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.
No problem @LauraECY
Having looked at the Taxes section, under Collect Taxes via IOSS, it asks for registration country? I presume we put this as Sweden as that's where CBIT is based?
@LauraECY Hi Laura, Interesting and informative, thanks. One question, do you ship many orders to Germany ? I ask because I know that the German postal authorities have stated they won't be ready for IOSS until 2022 and if I were to resume EU shipping many of my customers would be from Germany and I could do without the problem of them being charged twice etc. Would be grateful for any information you may have on this. Thanks. Nitsa.
@Nitsa Ugh, really, a lot of my EU customers are based in Germany. I can't believe they are not ready for IOSS, if that's the case they should be letting parcels through without charging them VAT as it's unfair to charge them twice?? If the parcels are IOSS labelled then this shouldn't be happening? It just gets worse doesn't it!
@SarahFB Well, I haven't found any updated info that contradicts this but on the lookout for it as we speak.
@LauraECY Thanks Laura. I agree some clarification needed. I can tell you that for orders in excess of 150 Euros German customs are an absolute nightmare at present with delays and I really don't want the same experience with smaller orders.
My husband (Swedish) read your reply about having good connections with the Swedish tax authorities and remarked that you must be the only person who has, (expletives deleted, many of them). His prejudice not withstanding ,I will take a closer look. After I take over from him chopping up the ingredients for our casserole, it's really getting quite violent.:-)
@Nitsa that made me laugh out loud!! Was it getting like the Swedish chef from the Muppets smacking all the veg with the knife!! 😄
@Nitsa Hi - I just came across a few of your comments whilst frantically searching for information on Shopify stores shipping parcels to the EU under IOSS. I'm the idiot who, despite probably not having enough EU sales to justify it financially (though I can't afford to lose the ones I was getting pre-Brexit), paid an EU intermediary for an IOSS number and they do my monthly VAT returns. I wanted to be able to continue offering a service to my EU customers who have been incredibly loyal to me over the last few years. I felt I was led to believe a) using an intermediary was the only option if I wanted to continue selling in the EU (Taxamo wasn't an option for me) and b) it would be a smooth and seamless experience for me and more importantly, my customers. Well the reality is very different - I'm pulling my hair out with parcels taking ages to arrive and customers being charged when they have already paid tax! I spoke to Dutch customs yesterday because a customer had been charged for tax there despite already paying it on my store. But what really surprised me was the fact that she told me that the Dutch postal service are still charging handling fees of 4-5 Euros even for IOSS parcels - this I was not aware of as a thing, and I'm not sure my customers will tolerate this. I use Royal Mail (click and drop) and I would have expected them to at least be aware of what their service partners in EU markets are doing with regards to charges like this. The whole point of using IOSS surely was to avoid customers having to pay anything once their parcels arrived in their country - this is what I've communicated them, and now it looks like this might not be true. I haven't come across any other EU countries doing this (yet), though I wonder if it will become the norm? Anyway, my question is, are you aware of this happening anywhere else? Pre-Brexit I was shipping a fair amount to Denmark, Sweden, Poland, Ireland, Germany and France so these are the countries I'm most interested in. Denmark is particularly slow in my experience (that's when they're bothering to deliver the parcels in a usable condition!). I've sent the same parcel to Spain twice with DHL, and it was refused by customs - though I have no idea why! I've been searching online trying to see what people's experience of shipping is since 1st July under IOSS, but haven't been able to find much. Considering I haven't shipped that many EU parcels since IOSS came into force, I feel like I'm having more issues than expected for such a small volume of orders. I saw you mentioned Germany said they wouldn't be ready for IOSS until 2022 - that's insane!! Would love to hear anyone else's experiences!
@NatashaD I feel your pain. The Netherlands is also not up to date on IOSS, I know that from conversations with an Etsy seller (Etsy includes IOSS as part of the platform) who has had to stop shipping to the Netherlands. You're also right about handling charges, it's 4 euros if it's delivered or 7 euros from a pickup point, on top of that of course is the VAT being charged again. It's a similar situation in Latvia as well. You also mentioned Spain and I notice that quite a few larger companies won't ship anything less than €150 now leaving the customer responsible for the tax, I can only assume that is also due to the IOSS. I have my doubts whether Germany will be ready in January 22, certainly I have customers there who don't believe that will be the case. According to one of them, if it's digital, forget it, apparently online activities relating to government departments is definitely not part of the famous German efficiency model.
