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  1. #1
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    Default Australian GST not calculating correctly using "Store" as basis of tax?

    I have a scenario where a customer managed to buy without any tax being added, and since I am in Australia, it's pretty hard to stuff up the Tax set-up in Zen Cart, especially as it's both pretty simple (10% everywhere in Australia on everything I sell) AND pretty well laid out in the Manual (G.K. Hoek).

    But what happened was that a customer from another state (I'm in SA - store set there) purchased and delivered to their state (NSW) and were not charged GST on either the purchase or the shipping. The reason for this seems to be in the [Basis for Product Tax] and [Basis for Product Tax] variables which were both set to [Store].

    FWIW when the variable was set at [Store] the tax would always calculate correctly if:

    - either billing or shipping (or both) state was SA (ie store location);
    - billing state was not shipping state

    ie only when the billing state and shipping state were THE SAME and NEITHER were the store location state would the error occur.

    I've fixed it by simply setting the variable to Billing or Shipping and this fixes the problem, but from my understanding of what the [Store] variable means it should have worked anyway.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Zen Cart 1.3.7.1
    Database Patch Level: 1.3.7.1
    v1.3.7.1 [2007-10-06 12:54:56] (Fresh Installation)

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Australian GST not calculating correctly using "Store" as basis of tax?

    The lack of any sort of feedback/comment/help on a TAXATION issue is very concerning. I would definitely appreciate some sort of comment.

    So how do I ENFORCE a tax everywhere if the "Store" setting doesn't work? Do I have to set up Zones for every other country?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Australian GST not calculating correctly using "Store" as basis of tax?

    FWIW I have solved my current problem by writing a new function that checks whether the selected shipping address is from Australia (country_id =13). By calling this new function from the tpl_checkout_shipping_default.php page I can expand the zen_count_shipping_modules() if statement to include this new check and halt the checkout process as per zen-cart SOP.

    But what I REALLY need to know is whether the STORE setting NOT working is a bug or not. And if so does the next version of zen cart fix this?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Australian GST not calculating correctly using "Store" as basis of tax?

    Quote Originally Posted by lotii10396 View Post
    But what I REALLY need to know is whether the STORE setting NOT working is a bug or not. And if so does the next version of zen cart fix this?
    I'm not convinced that there is any bug here, but I haven't attempted to set up a fresh store with your specific settings to prove it one way or another. Most often problems related to tax calculations are a result of tax settings not being complete.

    That said, there were significant improvements to the tax calculation code in v1.3.8.
    The easiest way to find out if they fix your particular issue is to install it and try it out ... in a separate folder+database of course.
    .

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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Australian GST not calculating correctly using "Store" as basis of tax?

    G'day lotii10396

    > FWIW I have solved my current problem by writing a new function that checks whether
    > the selected shipping address is from Australia (country_id =13). By calling this new
    > function from the tpl_checkout_shipping_default.php page I can expand the

    Congratulations on reinventing the wheel. This same mod (or one with a similar function) is a part of the AustPost (improved) shipping module.

    > But what I REALLY need to know is whether the STORE setting NOT working
    > is a bug or not.

    There is no bug as far as I'n aware of, and I've installed or setup several zen-carts for Australian clients.

    Hopefully you realise that there are two different tax issues at play here. One of them relates to whether tax is charged on your products, the other determines whether tax needs to be charged on shipping.

    In both cases in order for tax to be correctly charged you need to specify the non-taxed rate in the product costs, and then declare them as taxable items within Australia (using the Tax zones).

    As for taxation charges on shipping costs, these should calculate correctly as long as the basis of shipping tax is set to 'shipping' and you enter the correct shipping rates (non taxed), however, if you are using the 'original' AustPost shipping module I think you'll find the shipping tax will be incorrect. This is one of the things I fixed in the Austpost "Improved" module. The problem was that the quotes obtained from the austpost server always included GST for Australian type services, and was exclusive of GST for overseas type services. The zencart 'totals' module had no way to determine which prices had GST and which didn't. It based its calculations based on the admin settings. As such, to make the tax 'work' correctly, the AustPost 'improved' module includes code to firstly determine wether GST is required or not, and if so it substracts the GST amount from the quote given by the Aust Post server so that when zen-cart totals the costs and adds Taxes the correct results are produced.

    Anyway, the point I'm trying to get at is that no there isn't any bug with zencart itself and its taxation code (that I'm aware of), so if you do have a problem in this regard it is most likely to be your settings.

    Cheers
    Rod

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Australian GST not calculating correctly using "Store" as basis of tax?

    Gday Rod,

    appreciate your thoughts.

    Quote Originally Posted by RodG View Post
    Congratulations on reinventing the wheel. This same mod (or one with a similar function) is a part of the AustPost (improved) shipping module.
    Sometimes it is just easier to write patched code - 90min of examination and coding solved my immediate problem. I am using your shipping module, and do not have any problems with this, it is working fine and calculating tax correctly.

    Quote Originally Posted by RodG View Post

    > But what I REALLY need to know is whether the STORE setting NOT working
    > is a bug or not.

