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Do I Need To Charge Tax on Shopify UK? Guide

To answer the question “do i need to charge tax on shopify uk,” it’s important to understand the tax obligations for UK-based Shopify sellers.

Here’s a detailed guide to help you navigate this topic.

Understanding Tax Obligations for Shopify Sellers in the UK

As a Shopify seller in the UK, it’s essential to be aware of your tax responsibilities.

This includes understanding whether you need to charge tax on your sales.

The UK has specific regulations regarding Value Added Tax (VAT) that may apply to your Shopify business.

VAT Registration

If your Shopify store’s taxable turnover exceeds the VAT threshold, which is £85,000 as of 2024, you are required to register for VAT.

Once registered, you must charge VAT on your taxable sales at the appropriate rate.

Shopify Tax Tools

Shopify offers various tax tools to help you manage your tax obligations.

These tools can assist you in determining the correct amount of tax to charge on your sales and provide insights into sales tax collection.

Sales Tax in the UK

In the UK, the equivalent of sales tax is VAT. Therefore, if you are registered for VAT, you will charge VAT on your sales instead of a separate sales tax.

The sales tax rate in the UK is 20%.

This is the standard VAT rate that applies to most goods and services.

However, some goods and services are subject to VAT at a reduced rate of 5%, such as domestic fuel and certain energy-saving materials in the home.

At the same time, some goods and services are zero-rated, meaning they are charged at a VAT rate of 0%, such as most food and children’s clothes.

Note that VAT is an indirect tax, meaning it is paid to the government by the businesses that sell the goods and services, not by the consumers directly.

Consultation with a Tax Professional

Given the complexity of tax regulations, especially for e-commerce businesses, it’s advisable to consult with a tax professional to ensure compliance with UK tax laws.

How to calculate sales tax on a purchase in the UK

To calculate the sales tax on a purchase in the UK, you can use the following formula:

  1. First, determine the sales tax rate, which is 20% for the standard VAT rate in the UK.
  2. Convert the tax rate to a decimal by dividing the tax rate by 100. For example, for a tax rate of 20%, the decimal would be 0.20.

The formula to calculate the sales tax amount is:
\text{Sales Tax} = \text{Purchase Amount} \times \text{Tax Rate}

For example, if the pre-tax amount of the item is £100, the sales tax would be:
\text{Sales Tax} = £100 \times 0.20 = £20

The total purchase amount, including tax, would be:
\text{Total Purchase Amount} = \text{Pre-tax Amount} + \text{Sales Tax} = £100 + £20 = £120

It’s important to note that the UK has three VAT rates: the standard rate of 20%, a reduced rate of 5%, and a zero rate for certain goods and services.

The calculation method outlined above applies to the standard VAT rate.

For purchases subject to the reduced or zero rate, the corresponding rate should be used in the calculation.

How to set up sales tax on Shopify UK

Setting up sales tax (VAT in the UK) on Shopify involves a few steps, but it’s crucial to ensure you comply with regulations and accurately charge your customers. Here’s a breakdown:

Before you begin:

  1. Determine if you need to charge VAT: This depends on various factors like your business location, turnover, and customer location. Generally, if you’re based in the UK and your UK sales exceed £85,000 in a 12-month period, you need to register for VAT. Selling to EU countries after Brexit might also require additional registrations. Consult a tax advisor for specific guidance.

Setting up in Shopify:

  1. Go to Settings > Taxes and duties.
  2. In the Countries/regions section, click United Kingdom.
  3. In the VAT collection section, click “Collect VAT”.
  4. Enter your VAT number if you have one. If not, leave it blank for now.
  5. Click “Collect VAT”.

Additional steps:

  • Set your tax rates: By default, the standard 20% VAT rate applies. You can manually set different rates for specific products or regions if needed.
  • Displaying prices: Choose whether to display prices with or without tax included. Consider customer preferences and legal requirements in your target markets.
  • Tax overrides: Set individual tax rates for specific products that have special rates.
  • EU sales after Brexit: If you sell to EU countries, you might need to register for VAT in those countries and configure tax accordingly. This process varies depending on individual regulations.


  • Shopify automates tax calculations but doesn’t handle tax filing or remittance. You’re responsible for complying with tax regulations and filing returns yourself.
  • Consult a tax advisor for professional guidance, especially if your situation is complex or you have questions about specific requirements.


In summary, as a Shopify seller in the UK, it is crucial to understand and comply with the VAT regulations.

By utilizing the available tax tools and seeking professional advice when necessary, you can effectively manage your tax obligations on the Shopify platform.

As a Shopify seller in the UK, it’s important to be well-informed about your tax obligations. By understanding the VAT registration threshold, utilizing Shopify’s tax tools, and seeking professional advice, you can ensure compliance with UK tax laws and effectively manage your tax responsibilities.

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