I do get what you mean about wanting to continue to offer a service to loyal customers in the EU. However, at the moment I've decided not to start shipping there as it could end up being a hassle for them as well as me. Another problem that I'm very wary of is using courier companies for products going to the EU, because when they foul up or customs refuse the package your troubles can be just beginning. Depending on the company, it might ask you for payment before they return it or as in the case of TNT, return the parcel to you and then a month later hit you with a bill that is often 3 to 4 times larger than what it cost to send in the first place. You could argue it I know, but the demands dropping through the letterbox and in your inbox is just another hassle. They don't give up easily.
Anyway, it seems from conversations on here that it is working out for some people, but for me personally I have enough problems to deal with and don't want to create any more for what is a relatively small part of my business. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
@Nitsa thanks so much for the reply - it's great to have more of an insight into people's experiences so far as up until now, I've only had my own experience to go on and I didn't know if i was just unlucky! I have had some parcels go through fine so it's not all horrendous (at least I think so because I haven't had many customers contact me to complain), but quite honestly the stress I feel with every EU parcel I send out now is quite real :(. Can I ask where you found out about these issues, is there another forum that's worth me joining? As I'd like to hope and pray that some of this is just teething issues and that everything will improve in a few months perhaps? Or is that unrealistic? I'm also looking at an EU retailer as an alternative option though that comes with a set of other issues I guess. Anyway, thanks so much for replying and I hope all goes well with your business too - what is it you do?
@NatashaD I think it’s always going to be the case anyway that not everything gets stopped so there is a certain element of luck to it. I snoop around various forums like Etsy but also various trade forums, we sell tech industrial items. If you think there is dissatisfaction with IOSS here, it’s dwarfed by the anger in the EU countries. Companies in US, Japan, China are turning down smaller orders because of all the complications. Whether you are a consumer or a business customer in the EU, ordering from non-EU countries is just problematic beyond words. And for European companies they also have the headache of OSS to deal with. Eurocrats or Bureaucrats, call them whatever, just seem to be put into this world to make life more difficult for the rest of us.
@Nitsa I think you're right - luck does seem to play a part as initially I thought things seemed ok. I would expect a certain amount of teething issues, but hearing that postal operators / customs authorities are not at all ready to deal with IOSS is frustrating beyond words! I just thought there'd be more of an international outcry about it - like you say, it's all countries outside of EU that must be experiencing these issues. Why isn't it reported in the press?! I feel like I'm shouting and no one (other than you and others on here!) are listening! Anyway, thank you for the ear, I do appreciate it 🙂
Hi Laura, do you mind if I ask you a couple more questions? I have set myself up and followed the instructions as per @Dbaca post in another thread. I have paid the invoice and am just waiting for my IOSS number, however:
1) I have noticed that I have just assumed that I will only be paying the $24 a month for the Shopify Crossborderit App. I have paid the three months in advance (3 x 19.99EUR) as per the sign up instructions but have realised that I thought I would pay that money through the Shopify Crossborderit app which is $24 a month and I've just paid three months of 19.99EUR. Am I right in thinking that I will be paying the 19.99 EUR a month PLUS the $24 a month for the integrated app. I'm guessing if I only want to pay the 19.99 EUR a month I will have to upload my EU sales manually?
2) Do all EU parcels have to be sent via a tracked service for the IOSS to work from Crossborderit? Tracked post via RM is so much more expensive, especially when you consider customers will be paying extra on their postage to try and help cover the Crossborderit fees and the VAT.
Thanks in advance! 😄
@LauraECY it does, thank you ever so much! I will email and get the 60 EUR as credit and hopefully will receive my IOSS number soon and can sort out my postage prices.
