Taxation in various countries differs considerably, and requires a quite different structure for the calculation. For technical reasons, Kartris has this value set in the web.config rather than in the config settings, meaning it is not changeable from the back end of Kartris.

This value gets set during the setup routine, and it's unlikely most stores would ever need to change this. But if for any reason you do, you can find the tag in the web.config file and change it manually.

The possible values are:

  • EU
  • US
  • Canada
  • SIMPLE

The tax settings of your store depend to a large degree on where you are based.

To simplify matters, Kartris features a 'Regional Setup Wizard' (found within the 'Regional Setup' menu). This walks you through some simple questions and then sets up the various tax settings for you, including determining which countries/states are activated and set to have tax charged to them.

The currency section ('Regional Setup > Currencies') allows you to set the currencies that you want to use on your web site, and the relative values of these. You can use any currency you wish on your store, including as a default currency.

You will see something like this:

Currencies

The first currency listed is your default one. It is the currency you use to set prices for your products, and the currency customers will see unless they choose to override it.

To change your default currency, simple edit the values in the default slot. You will need to know the ISO codes of your currency, which can be looked up here:

ISO 4217 - currency ISO codes

You can also determine how the currency is laid out using the two format fields as well as choose which decimal separator is used. Some currencies have the unit *after* the value, and in much of Europe, the comma is used instead of a point/period as the decimal separator.

You can edit the other currencies in a similar way, but for these, you can also set the exchange rate relative to the default currency.

If you use multiple currencies, Kartris has an exchange rate lookup feature, which will look up current prices with the click of a button and fill them into the form. You can then make any manual adjustments, if desired, and submit the new prices. Please contact us for more information if you wish to use this.

Live currency update

If you are in Europe, then typically you will want to enter prices on your web site inclusive of tax. Stores based in the US, or European stores that deal primarily with business customers, will normally want to enter prices exclusive of tax.

This is controlled by the general.tax.pricesinctax config setting which should be set to 'y' for tax inclusive prices, and 'n' for ex-tax prices.

Note that for tax inclusive prices, tax is calculated 'per item' rather than per row of the basket. As such, a rounded 'ex tax' price can be calculated. But for ex-tax pricing, tax is applied to each row of the basket. Consequently, it is not possible to show a rounded inc-tax price for individual items, because this would in many cases not quite tally with the actual tax on the order (due to the different rounding used, per-item and per-row) and would be likely to confuse customers or lead to complaints that the site has added up the tax wrongly.  Instead a percentage figure is shown where necessary.

Most stores will typically show a singe price for each item, which might be either inc tax or ex tax. In this case, you should set your frontend.display.showtax config setting to 'n'. If you wish to show the tax associated with an item, set this to 'y'.

The way prices are displayed within Kartris depends on both of the following config settings:

  • frontend.display.showtax
  • general.tax.pricesinctax
The exact format will vary as follows:

Table to show how the two tax config settings affect the display on the site

frontend.display.showtax

y

n

general.tax.pricesinctax

y

Ex tax £8.51 Inc Tax £10.00

Price £10.00

n

Ex tax £10.00 Tax 17.5%

Price £10.00

Note that in all the cases in the table above, the item price is entered in the back end as 10.00, and the tax rate is 17.5%. It is the config setting general.tax.pricesinctax that determines whether this means £10.00 at checkout (£10.00 inc tax) or £11.75 (£10.00 plus 17.5% tax).

Note that if you enter prices into your store ex tax, and then switch to inc tax, the prices won't change (for example, an item entered as £10.00 won't suddenly become £11.75 – it will still be £10.00, just that this will now be considered inc tax instead of ex tax).

To access the shipping page in the back end, go to 'Regional Setup > Shipping'. Shipping is the term we use to refer to all methods of delivering physical products by post, parcel service or courier.

Kartris has a flexible shipping system that lets you define shipping for particular countries/states, order weights/values and for different shipping types. You can also set real-time shipping lookups to handle all or just some shipping possibilities. For example, you may want to ship domestically within the US by one courier, ship orders up to 10kg to Europe by a different courier, and then specify your own pricing for orders to Europe above this weight, and for all other shipping zones.

You can choose to calculate shipping based on the weight of an order, or  value, depending on your frontend.checkout.shipping.calcbyweight config setting. Set to 'y' to calculate by weight, or 'n' to calculate based on order value. Within each band, you can set either a price, or select any real-time shipping provider that you have activated from the Payment and Shipping Gateways section.

