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US 'Tax' for International Online Seller within Merchant Center Account

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# 1
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Hello, being an International seller and located outside United States, how do I go about specifying the 'tax' attributes, if I choose United States as my target country, please.

3 Expert replyverified_user

Re: US 'Tax' for International Online Seller within Merchant Center Account

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Hi @Yarilo y,

 

To configure tax settings, use account-level tax rates or the 'tax' attribute in your product data to override taxes for specific items.

You can access account-level tax rates by clicking the Settings link then the Tax link in your Merchant Center account menu. You have two options in your Google Merchant Center account:

 

  1. Don't charge taxes in the United States.
  2. Specify taxes for individual states. Choose either a flat tax rate or use the Google determined rate. Google uses tax rates from a third party that are determined based on the shopper’s location. Google does not guarantee the accuracy of these rates.

You can also include item-level override values using the 'tax' attribute.

 

(Important: For your tax rate to appear in Google Shopping results, it's required to have shipping submitted for your items.)

 

The tax attribute is an item-level override for merchant-level tax settings as defined in your Google Merchant Center account. This attribute is only accepted in the US. If your feed targets a country outside of the US, please do not use this attribute.

This attribute has four parts:

  • country (optional): The country an item is taxed in according to ISO 3166 standard. (At the moment, it's always 'US'.)
  • Geographic area. There are three sub-attributes supported to specify a geographic area where a tax rate applies. Only one should be used per each tax entry. 
    • region (optional): The geographic region that a tax rate applies to. In the US, the two-letter state abbreviation (e.g., CA).
    • postal code (optional): The postal code range that a tax rate applies to, e.g., in the US, a ZIP code, a ZIP code prefix range using * wildcard, a range of ZIP codes between two ZIP Codes or two ZIP code prefixes of equal length. Examples: 94114, 94*, 94002-95460, 94*-95*.
    • location id (optional): The numeric id of a location that a tax rate applies to as defined in the AdWords API. Currently supported for State and City in the US. For example, for San Francisco: 1014221
  • rate (required): The tax rate as a percent of the item price, i.e., a number as a percentage
  • tax_ship (optional): Boolean value for whether you charge tax on shipping, 'y' for yes or 'n' for no - the default value is 'n'.

 

You can include this attribute up to 100 times to specify taxes for each state individually. If you decide to submit it explicitly for each state, make sure to cover every state (even the states where you do not charge tax). Note you can also specify that you charge no tax for a state by setting the rate as 0.

 

When to include: For items in feeds that target the US, use this attribute if you want to specify taxes for a particular item, or you want to override the default tax costs specified in the Merchant Center settings. If you do not provide tax information using one of these methods for each item, your items won’t show up in Google Shopping results. USE EITHER #1 or #2 above. 

 

Please refer to the complete information listed here to determine your specific use. Let us know if we can help further.

 

Kind Regards,

 

James 

_________________________________________________________
Google AdWords Top Contributor | Google Partner | GYBO | Local Guide | My Profile


 


 


 

Re: US 'Tax' for International Online Seller within Merchant Center Account

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Thanks very much,, James, I appreciate your answer, although it is still unclear how can I collect US taxes if I have an online company, selling goods to US consumers online from overseas. No US incorporation, no US employees, no physical presence in the US whatsoever.

Simone

Re: US 'Tax' for International Online Seller within Merchant Center Account

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor

Hi @Yarilo y,

 

Thanks a lot to you for this great and fundamental question that is probably relevant to quite a few forum members. (Also lots of thanks and appreciation to @James_Clemens who gave us a great insight into how details work within the United States and the MCA.)

 

However, under the scenario you described above you are not an importer of goods into the United States. You are simply not subject to US Law, neither are you liable to collect any US taxes in particular.

 

In fact, the purchasers of your goods (your buyers) within the US are the ones who are categorized as the importers of the goods by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. They themselves may be subject to various laws and regulations, including their responsibility to pay duties, and comply with a variety of both state and federal government import regulations. In other words, it's a scenario where "Buyer, beware." is applicable. Caveat emptor! Yourself are exempt of any liabilities whatsoever in this regard as long as you are not a US citizen or resident.

 

The Official website of the Department of Homeland Security gives you a brief overview of the issue from the point of view of the importer (your buyers) and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. You are advised to read their page linked-to below.

