How to set Canadian Taxes for a WordPress WooCommerce website

Configure Canadian Taxes for WooCommerce in 5 minutesSince writing about How to set Canadian Taxes for your Online store where I focused on an osCommerce Store I’ve had a few inquires about WooCommerce. WooCommerce is an open source e-commerce plugin for WordPress that turns WordPress into an online store.

Follow these 6 steps to Configure Canadian taxes for your WooCommerce store

  1. Begin by installing and activating the WooCommerce plugin.
  1. Then go to WooCommerce → Settings and from the General tab set the Base location to your Canadian Province. Then set the currency to Canadian dollars and Save Changes

Set-Country-Province

  1. Here I’ve provided a CSV file that you can download.
  1. Next click on the TAX tab → Standard Rates → at the bottom of the page click Import CSV. Browse your computer for the file you just saved and upload and import the file.Import WooCommerce Tax Rates
  1. Now click on the WooCommerce → Settings → Tax tab  and tick the first box to enable taxes. Adjust any other settings as needed for your store and Save Changes.
  2. If your shop is located in one of the following Provinces you need to charge Provincial PST. I believe that if you do a lot of business in another Province you will need to get a PST number and remit taxes to that Province. If not please delete any of the last four PST classes that don’t apply to your shop.
    • BC 7%
    • SK 5%
    • MB 8% – changed July 2013 (image below is incorrect)
    • QC 9.975%

The CSV file uses tax rates based on this RCC table and this infographic

Canadian Tax Rates

That’s it! This file is correct to the best of my knowledge but please check the rates and test your installation. And please let me know if there has been a change in your Province that I need to include.

39 comments on “How to set Canadian Taxes for a WordPress WooCommerce website
  1. Jake says:

    Many thanks for this CVS file… Saved me some time in setting up tax rates for a client just now!

  2. Jason says:

    If I’ve got a US company, with product made in the USA, and I sell to a Canadian resident in US dollars… but the product ships from a warehouse in Canada to the Canadian resident… what (if any) taxes should be charged?

    How does one generally apply percentages to the USD amount?

    Of course I could install a whole separate install and try and IP detect and redirect Canadians to that other install… but yeesh!

    Follow up – from your csv – it seems that tax is not applied on any shipping costs – only on the retail price of the product, is that correct?

    Or should tax be charged on the final amount paid?

    Thanks for the extra info, and the CSV!

    • Ruth Maude says:

      Sorry Jason I’m really not able to advise you. I’m no tax expert.

      • Jason says:

        I got someone from the Canadian tax bureau on the phone and it is confirmed.

        If you are a US company selling US made products into Canada, then you must pay the HST GST etc.

        And I do believe also the import duties.

        I assume the enforcement on this is that if you don’t pay your taxes, then your shipments will be stopped at the border.

        I asked what about charging in USD – the answer is there is a quarterly average conversion rate – that is what should be used to convert the gross sales to CAD, then figure the tax from there.

    • BigBanKClub says:

      Did you ever get a solution for this?

      US prices and CDN buyer being charged CDN Tax rates – how does one do this in Woocommerce?

  3. Isobel says:

    Just wanted to say thanks so much for this post! I’m in the process of setting up an online business in Canada and the GST/HST/PST issue has really confused me. Not only did your post tell me how to sort this in woocommerce, but it also clearly explained the tax situation! Thanks so much :o)

  4. Ananda says:

    Hello Ruth, your post is the best! Thank you so much!

    I am helping a friend setting up her first online shopping with woocommerce. She is based in BC, but she sells worldwide. Does she need to add a file like this for every country she will sell to?
    Thanks for your advice.

  5. Jason says:

    Back again – do you know if the taxes need to be applied to the cost of shipping and handling as well?

    In otherwords, there is a tickbox to apply the taxes to shipping… leave un-ticked, or tick it?

  6. Nate Lynch says:

    Thanks for your excellent tutorial. I am trying to get it to display the actual tax name during checkout. Right now all it says is “tax” and then a price. No GST or HST and no percentage.

    Do you have any idea how to fix this?

    Nate

  7. Saman says:

    Hi dear
    Thanks for the CSV file and it saves me so much time. I was wondering if you have the CSV file for US tax rates too? Im still lost and don’t exactly know the tax rates in US since i live in canada.

    • Ruth Maude says:

      No as a Canadian I don’t have a US file. I don’t think you have to collect tax to remit to the U.S. government unless you have a store with a physical location in the U.S.

      • Ron Gootman says:

        Hi Ruth,

        First of all I’d like to thank you for publishing this incerdibly valuable article.