You can set up any number of shipping methods for your store, such as 'standard post', 'express post', 'courier' and so on.

You can set up any number of shipping zones for your store. A shipping zone is an area which has its own shipping price levels. Countries and state records will be mapped to the appropriate shipping zone later. At the simplest, you might want a 'home' zone for orders in your own country, a 'regional' zone for countries nearby, and a 'rest of world' zone for everywhere else, for example.

If you want to subdivide your own country into various shipping zones, you can do this by having multiple regional 'country' records each mapped to their own shipping zone. So for example, a store in the UK might decide to have three shipping zones within the UK:

  • United Kingdom - Mainland
  • United Kingdom - Highlands and Islands
  • United Kingdom - Northern Ireland
You would then need to have three corresponding 'country' records, each of which is mapped to its appropriate shipping zone.

Once you have set the methods and shipping zones, you can start to create the actual shipping rates. Click the 'Shipping Methods tab' and then click the 'Rates' link by the first shipping method.

This brings up a list of the bands that are in effect for each shipping zone. You can create any number of bands for each zone to fine tune the shipping price for any weight/value. This process can be repeated for each shipping method.

If a real-time shipping price system like UPS, USPS or Fedex is enabled, you can also specify that this be used for that particular band.

Shipping bands including UPS, USPS and fixed price

Kartris includes support for UPS, USPS and Fedex real-time shipping systems. These use an external web API call to send weight and location details, and then the available shipping method types and their costs are returned. The open plugin architecture of Kartris means other providers can be supported if suitable plugins are crafted. You need a free user account with whichever shipping system(s) you are using, and to set up the plugin within the Payment and Shipping Gateways section of the back end.

To activate UPS as an option, you must first create an account with UPS.

Go to www.ups.com and sign up to create an account. Next, you will need access to the API, and also an 'access key' to retrieve the shipping rates (you need the XML key, when the option is given). You can apply for these here:

https://www.ups.com/upsdeveloperkit?loc=en_US

Note that the UPS web site is almost unfathomably complicated in layout, confusing to find anything, and the forms seem to behave in inexplicable fashion, asking for you to fix errors which are not displayed, wiping your address and other data and so on. Nothing we can do about this unfortunately. You might have to contact UPS support if you cannot figure it out.

Once you have the 'access key', you can start to enter your account details into the UPS settings in Kartris. You will need to refer to UPS documentation with regarding to what values to enter for the various fields.

Once the STATUS field is set to ON, UPS will be available. You can then go to shipping and view the shipping methods and rates. For each band you add, or for the 'all higher orders', you will see an extra text field. You can add 'UPS' or 'USPS' into this, if you want orders meeting this criteria to use real-time shipping. If you want to edit an existing band, you must delete it and create a new one with your preferred shipping provider, or value. This system is therefore very flexible; you can mix both UPS and USPS, specifying one or the other for particular locations (regions) and weights (or costs). You can also have your own static pricing for orders over the limit of what UPS or USPS will deal with (if for example you can use some other provider for large orders, or even hire a truck).

You will need to control not only which countries you will accept orders from, but what tax and shipping will be charged to customers from them. You can access this section at 'Regional Setup > Countries'. This brings up a page showing an overview of countries, like this:

Countries

The default country setting allows you to pre-select a country for users at checkout (and for the basket's shipping price estimate). We generally advise not doing this as customers can sometimes hastily click through the checkout stages without noticing they've just confirmed the default country. By not selecting this setting, you force the customer to actively make a selection and so minimize the chances of them selecting the wrong one.

The USA, Canada and Australia all have provinces or states. If your store is in one of these countries, instead of having a single country record, you will have multiple records - a Country / State record for each state or province. Each of these records has the same country ISO code, but can also accept a regional code (such as two-letter US state code) which may be used by some external systems such as real time shipping price lookups.

You can also view countries by shipping zone. It is up to you which shipping zones you decide to have, and which countries are mapped to them. Each shipping zone is a region of the world (or country, if you have multiple country records) for which the shipping cost will be the same. For example, if your store is in the USA and shipping to France, Germany and Belgium is the same price, then you should have all these countries mapped to the same shipping zone.

If your store is set to EU as the tax regime, you can set for each country whether tax is to be charged or not (boolean). If your store is set to US or Canada, you can set the tax rate that applies for each state.

Countries, expanded
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