to "Germany" and EU countries generally not having "state." These break everything and have required a lot of complicated support from Recharge.
-Recharge not calculating (or correctly calculating) VAT via Avalara (we have a lot of these)
-French (or other) local post just "deciding" that IOSS wasn't properly applied and charging fines... no recourse, just mad customers
-0 EUR items are a nightmare (we send out a lot of replacement stock). Don't forget that IOSS also deals with duty and a 0 EUR item still has an underlying dutiable value! CBIT simply can't deal with this because it works from the cart total not the underlying product value like Taxamo does. So, we now send out all replacements at a 90% off discount and manually capture 0 EUR payment so that we *can* pay duty
-Random purchases form non CBIT provisioned stores *Somehow* we get EU customers that find their way to my AU and CA stores and buy in the wrong language and wrong currency and then ship to the EU. Not many of these but they are head scratchers when they happen.
What are we doing?
1. Filing for a direct intermediary via Deloitte (but the filings via our UK 3pl will still be special)
2. Opening a NL 3pl location (partner to our UK 3PL) to ship under the non-existent OSS. When OSS happens we'll have operations under our NL VAT- may need to set up an entity as well but there is some time there. Most of my volume is really low value, so the 1EUR + VAT fees are brutal to my margins.
3. We built a crazy complicated API for Taxamo calculations and then had to bin it because of the discount issue. But we still run the calculations independently and are validating what CBIT is doing ourselves.
Thanks for such an informative reply. I have also had experience of EU postal authorities doing whatever they want with IOSS, and as you say, no recourse. Can only hope that the situation improves, I know there is also a lot of frustration within the EU from consumers about the way this is operating. I wish you the best of luck, with your scale of operations it must be more like migraine attacks than the headaches some of us are experiencing:-)
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