Tax changing AFTER customer completes payment

incredpets
New Member
4 0 0

I use Shopify for my online store. Lately I have been fielding customer complaints about "Double Charges" and "Bait and switch" because of checkout.  After looking into it i noticed in the order timeline it shows a total charge for $XX that is captured and authorized. Immediately after it shows tax was updated from $X to $Y. then charge For $YY is captured and authorized. On the customers bank account it shows 2 pending charges and then $XX drops off and they are ultimately billed for $YY (Which is the correct price)

 

During checkout the customer only is told that they are being charged for $XX and only see the increase after the order was successful.

 

Does anyone know why this is happening or what can be done about it? I have contacted Shopify about this and their CSR blamed it on Shop Pay and said "It's a glitch we know about and there is nothing we can do." Is this true? I find it hard to believe that all their customers are having this issue and no one is doing anything about it. This is also happening to orders NOT placed with Shop pay such as the one used in this example.

 

I've attached a couple screen shots of the most recent instance with customer information blacked out. It shows timeline and the paid section on the order page.

Shopify Tax Error 2.jpgShopify Tax Error 1.jpg

 

 

Replies 5 (5)

HawaiianPieCo
Tourist
7 0 2

Incredpets,

 

Great question!

 

We've had this very same issue on our website since spring of last year (2023). According to Shopify Support, "Currently, there is no "known fix" or workaround for how customers are being charged for tax." That is the answer that I got from Ryan E, the Support Advisor who responded to my inquiry (Support Ticket Number 39149301).

 

Here is an excerpt (copy & pasted) from the transcript of the conversation I had with support last year:

 

  • 02:47 Julius (Support Advisor): Thank you for waiting on the line HawaiianPieCo, upon checking to those 2 orders you provided, yes there is no double charge occured on the payment on the order it's just that there is an update that happened to the tax rate then the system voided the first authorization to update the amount so that the updated tax rate will be corrected on the payment.

 

02:50HawaiianPieCo: I understand what happened, I'd like to know WHY it happened though. Like, why didn't the system just run the correct tax charge to begin with?

 

02:50HawaiianPieCo: And how we can prevent it from happening.

 

02:51HawaiianPieCo: Because it shows up on customer Order Confirmations, we get calls and emails from customers asking why we "double-charged" them.

 

02:52 Julius (Support Advisor): By the wayHawaiianPieCo, is there any changes you have done on your tax settings?

 

02:56HawaiianPieCo: No, no updates to our tax settings recently to my knowledge.

 

02:58 Julius (Support Advisor): I see, thanks for the information. Let me consult this to our tax team into this what's the reason on the update.

 

03:00HawaiianPieCo: Cool. thank you.

 

03:00 Julius (Support Advisor): I'll ping them a message to our tax team HawaiianPieCo to look into this with them and check. Due to different timezones, we may yet to hear back from them now.

-------

(the next day)

 

Julius G.

11:44 am

Hello HawaiianPieCo!

Julius is here again from the Shopify Support Team!

My sincere appreciation goes out to you and your patience with Shopify. Please be advised that I will be handling this concern for you as promised.

My Involvement with your concern led me to gather information to our Tax Team about your concern with customers seemingly being "double-charged" when palcing an order. As per our Tax Team, this happens when final taxes end up being higher than the estimated taxes. This means we will not have authorized enough funds on the buyer's payment method.
 
In this case, the buyer's original authorization on their card is voided. The new, higher total is authorized and captured on the buyers card. You as a merchant will see this in the order timeline, and see the higher amount sent to their payouts (minus the processing fee). You can check this help document for your reference > Customer experience with estimated tax during checkout or Estimated taxes during checkout.
 
The buyer was not charged twice, just authorized twice. The original authorization will disappear from  their card shortly after the order.

Let us know if you have any more questions. For immediate assistance, you may also reach out to us through our Live channels.

All the best,
Julius | Support Advisor

 

HawaiianPieCo

2:53 pm

Hi Julius,

Thank you for all that information. While I, for the most part, understand everything you're trying to convey, my ultimate question has always been...is there a way to "fix" this from showing up on customer order confirmations.

While I understand they are not being double-charged, our customers do not know that they are being double-charged. They see two charges on the order confirmation and automatically think they've been double-charged.

While you've provided me with a technical explanation of what is occurring, I'd like to not have to explain to our customers that our website doesn't know exactly what to charge them.

So my next questions are:

  1. Can we do anything on the website so that estimated taxes are the actual taxes and we don't run into the double authorization issue? Why are most charges going through okay, but a few do not have the correct tax charged?
  2. If there's nothing we can "fix," is there a way to NOT show the double authorizations on the order confirmation? This is a big reason we've been getting complaints because the customer sees the two authorizations in their order confirmation.

Again, thank you for your assistance, and I await your response.

-HawaiianPieCo

 

(different Support Advisor responds)

 

Ryan E

3:03 pm

Hi HawaiianPieCo,
 
It's Ryan from Shopify Support team. Currently, there is no "known fix" or workaround for how customers are being charged for tax. We understand that this can be confusing for customers. However, we would be happy to forward your question as a feature request to our developers. We hope that they will take this into consideration and make any necessary improvements in future updates.

 

---------

 

Needless to say this is very frustrating when it's Shopify that causing our customers to think that we're the ones "double-charging" them.

 

Not sure if anything is being done on the Shopify side. I'm curious to know how many other clients are experiencing this issue.

HawaiianPieCo
Tourist
7 0 2

Happened to the people in this thread from January of last year:

 

Shopify Suddenly Changes Sales Tax Rate 

chrisngrod
Tourist
5 0 2

Surprised there are not more people complaining.

incredpets
New Member
4 0 0

It sounds like your experience is exactly the same as mine. Frustrating that stores are the ones who take the blame for this.

sherman123
Excursionist
17 0 10

This just happened to me, I'm in a chat with customer service. The whole order was voided for a few cents added after payment authorization and now I'm out an order. Not to mention it looks completely sketchy to add money to an order after they've paid. The customer probably thinks the store is a scam.