Stripe, the technology company building economic infrastructure for the internet, has announced the launch of Stripe Tax to help businesses automatically calculate and collect sales tax, value-added tax (VAT), and goods and services tax (GST) in Australia and over 30 countries*.
Stripe Tax makes every aspect of global sales tax handling as frictionless as the rest of Stripe. It automates tax calculation and collection for transactions on Stripe, tells businesses where they need to collect taxes, and creates comprehensive reports to make filing taxes easy.
The complexity of tax compliance
For years, help with tax compliance has been a top request from Australian Stripe users. GST rules in Australia are not uniform, and vary depending on the origin and makeup of a product. For example:
- GST does not apply to certain services and digital products provided within Australia by overseas businesses to Australian businesses.
- GST applies to sales of imported services and digital products sold to Australian consumers.
Tax compliance is even more difficult for Australian businesses selling products overseas, with digital and physical goods now taxed in over 130 countries, and over 11,000 different tax jurisdictions in the US alone.
Tax rules in each jurisdiction are updated frequently and often vary based on subtle details. For example:
- The tax rate for tickets to the same webinar vary significantly depending on the location of the ticket holder, whether it’s a live or recorded version, and whether the purchaser is a private individual or a corporation
- In the UK, food for animals is not subject to VAT, unless the animal you’re feeding is your pet
- Cowboy boots aren’t taxed in Texas, but hiking boots are.
Businesses face significant opportunity costs in becoming compliant, but also maintaining a compliant setup globally. As a result, two-thirds of businesses say managing tax compliance holds back their growth, with a majority saying they would launch more products and expand into more countries if relieved of the burden.
How Stripe Tax works
Stripe Tax radically simplifies tax compliance for businesses across more than 30 countries. Features include:
- Real time tax calculation: By determining the end customer’s precise location, and matching that to the product or service being sold, Stripe Tax always calculates and collects the right amount of tax, and keeps up to date with rate and rule changes so businesses don’t have to.
- Frictionless checkout: B2C businesses can reduce checkout friction with Stripe Tax, by using location information to calculate and show taxes in the most familiar way to their customers.
- Tax ID management: For B2B businesses, Stripe Tax collects the tax identification number from customers, and automatically validates VAT IDs for European customers, applying a reverse charge or zero VAT rate when necessary.
- Reconciliation: Stripe Tax saves businesses the pain of reconciling thousands of transactions by creating comprehensive reports for each market in which a business is registered to collect tax, speeding up filing and remittance.
Instead of taking weeks of work, all this can be done automatically by adding a single line of code or updating a single setting in a business’s Stripe Dashboard.
“No one leaps out of bed in the morning excited to deal with taxes,” said John Collison, Co-Founder and President of Stripe. “For most businesses, managing tax compliance is a painful distraction. We simplify everything about calculating and collecting sales taxes, VAT, and GST, so our users can focus on building their businesses.”
“Simplifying tax compliance is one of the top concerns for Australian small businesses and startups looking to scale. It’s especially a deterrent for businesses that want to expand overseas, but struggle to navigate the complexities of tax compliance given how much it varies,” said Mac Wang, Head of Stripe ANZ. “Stripe Tax takes away the pain associated with tax compliance so our Aussie customers can focus on what they do best.”
*Stripe Tax covers Sales Tax, VAT and GST requirements in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United States, and the United Kingdom.
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