 

***   Internet Purchases -  Your Responsibility and Liability   ***

https://www.cbp.gov/trade/basic-import-export/internet-purchases

 

Disclosure: I'd note that though I hold a masters in international economics, I am not a specialist in US taxation or customs, nor did I study your business model in every detail, for which reasons the above said should not be regarded as professional advice. 

 

Best,

Lakatos

Re: US 'Tax' for International Online Seller within Merchant Center Account

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 5
Top Contributor

if zero taxes are legally collected then, shopping-ads (product-listing-ads)
still require that tax be set -- either configured within the account for all
items in a target-country, or submitted as a per-item override.

tax must reflect what the target-country user will actually pay to a merchant --

and is mainly for the accurate display of product-listing-ads (shopping-ads);

submitting inaccurate or invalid tax information is grounds for a disapproval

or a (permanent) suspension from the program, at any time.


if zero taxes are collected then, simply configure for the
(u.s.) target-country, or submit, tax as zero (0.00) usd

when registering the data-feed file for a specific target-country --
the pull-down list of countries (and the one you select) determines:
(1) which target-country rules and policies you must follow
on your website, in your feed, for e-commerce transactions, and
with respect to the type of physical inventory items allowed;
and (2) which google (shopping) target-country
domain your submitted feed items may be listed.

usually, there are price, id, shipping, tax, delivery, customs, currency,
language, product category, payment, and product-listing-ad, requirements
per target-country -- on the website, in the feed, and for e-commerce.

typically, the website and e-commerce must first be changed to accommodate
all rules, policies, and guidelines of a target-country; then, using the updated
website information, a different feed is created and changed to accommodate
all the rules and requirements of the selected (registered) target-country.

the individual merchant is simply required to follow all the rules and policies
that are defined by google and google may take into account the laws of the
target-country and where the merchant is physically located with respect to
disapproval or overall website or merchant suspensions.

product-listing-ads (shipping-ads) are for advertising --
generally, google does not involve itself with how or if
taxes must be legally collected during or after purchase;
the individual merchant is subject to all laws with respect
to retail purchases across or between countries, are likely
best handled by a tax-attorney or certified-accountant that
is versed in international retail operations, and are rather
outside the scope of this forum.

see also
https://support.google.com/merchants/answer/160637

https://support.google.com/merchants/answer/160162

 

Re: US 'Tax' for International Online Seller within Merchant Center Account

Top Contributor
# 6
Top Contributor

Hi Guys,

 

@Yarilo y says above: "... it is still unclear how can I collect US taxes ... "

 

In case that is his main concern, I think, bottom line is he is not supposed to care for those taxes. In technical terms, of course, he is obliged to comply with Google's terms so as to be able to advertise via AdWords.

 

@Celebird says: "...if zero taxes are collected then, simply configure for the (u.s.) target-country, or submit, tax as zero (0.00) usd..." That is the technical aspect.

 

Best,

Lakatos

Re: US 'Tax' for International Online Seller within Merchant Center Account

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 7
Top Contributor

any collection of taxes is rather outside the scope
of any shopping-ads advertising and this forum --

the merchant is responsible for any collection of

legal and appropriate tax from their customers.

the taxes configured, submitted, or displayed for shopping-ads
simply must reflect the actual taxes that a user will pay during
e-commerce checkout of the item-offer or is otherwise a policy
violation and grounds for disapproval or permanent suspension.

 

for example, if zero taxes are legally payed or collected then,

zero tax must be either configured in the account or submitted

per-item, to accurately reflect that tax information.

 

see also

https://support.google.com/merchants/answer/188494#tax-intro

https://support.google.com/merchants/answer/188494#tax

 

 

Re: US 'Tax' for International Online Seller within Merchant Center Account

Top Contributor
# 8
Top Contributor

Great info and points, @Lakatos and @Celebird.

 

We are showing how to setup the products in the Merchant Feed. The actual collecting of taxes is something entirely different and not to do with Google in any capacity. The setup within Google Merchant is for the sole purpose of displaying a comparative price. The price needs to be the same as @Yarilo y website/eCommerce site. If he does not collect tax when selling to United States people, that means there is zero tax - there is nothing to collect.

 

Kind Regards,

 

James 

 

 

_________________________________________________________
Google AdWords Top Contributor | Google Partner | GYBO | Local Guide | My Profile


 


 


 

Re: US 'Tax' for International Online Seller within Merchant Center Account

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 9
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Thanks so much, everyone, I have submitted the feed with O.00 value tax and it worked! Really appreciate all the help and info provided!

Kindest regards
Simone