Should there be a VAT exemption for Shopify users in Europe?

If you run a Shopify store in Europe, then this might be of interest to you. There is a petition going on to let Shopify support VAT exemption, which it still doesn’t do. According to the petition which was started by Jeroen Krielaars, many Shopify users are frustrated by the fact that “If a EU based customer with a valid VAT number places an order in a different EU country, no VAT should be added to the sales price. Shopify does not support a way to automatically validate VAT numbers during the checkout process. This makes it impossible to exclude business-to-business costumers from VAT.”

Furthermore Jeroen adds that when he and many other EU Shopify merchants contacted the company they got the following response:

“Thanks so much for the valuable feedback. We will take note of this and discuss it with the technical staff. The solution we offer is that you validate the VAT numbers yourself, and make a refund of the VAT to those who are eligible.”

Other than a lot of people who start a petition, Jeroen actually has a proposed solution, all it would take would be for Shopify to add a field during checkout, where a customer would enter their VAT number, this would then be run through a publicly accessible database. If the VAT number is a match with the database, no VAT will be added on top of the sales price.

What do you think, should Shopify make it easier for customers to be exempt from VAT? If you want to sign the petition, you can do so here.

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