    There is no bug as far as I'n aware of, and I've installed or setup several zen-carts for Australian clients.
    On Page 114 of the manual it explains how Zen Cart uses State/Province and Zone info to determine tax calculations. It also talks about how using the "Store" option is the only way to calculate tax if you do not collect any zone information for billing or shipping. So my reading of this is that the Store option does not use any customer zone information to calculate tax, only the zone info (and associated local tax) that you enter into for your store. So from my understanding of zen-cart this is the only manner in which you can "force" tax to be charged at all times without having to set zones for each and every country........

    If this is the case then there should not be tax calculation variance under any circumstances - but I definitely have tax on/off variance.


    Quote Originally Posted by RodG View Post

    Hopefully you realise that there are two different tax issues at play here. One of them relates to whether tax is charged on your products, the other determines whether tax needs to be charged on shipping.

    In both cases in order for tax to be correctly charged you need to specify the non-taxed rate in the product costs, and then declare them as taxable items within Australia (using the Tax zones).

    As for taxation charges on shipping costs, these should calculate correctly as long as the basis of shipping tax is set to 'shipping' and you enter the correct shipping rates (non taxed), however, if you are using the 'original' AustPost shipping module I think you'll find the shipping tax will be incorrect. This is one of the things I fixed in the Austpost "Improved" module. The problem was that the quotes obtained from the austpost server always included GST for Australian type services, and was exclusive of GST for overseas type services. The zencart 'totals' module had no way to determine which prices had GST and which didn't. It based its calculations based on the admin settings. As such, to make the tax 'work' correctly, the AustPost 'improved' module includes code to firstly determine wether GST is required or not, and if so it substracts the GST amount from the quote given by the Aust Post server so that when zen-cart totals the costs and adds Taxes the correct results are produced.
    Yep, understand all that.


    Quote Originally Posted by RodG View Post
    Anyway, the point I'm trying to get at is that no there isn't any bug with zencart itself and its taxation code (that I'm aware of), so if you do have a problem in this regard it is most likely to be your settings.
    As I said before, the tax setup for Australia is pretty simple and clearly spelled out in the book, so I'm still a little mystified as to how I am getting tax variance on orders depending on what Australian States are selected for billing and shipping addresses. One tax class - One zone - all the states in the same zone, but hey, I'll take your word for it not being a bug.

    What I'll do is simply upgrade my test version of the site (as per other reply - thanx) and start checking my code/settings.

    I just wanted to make sure that this wasn't a bug before I started the investigation work..........

    Thanks again for all replies.

    Adrian (Unley)

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Australian GST not calculating correctly using "Store" as basis of tax?

    Which payment and shipping modules do you have enabled?
    .

    Zen Cart - putting the dream of business ownership within reach of anyone!
    Donate to: DrByte directly or to the Zen Cart team as a whole

    Remember: Any code suggestions you see here are merely suggestions. You assume full responsibility for your use of any such suggestions, including any impact ANY alterations you make to your site may have on your PCI compliance.
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Australian GST not calculating correctly using "Store" as basis of tax?

    G'day Adrian,

    > As I said before, the tax setup for Australia is pretty simple and
    > clearly spelled out in the book,

    I don't have the book, so I can't really comment on this.

    > so I'm still a little mystified as to how I am getting tax variance on
    > orders depending on what Australian States are selected for billing > and shipping addresse

    Me neither, but I can tell you that we don't use the States as a basis of tax. We use Countries.

    Basically, we have two different zones set up, one for Australia, the other for the rest of the world. These are set/defined under
    localisation/zone definitions.

    It seems to work for us.

    Cheers
    Rod

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Australian GST not calculating correctly using "Store" as basis of tax?

    Quote Originally Posted by DrByte View Post
    Which payment and shipping modules do you have enabled?
    The set-up is pretty basic - no real-time processing of cards.

    Payment

    Ceon Manual Card v1.2.0
    File Version: 1.2.0
    Database Version: 1.2.0

    Shipping

    Australia Post (VCSWEB)
    Store Pickup

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Australian GST not calculating correctly using "Store" as basis of tax?

    Quote Originally Posted by RodG View Post

    ....but I can tell you that we don't use the States as a basis of tax. We use Countries.

    Basically, we have two different zones set up, one for Australia, the other for the rest of the world. These are set/defined under
    localisation/zone definitions.

    It seems to work for us....
    I only have the one Zone Definition (no rest of the world) which of course contains just one country (Australia) with the default All Zones (ie states) selected. My understanding is that although you do need to have them listed, the states are not being used as a determining basis of tax as in my case they all reside under the same country + zone definition. Which is why I find it all a bit mysterious that the tax can switch off with orders that have different states selected - it just shouldn't do that.

    I know you don't think this problem is a bug, but remember I am not saying there is any problem when you choose tax to be applied using the SHIPPING or BILLING options, these work fine and are the settings I imagine most people use. It only seems to be screwy when the tax settings are set to STORE.

    But I need to enforce the GST on all sales (reasons unimportant), and from what I can tell there is no other "simple" option but to use the STORE setting.

    Having said that you say you have a zone definition for "the rest of the world". I haven't done this because couldn't see an easy way to assign all of the other countries to this zone, however if it can be easily done then I can just associate the relevant tax class to this zone as well which would solve my problem.

    So can I ask how you did this? Adrian

 

 
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