Sales tax and EU VAT are typically very complicated to set up on an eCommerce platform. In fact, taxes are very complicated on any platform!
Luckily, if you’re using SureCart, it will be a piece of cake to set up and automate the sales tax and EU VAT calculation process.
In this tutorial, we’ll talk about a few basic concepts of sales tax and EU VAT and why they matter for your business.
Finally, we’ll walk you through the process of setting sales tax and EU VAT in SureCart without investing a single penny.
- The importance of sales tax and EU VAT collection
- How to set up sales tax and EU VAT with SureCart
- How a customer finds EU VAT while checking out the form
The importance of sales tax and EU VAT collection
Nobody likes paying tax, but it has an important function to play in society. Sales tax and VAT collection are important for several reasons.
First, they provide revenue for the government. This revenue is used to fund public services like education and infrastructure.
Second, collecting sales tax and VAT helps ensure everyone pays their fair share.
Some try to avoid paying sales tax or VAT. However, this is unfair to businesses that are required to collect these taxes. It’s also against the law in most countries.
So next time you consider not paying sales tax or VAT, remember why it’s important!
Whatever your opinion of tax, it’s a legal requirement just about anywhere in the world for stores to collect it.
So even if you dislike tax intensely, you have to collect it if you want to remain on the right side of the law!
How to set up sales tax and EU VAT with SureCart
Before we begin, let us clear that this tutorial is by no means legal tax advice or anything like that. Even though SureCart handles sales taxes, you’ll still need to perform due diligence and work with your accountant to make sure you’re paying the right amount of tax.
We assume that you have a WordPress website up and running. If so, follow these steps to manage tax the easy way:
We are going to:
- Set up SureCart
- Link SureCart with a payment gateway
- Configure sales tax and EU VAT
- Create products with SureCart
- Add the EU VAT field on the checkout form
- Show you the frontend view of the EU VAT collection process using SureCart.
Step 1: Install and activate SureCart
First, navigate to the WordPress admin dashboard and then go to Plugins > Add New.
Search for the keyword “SureCart”.
Click the Install Now button.
Activate the plugin.
Step 2: Getting started with SureCart
To configure the basic SureCart settings, click the Get Started option.
Now, hit the Set Up My Store button.
Now, sign up on the SureCart platform.
Click on Select Plan. The free plan will work but the premium plans offer many more features.
Now, select the Setup your store later option.
Check your email inbox and click the Verify your email button to complete account setup.
Step 3: Connect your WordPress store to SureCart using an API token
After verifying your email address, you will find the following page where you can find the API key.
Hit the area marked Default to reveal the API token.
Copy the token.
Navigate to the WordPress admin dashboard and go to SureCart > Settings.
Paste the API token where you see the API Token box.
Now, save the API token.
Step 4: Connect a payment processor
To receive payments, you need to connect a payment processor. With SureCart, you can connect multiple payment processors such as Stripe, PayPal or use cash on delivery.
For this tutorial, we’ll be using Stripe as the payment processor.
To connect to Stripe, head to the WordPress admin dashboard and go to SureCart > Settings.
Now, select the Processors option from the menu.
Select the Stripe option.
You can use the Live Mode or Test Mode at this stage.
Test mode won’t cost real money from your Stripe account and we recommend running a couple of tests to ensure everything works smoothly.
Let’s turn on Test Mode by selecting it.
Click on the Connect button.
Now, you need to enter the email you used to open your Stripe account.
Now, log in to your Stripe account.
Connect your Stripe account with your SureCart account using the Connect button.
Now, you’ll see that your Stripe account has been enabled in SureCart.
Step 5: Setting up sales taxes
Now, it’s time to set up sales and EU VAT taxes in SureCart.
Navigate to the WordPress admin dashboard and then go to SureCart > Settings.
Now select the Taxes tab.
Enable the Tax Collection option.
Save your changes.
You can also enable some additional features to collect EU VAT by enabling:
- Require VAT Number
- Local Reverse Charge
Turn on the toggle bar for Require VAT Number. Leave this option if you don’t have one.
Next, turn on Local Reverse Charge if you like or leave it off.
(The EU VAT local reverse charge is a special rule that is used for certain types of business transactions. Under this rule, the business does not charge the customer VAT and the customers are responsible for paying the VAT to the government themselves.)
Save your changes.
Now, select the European Union from the Tax Regions section.
Turn on the Collect EU VAT option using the toggle button.
Turn on the Micro-Business Exemption if your business makes less than $10,000 Euro per year.
Please note that you’ll only be able to turn on this option if your business address is located in European Countries. You can effortlessly change your business address from the Tax Collection section.
Save your changes.
And there you have it. Taxes have been set up and will be applied to all qualifying purchases.
