Post by digitaldept » Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:29 pm

I need to be able to make certain customers tax exempt. Does anyone know of an extension or code I can insert myself? I'm using Opencart 1.5.5.1.

Thanks!

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Post by digitaldept » Wed Mar 20, 2013 5:38 am

No one knows?

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Post by butte » Wed Mar 20, 2013 10:29 am

Presumably a tax bracket zero can be most simply set or added in System / Localization / Tax Classes by adding a Tax Class which you can name and describe as Tax Exempt, and which you can then set by hitting Add Tax Rate in order to fix Geozone, Tax Exempt, 0.0000, and whichever priority number fits your setup. Then hit Save. This will arise over governmental buyers, retailers from whom you needn't collect sales tax if you have their reseller numbers in advance, and various foreign outfits such as consulates, as well as buyers from outside your jurisdiction (such as interstate sales). And that will depend upon your own whereabouts' requirements. Some jurisdictions make simple decisions such as over interstate sales substantially more difficult than even committee-think needs to contemplate, but it's largely set up by legislative and regulatory . . . committees, and, of course, you're best off complying with your own jurisdiction's zoo or maze of possibilities.
Last edited by butte on Thu Mar 21, 2013 7:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by digitaldept » Wed Mar 20, 2013 10:38 am

I guess that makes sense but how do I assign 1 single customer as Tax Exempt? I guess I don't fully understand.

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Post by butte » Thu Mar 21, 2013 7:25 am

There is already a lag in my reply earlier today showing (most are immediate, now two have had delays), so I'll keep this shorter in case the prior one shows up.

The shortest approach is probably just to set up each tax exempt buyer as an Affiliate account. Go into Sales / Affiliates and hit Insert, then fill in everything and Save. You can insert a genuine Tax ID or a workaround pseudonumber (just for OC's reference in merely computing tax as x or 0, since for tax purposes you're entitled to know the actual exemption numbers that will be used and OC wont actually use the numbers). You can assign a Commission (%) which neatly offsets tax, be it x, y, z, or 0 (according to whether a Tax Exempt buyer is inside or outside the area).

Refunding tax is impractical; few exempt buyers will even contemplate paying it or doing any refund paperwork. Setting up alternate product lists is impractical; more than one visitor will use the wrong one.

Ordinary Customer accounts do not provide for either a fixed discount to offset tax or an assignable exempt status. Ordinary Affiliate accounts should presuppose tax exemption (via reseller permits or the like).

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Post by digitaldept » Thu Mar 21, 2013 7:38 am

Thanks for the reply.
An Affiliate account is not the way to go (at least for me). I would have to collect the tax, therefore making me liable to pay it. Not good since I would be giving that money back to them.

I liked the first option of setting up a Tax Class but I'm not sure how to apply it to specific customers. Any advise?

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Post by butte » Thu Mar 21, 2013 8:56 am

While I'm still waiting to see whether this morning's reply even shows up, I'll go in a different direction here . . . and while this is for general public consumption as to OC, one paragraph is going in a few seconds [argh; minutes] to your PM as sensitively business related.

In California the Sales and Use Tax is about as hairy and hoary as one could ask for without turning it over to the Feds or the EU to restructure it. Ohio appears to have a wrinkle that California missed (maybe an infernal vat, dunno).

The overriding questions are, exactly how are these problematical customers Tax Exempt, and how is Tax Exempt status problematical? Via the Language files (in two dirtrees, under admin and under catalog) the term "Affiliates" can be changed, if it is somehow offensive or misleading, to something like "Exempt" or "Special" for exempt customers.

Additional questions.-- How many of these are there (onesies, scores, hundreds?) to process in the first place? How many of these tend to spring from Ohio, from California, and from specific other states where you would face a sales tax liability?

Government agencies such as the Feds and State are ordinarily exempt even as end users. Foreign agencies such as consulates are ordinarily exempt even as end users. Pseudoagencies such as schools and colleges are ordinarily not exempt for expendable supplies as end users. Resellers (including wholesalers as well as retailers, holding valid resale and sales or use tax collection permits) are ordinarily exempt. If any or all of those were put into Affiliates (renamed Exempt or Special or not), then exemption would override tax (the arithmetic ploy of a commission matching tax would presumably stay inside OC and would not necessarily be exposed as taxable income). Interstate customers are ordinarily exempt, unless sale involves a proprietorship or organization that does business in both states (although some states have tried gaining access to on-line sellers' customer rosters in order to claim taxability for all of their own in-state customers even for deliveries from afar). Personal and family transactions are ordinarily not exempt as to end users when stock is withdrawn and diverted to them (whether they then use it or give it away, unless they already hold valid reseller permits).

A Tax Class at rate 0.0000 for Tax Exempt customers seems implicitly assigned already to Affiliates (renamed or not). It appears that OC does not provide for setting a Product item or a specific customer at zero tax, UNLESS the Geozone is set zero (as suggested earlier above). Assigning each affected customer a Geozone postal code like 007, location Planet, would probably trigger need to process those payments or shipments manually. Few enough of them to do that way would presumably be workable.

The payment portal poses an additional solution. PayPal does not offer a checkbox for Tax Exempt. Some others might actually offer one, which would instantly undo whatever tax OC wants applied. There would still be need for manually reconciling (from time to time) discrepancies between what OC thinks and what actual transactions were, and to have a definite stack of paper chickentracks to show the exempted transactions supported by reseller permit numbers or the like.

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Post by butte » Thu Mar 21, 2013 10:22 am

Okay, given the quick PM feedback, let's go in another direction. Extensions below are probably of general interest (since, no, the provisions are not already built into 1.5.x).

Extensions appear to be all or generally vqmod, which has its own ins and outs. Search for extensions tax exempt provide "about 4,360 results (0.30 seconds)" but these (in forum-and-store pairs) may be representative with admitted sampling error at <0.092 per cent:

http://forum.opencart.com/viewtopic.php?f=123&t=33960
and
http://www.opencart.com/index.php?route ... on_id=2331

http://forum.opencart.com/viewtopic.php?f=165&t=61294
and
http://www.opencart.com/index.php?route ... on_id=6203

http://forum.opencart.com/viewtopic.php?f=123&t=32348
and
http://www.opencart.com/index.php?route ... on_id=2107

http://forum.opencart.com/viewtopic.php?f=131&t=31476
and
http://www.opencart.com/index.php?route ... order=DESC

Prices and features vary. Search Forum for "extension tax exempt" for posts with links to store; search store for ditto for extensions themselves.

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