        According to what you’ve said, If I hold an online Canadian t-shirt store… I would have to include the tax for Canadian buyers. However for US buyers it is not necessary (since I do not own any a physical store within US territory)

        Would you be able to confirm on that?

        Much appreciated

  8. Jason says:

    Thanks for the CSV file. Saved me a lot of time. I have a question about shipping. I’m selling books and there is no PST on books in BC, only GST. But there is PST on shipping in BC, and no GST.

    So if I have a book that costs $10, the GST is $.50. If the shipping is $1, then the tax should be $.55 (GST) and $.07 (PST).

    What I can’t seem to figure out is how to only charge PST on the shipping and not the book.

    Any ideas?

    Jason

    • Ruth Maude says:

      Hi Jason,
      Off the top of my head I would think that you would create additional tax classes for books (zero rate) and shipping separately. Then apply the shipping rate under the tax tab -> Shipping tax class

  9. Tim says:

    This is great! thanks!
    We have some wholesale customers – do you know how to offer them tax exemption with woocommerce?

  10. Lester says:

    Hi Ruth, great article on such a confusing subject.

    Question: If my base location is Nova Scotia and services only (no shipping involved). Do I need to remove the last 4 PST classes you mentioned above?

  11. Ness B says:

    Thanks for this helpful tool Ruth!
    Much appreciated!

  12. Gabriela says:

    Hi ruth! Thank you so much for your post! i was very worried about this subject since im configuring a website for a canadian clothing store with woocommerce.
    It’s based in Quebec, but we wil sell worldwide.
    1.- Do we need to add a file like this for every country we want will sell to?

    2.-After the CSV file do i need to configure another thing? as Nate Lynch ask you, ” I am trying to get it to display the actual tax name during checkout. Right now all it says is “tax” and then a price. No GST or HST and no percentage.

    Do you have any idea how to fix this?”

    THOUSAND THANKS IN ADVANCE!
    Thanks for your advice.

    • Hi Gabriela,

      1. No you only charge tax for Canada. You aren’t obligated to collect and remit taxes to other countries.

      2. Sorry I don’t know off the top of my head

      I’m glad this file helped you.

  13. Rohan Kher says:

    I enter the tax name in the field along with tax % but it is not displayed on the cart page. it shows the default name as Tax. Please help me with this

    • Jason says:

      First off, shout out to Ruth – great job and big thank you for your file.

      Rohan – Under the Tax / Tax Option area, set your Display Prices in the Shop as Excluding Tax and your Display Prices During Cart and Checkout as Excluding Tax.

      Also remember to tax your shipping as well by clicking the standard rates and checking off all those shipping boxes in the table once Ruth’s file has been imported.

  14. BigBanKClub says:

    If I have US prices on my site – how do I calculate CDN Tax based on a US price? Any plugins or settings one should know of?

  15. Rohan and BigBank Club

    Please go to the WooCommerce site and request support there. I’m not able to answer your questions.

    http://support.woothemes.com

  16. Sylvain says:

    Many thanks for this article 🙂

    Regards,

  17. nathan says:

    Thanks for the CSV file, saved me a lot of time!

  18. david b says:

    Hello, thx you for your great work related to the tricky probleme of the taxes in canada.
    Could i expose an example and could you tell me if it is possible to apply those taxes with your great CSV.
    for instance :
    #1 : the seller is in Quebec and the buyer is in BC – price 100$ + 5% GST – right?
    #2 : the seller is in Quebec and the buyer is in quebec – price 100$ + 5% GST + 9,975% PST- right?
    Is it possible?
    Thank you ! David

  19. Matt Magi says:

    Thanks for this, saved me some time! 🙂 Hope you keep it updated.

  20. charles says:

    The CSV file should be updated… I’m relying on this article from Canada Business info to modify it and to know how much to charge in the various provinces. Lots of useful and official info there. Here’s the link. http://www.canadabusiness.ca/eng/page/2651/#toc-_charging_sales_tax_to_out-of-province_territory_customers_and_foreign_customers

  21. Clinton says:

    Ruth thank you so much for this post. You literally saved our bacon! We were pulling our hair out trying to find a solution for selling with all the different taxes in CAD, and your post helped us realise Woocommerce was the solution! The CSV file is an awesome bonus. Thank you!!

  22. Thanks for this. I just installed WooCommerce using NB and it seems like they missed some HST changes for NB and NF (defaults to 13%) according to the RCC link:

    As of July 1, 2016 the HST rate increased from 13% to 15%.

    I’m new to WooCommerce, so not really impressed that their data is over 1 year out of whack. Do developers need to track & resolve these ourselves or should someone tell them somehow?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*