Managing your Canadian taxes

After you update your store to use the new Canadian tax features, you can manage your tax settings, including your registrations and overrides.

Manage the regions in which you're registered

You can edit your registrations at any time to add, delete, or change your registrations or account numbers.

Steps:

  1. Go to Settings > Taxes.
  2. In the Tax regions section, beside Canada, click Set up or click Edit.
  3. In the Registered tax accounts section, click Add tax account or click Manage.
  4. Update your regions and account numbers.
  5. Click Save.

Canadian tax override requirements

You can override the taxes that Shopify sets, but be aware of the following restrictions:

  • Overrides to the Canadian tax rate apply only to the GST rate.
  • Overrides to New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, and PEI tax rates apply only to their corresponding HST rates.
  • Overrides to British Columbia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Quebec tax rates apply only to their corresponding PST or QST rates.
  • Alberta, Northwest Territories, Yukon, and Nunavut tax rates can't use overrides.

Overrides are also affected by your registrations:

  • For overrides to apply to Canada and HST province rates, you need to enter your Canadian GST account.
  • For overrides to apply to the Manitoba PST rate, you need to enter your Manitoba account.
  • For overrides to apply to the British Columbia PST rate, you need to enter your British Columbia account.
  • For overrides to apply to the Saskatchewan PST rate, you need to enter your Saskatchewan account.
  • For overrides to apply to the Quebec QST rate, you need to enter your Quebec account.

Override taxes

Sometimes the default tax rates don't apply to certain products. For example, certain types of children's clothing might be exempt from tax or have a lower tax rate. If the default rates don't apply, then you need to create an override.

Creating an override is a two-step process. You first create a collection that includes the products that have a different tax rate. Then you specify in what region the override applies and its rate.

For details on collections, see Collections.

Steps:

  1. Create a collection:

    1. From your Shopify admin, go to Products > Collections.
    2. Click Create collection, and then enter a name for it.
    3. Click Save collection.
  2. Create the override:

    1. Go to Settings > Taxes.
    2. In the Tax regions section, click Edit beside Canada.
    3. In the Tax overrides section, click Add tax override.
    4. Select the collection.
    5. Select the region in which the override applies.
    6. Enter the tax rate for the collection in that region.
    7. Click Save.

Manage your tax calculations

You can manage various settings that determine how tax is calculated on your products. For example, you can set whether taxes are included in your prices, whether to charge VAT on digital goods, and whether to apply tax to shipping costs. You manage these settings on the Taxes settings page. You manage these settings on the Taxes settings page. See Tax overrides and exemptions to learn more.

Steps:

  1. Go to Settings > Taxes.

  2. In the Tax calculations section, select the options that apply.

Tax rounding

Historically, tax amounts were rounded at the invoice level. This means that that the total tax value was calculated by adding the prices of every item in an order, applying the tax rate to the order's subtotal, and rounding the result.

After you've updated your store to use the new Canadian sales tax features, tax amounts are rounded at the line-item level instead. This means that the total tax value is calculated by applying the tax rate to each line in the order, rounding the result, and then adding these subtotals together to arrive at the total value of the order.

The reason this change has been made is that line-level rounding helps to accommodate for different tax rates, or a mix of taxable and non-taxable products.

Example

As an example, let's say that your customer makes an order containing 42 different items, each of which have a price of $14.99 and are subject to 13% HST. The line item tax for each product is determined by multiplying the price (14.99) by the tax rate (0.13), for a result of 1.9487.

The historical method of rounding this result would be to add together each line item tax result and round the total. In this case, this would be a total of 81.8454, which is then rounded to the final tax total of $81.85.

Shopify now rounds tax amounts at the line-item level, so in this case the tax amount is rounded for every product individually. The result of 1.9487 is rounded to $1.95, which is then added together to get the total. In this case, the total would be $81.90.

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