Additional settings for sales tax and EU VAT
Now, you may want to collect EU VAT from only a specific country. That’s because you may operate your business only in a few European countries.
To do so, you can select the Collect Tax option.
Select the country you want to collect tax from.
For this example, we’ll collect EU VAT from Sweden.
Remember to set the VAT Number to EU VAT from the dropdown.
Hit the Collect Tax button and save your changes.
Now, the system will start collecting EU VAT from customers located in Sweden.
Step 6: Creating products with SureCart
If you are setting up your store for the first time, you need to create a product.
To create products in SureCart, navigate to SureCart > Products.
Click on Add New.
Add a price with the Create button.
Add the price as required.
Click on the Create Price button to finalize adding the price.
Add an image for your course.
SureCart supports integrations like TutorLMS, LearnDash, LifterLMS, BuddyBoss Group and MemberPress Membership to create products.
If you are using any of these, you’ll just have to connect the products to SureCart.
For this tutorial, we’re using the free version of TutorLMS and connect a course by selecting the Add New Integration button.
Add an integration by clicking on the dropdown menu.
Select an item from the Course Access option.
Use the Course Access option to select the course.
Finally, hit the Add Integration button to integrate the course with SureCart.
SureCart will be collecting tax on individual products if you automate it. Make sure to keep the Charge tax on this product turned on.
If you’re selling physical products, also make sure to turn on the This is a physical product option.
Save the product.
Now, click the Copy Links option to copy the checkout link for this product.
Copy the checkout link to your clipboard and use it in any call to action to sell your course.
You can even use this link on your WooCommerce store pages or any pages to sell the product.
Step 7: Adding an EU VAT field to the checkout form
Without adding the EU VAT field to your checkout, you can’t collect it from customers.
Go to SureCart > Forms.
Edit the default checkout form.
Click on Live mode, which is set by default.
To receive payments in real-time from the customers, you need to make sure Live mode is selected.
Now, click on any area of the form and select the Plus (+) icon.
Select the Shipping Address block.
We recommend using the Use compact address if possible option.
Update the form.
Now, your store is ready to collect EU VAT!
How a customer finds EU VAT while checking out the form
When a customer fills out the checkout form, they will see the VAT calculation automatically. It all happens in real time as SureCart is integrated with TaxJar.
After filling out the checkout form, the customer can hit the purchase button to complete the purchase.
After a successful transaction, the customer will get a thank you message and an invoice including the VAT amount.
The following screenshot shows that the customer has paid $5 as the EU VAT.
Now, as a seller, you will need to pay the VAT to your government. You can find the VAT information and the invoice from individual orders in the SureCart menu.
(These funds are collected alongside the payment for the product. The merchant would have to get the overall tax calculated or hire the services of an accountant at the end of the year and remit the same to the appropriate system.)
Our export feature can help your accountant get records of tax payments in CSV files.
Now, your online store can accurately collect sales tax and EU VAT using the power of SureCart.
What if the tax rate changes in the future?
SureCart works in-real time with TaxJar, which is always up to date. It will always calculate and collect the latest and accurate sales tax rate or EU VAT if it changes down the line.
- While using the form in the Live mode, select the live mode for your payment gateways too.
- You need to use an SSL certificate for SureCart to work properly.
- If you are using a MacBook and testing your website using SureCart on localhost, you need to make your localhost’s website URL as trusted from KeyChain Access. To do so, On your Mac, hit the CMD + Space Bar buttons to get the spotlight search > type “keychain access” in the search bar > hit the Enter button > Change the status of the SureCart domain of your localhost from “Never trusted” to “Always trusted”. See the below video:
- Visit your website domain using https:// prefix so that your SureCart website works perfectly.
Nobody likes paying tax but it’s unavoidable. One of the major benefits of using SureCart is that it takes (some of) the pain away.
By automatically calculating tax or EU VAT, customers see what they will pay and you perform your legal duty as a store owner.
You’ll still need to perform due diligence and manage taxes according to your local rules, but from an eCommerce perspective, most of the hard work is done for you!
Have you used this feature in SureCart? Has it helped you manage taxes? Share your story below!
Disclosure: This blog may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links, we may receive a small commission. Read disclosure. Rest assured that we only recommend products that we have personally used and believe will add value to our readers. Thanks for your support!
2 thoughts on “How to set up sales tax and EU VAT in SureCart the easy way”
So does Surecart collecting the sales tax to pass along on our behalf? Or are we just getting a invoice that tells us what taxes that have been collected. Then we have to go through the pain of paying sales the taxes in every state ourselves?
(I rather sales tax be collected on my behalf, and let someone else do the rest.)
The sales tax is calculated using TaxJar with SureCart. You can choose from the option of having to calculate based on the location or manually that can be done. You can learn more on how to set up Sales tax and EU VAT with some additional details in the video of this document.
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