Thanks again, you're a star! 😄
Thanks @Dbaca for clarifying that. I think I had to pay the 60EUR invoice, which I did yesterday, to trigger getting the IOSS number, which I am guessing won't be far off now. I will email to get the 60EUR credited to my account.
Just heads up for anyone sending mail via Royal Mail. Not all their codes are IOSS approved. The following codes are approved and these are the ones we will be using. They are country prices.
MTK, MTO, MTG, MP7, MP9 and MTE. There may be more approved codes available but we only use those listed.
I would suggest calling Royal Mail to double check that these codes are on your account and if they are not get them added by the Business Team. If we do not use IOSS approved codes then we will run into issues with deliveries.
Hi @SMU , thanks for that, but I think they are the codes for a RM OBA, I use C&D. I have created a fake order to an EU customer and all the postal options come up with IOSS as an enhancement so I am assuming that they should be delivered with no problems, but that could be wishful thinking!
Hi @SMU , it's no problem, I really appreciate you drawing it to my attention regardless. It's such a big new thing for us small businesses to get our heads around, but I am sure it will get easier. I remembered those codes being posted up on Royal Mail somewhere about them being the business account ones. I did double check there were IOSS compatible codes for Click and Drop and also remember them adding them in an update a while ago!
@Dbaca Thank you Damon! I have installed the app, signed up online and completed the onboarding. I think I now just need to wait for my integration key to finish integrating my shopify webshop platform and the IOSS number itself. I can't set my shop to charge VAT on EU sales until I have the IOSS number to enter. From your post on another thread you gave instructions on how to add the app and sign up, I think I have followed them ok. It does mention about being billed for three months upfront, is that right?
As a humorous aside this is forcing us to find out all about the nooks and crannies of the EU - we have a small number of orders from Reunion & French Guyana (Africa) and Guadalupe (Caribbean) and guess what? As French territories, all are part of the EU customs zone (duties) but NOT part of the fiscal territory (VAT/IOSS)... but of course none of the platforms (or shippers!) recognize or understand that so the orders end up exceptions requiring us to do rounds with Shopify, Recharge, CBIT, Landmark etc. I declared them all French and paid VAT just to get them shipped.
It also forced me to take a look at our global store clusters and actually figure out currency and language clusters for gAds targeting- it's pretty fascinating actually, totally on the edges of "useful" but now I know that if I target someone in Kirbati they transact in AUD or Gibraltar GBP *or* EUR so I can send them to the right store. I *never* would have bothered with this, but now I'm crazy optimized for the 100(?) orders a year we get from far flung regions so that's a... win?
We are a new startup and have the fortune of launching our business right in the middle of these huge VAT policy changes. 😄
I have a quick question on Crossborderit, how is everyone's experience using Cbit and have your products gone through smoothly to customers?
We are registering (trying to, at least) directly with the UK for VAT, but still trying to find the best option for EU VAT IOSS. Taxamo, Avalara etc are all out of our price range
Any answers appreciated
it's not the 1 euro per item that makes you unaffordable its the 24.99 a month that is a big rip off. Taximo is only £2.00 per item and no monthly fees. maybe you should think about maybe charging 2 euros per item and scrap the $24.99 a month. We only send about 8 a month to the EU so your platform is not an affordable option. And may i note that that is 8 sales a month we cannot afford to lose, so why don't you app developers try and make an honest buck instead of trying to rip everybody off
This forum was designed to help us all navigate this new territory. IOSS has been a headache to say the least. It is new to many, if not all of us.
Personally I have found the forum helpful and Damon and his team from Crossborderit have always answered any emails I have sent across.
We too are only a small UK merchant with a basic shopify plan. We don't do many sales to the EU but we have had to conform to the new IOSS rules as we wanted POS transparency for our EU customers.
I am sure that as we all become accustomed to the IOSS way of doing things there will be more options available to suit our pocket and EU shipping quantity at some point in the future. Until then I am more than happy to stay with Crossborderit. We all have costs and the IOSS has increased our costs as a small business.
We just need to get on with it, see how it goes and if it doesn't work for you or (me) then we do some research. Until then can we continue to support each other and I appreciate this forum because I have learned alot, so thank you.
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