Customers are not seeing the VAT field at the checkout – why might that be?

Whether customers are shown the VAT field depends upon a number of things, so you should check each of them:

  1. What taxation zone have you configured, and where is the customer’s taxable address?
    If, for example, you have configured the EU as your taxation zone, and the customer is from Denmark, then they won’t see the VAT field because they are not in the EU. So, you will want to check all relevant settings such as the taxation zones and the rules for deciding where your customer’s taxable address is (based on billing address, shipping address, and whether self-certification can be involved; and remember that for the “local pickup” delivery method, the taxable address is the pickup location, not the customer’s location).
  2. Are your base country settings involved?
    If the customer’s taxation country is the store’s “base country”, then settings related to this come into play. (In many tax regimes, customers in the base country should always be charged VAT, so won’t be offered the chance to enter their VAT number unless you specifically turn on the setting to require that their VAT number is collected anyway).
  3. Is the shopping basket/cart taxable?
    If there are no taxable items in the cart, then the customer will not be offered the opportunity to establish that they are tax-exempt. So, check what tax class you have put the product in, and what tax table entries there are for that tax class (in combination with the customer’s taxation country).
  4. Is your theme broken, or another plugin causing an incompatibility?
    For testing purposes, temporarily de-activate all other plugins (except WooCommerce), and switch to a default theme (e.g. TwentyTwenty). Then reload the checkout page. Is it now present? If so, then another component has introduced an error on the checkout page which prevents other components from working; you will need to use a process of elimination (selectively re-activating and de-activating) to identify which component is culpable.

If after this you still cannot find the cause, please raise a support ticket, and tell us what you learned at every stage above, and supply instructions on how to reproduce the problem (i.e. what product to put in the cart; what country to choose for billing/shipping, etc.)


Posted in: WooCommerce EU/UK VAT Compliance