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Stripe Launches Tax for Platforms to Expand Easy Tax Compliance

Stripe, a financial infrastructure platform for businesses, launched Stripe Tax for platforms, enabling platforms using Stripe Connect to offer Stripe Tax as a service to their customers.

Michael Carney, product lead for Stripe Tax, said, “help with sales tax and VAT has been our platform users’ most commonly requested feature. We built Stripe Tax because it’s a logical extension of payment processing, and now we’ve built Tax for platforms so platforms can offer it to their customers and help them with all aspects of the transaction lifecycle.”

Thousands of software platforms such as Mindbody, Squarespace, and WooCommerce are built on Connect. They operate in virtually every industry, from hairdressing and home repair to holiday rentals, and provide millions of businesses of all sizes with access to the online economy. And with Tax for platforms, they can now make it even easier for businesses to sell cross-border, by providing a no-code solution for the complex tax requirements that international expansion brings with it.

Platforms have long supported the payments needs of their users, allowing them to do business with customers around the world through Connect. But they have not been able to provide their users with tools for managing tax obligations on those transactions. This has forced users to manage complex tax compliance on their own—exposing them to penalties and interest on top of uncollected taxes if they get it wrong.

The challenge is huge, in large part because the tax landscape is constantly changing: last year there were more than 600 sales tax rule and rate changes in the US alone, and an even larger number of VAT changes in the EU. A recent Stripe report found that 18% of businesses cite tax complexity as the reason they’re not pursuing international expansion.

Stripe Tax, launched in 2021, automatically calculates and collects the correct sales tax, VAT, and GST across more than 40 countries and all US states. Tax also speeds up the filing process through automated, location-specific reporting for each US state, and provides summarized reports that can be filed in all countries in which a business is registered to collect tax. The number of businesses using Tax has tripled over the last 12 months, but the product had only been available to direct Stripe users, not to those using Stripe through a platform.

With Tax for platforms, platforms can now offer Tax to the businesses that run on them—allowing them to meet their sales tax, VAT, and GST obligations automatically. Tax also provides platforms with the opportunity to offer a more unified solution, differentiate their offering, and tap into new revenue streams.

Platforms that offer a complete set of support services boost the economic success of their users while also enhancing the stickiness of their product. Thinkific is a software platform that provides creators with the tools they need to design, market, and sell online education. Now, it makes it easy for its users to calculate, collect, and report all the applicable taxes on the payments they receive.

Peter Fitzpatrick, vice president of commerce at Thinkific, said, “we kept hearing from our creators that they were really struggling with taxes. They’re selling digital goods all over the country and the world. Keeping up with the different tax laws is nearly impossible. With Stripe Tax, we’ll be able to offer a solution that automates tax calculation and collection on transactions for our creators, so they can spend less time on taxes and more time growing their business.”

Source: Stripe

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