Which countries to charge VAT on?

Just a quick snippet, this one. If you’re VAT registered, you need to charge VAT to people within the EU, unless they provide a valid VAT number. Whilst e-commerce packages are getting better, and one or two even understand the full rules of VAT, most have implemented a much more basic, more general solution.

One such system is this solution for recurring payments – Premium Web Cart.  In many ways its solution is perfect, but its implementation of VAT is clunky to say the least.  But you can get it to work.  What you have to do is to set up country-based tax values.  Each country has a (potentially) different amount you can charge.  So all you need to do is to add the current VAT rate to each of the countries in the EU where VAT should be charged.  Which leads me on to the point of this post!

Which countries do you need to charge VAT on purchases from?  After a bit of searching, I found the answer: http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/vat/managing/international/esl/country-codes.htm

So there you have it.  A 5 minute job to add a country record for each of the places on this list, and you’re done.

(Technically, you’re not quite done, because you actually don’t have to charge VAT if the customer can provide a valid VAT code, but PremiumWebCart doesn’t have this functionality, so other countries in the EU are going to have to put up with paying the VAT.  Not ideal, but not necessarily a problem for everyone – if you’re selling mostly to consumers, or you’re selling mostly outside the EU, or selling mostly in the UK, it’s not an issue.)


About Jake

Long term specialist in all things computers. Involved with 3 businesses: Pomcat.com, FourHats.com, DoYourOwnTech.com. @jakeliddell

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