Tax Exempt Customers for Woocommerce

Tax Exempt

I recently had a client who uses WordPress and Woocommerce for his e-commerce site ask me to come up with a method of making some customers tax exempt. He primarily sells to retail customers, but he has a number of resellers who use the site. The resellers should not pay sales tax, even though they reside in a state which does charge sales tax for retail customers.

I found some information on Woocommerce’s site which recommended extending the capabilities for the “customer” user role and adding an action to set the value of “set_is_vat_exempt” into the child theme’s functions.php in order to make some customers tax exempt. Unfortunately, the code snippet, which as of this writing hadn’t been updated since 2013, didn’t work, throwing a fatal PHP error on the test site and taking the entire site down.

Although, in the end, the fix was simple, it took a while for me to come up with a working solution, so I’d like to share it here, hopefully saving someone else the time and trouble of setting up tax exempt customers in Woocommerce. I’ve tested this approach using WordPress 4.9.6 and Woocommerce 3.4.2.

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