Adding a service charge to items sold online

We are looking at using the Online Store function of Square.  I have items set up, the tax rate set up, but need to also add a 20% service charge to the items sold online.  I tried to add it under taxes and call it service charge, but when I do a sample transaction and go to check out, the receipt shows the retail amount for the item and then combines the taxes and service charge all under the tax amount.  Is there any way to break this out so it shows as two separate line items on the customers and our receipt?  Thanks

Message 1 of 23
1 Best Answer
Super Seller Alumni

Best Answer

Unfortunately, that will not work and it will throw off your tax report for paying your sales tax.  There isn't a way to add a fee to the sale.  Realy the only way to do this is to create a new item with the online price.  This will make inventory tracking a bit of a pain.

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Message 2 of 23
Super Seller Alumni

Best Answer

Unfortunately, that will not work and it will throw off your tax report for paying your sales tax.  There isn't a way to add a fee to the sale.  Realy the only way to do this is to create a new item with the online price.  This will make inventory tracking a bit of a pain.

Message 2 of 23
Beta Member

I see this is an old thread, and service charges are now an option in square. I tried starting a new thread, but it's been a couple days and no reply, so I thought I'd try here.


Is it not possible to add a service charge to online orders that are shipped?


Let's say I'm trying to add a packaging service charge.

I can add it to pick-up or delivery, but it doesn't seem to apply to shipped orders.


I can understand if it was a tax that would default to the shipping address, but it's a service charge that shouldn't have anything to do with taxes or where it's going.


Service charges do not seem to apply to digital items either.

Message 3 of 23

Hey @crystalimages,


Thanks for writing back in 👋


Service charges can't be applied to digital products, or to shipping at this time. As a workaround, you can adjust your pricing, or shipping rate to take packaging cost into account. A service fee can be added to local delivery order to account for the delivery fee that applies for delivery order - learn more here. We'd be happy to pass this feedback on to the team for consideration! 





Message 4 of 23

Please add an option so we can charge a service fee for shipped items. The majority of my sales are SHIPPED and I can't charge a "convenience fee" on items that are shipped. I can charge it for pick-up items. It seems that just adding another radio button for SHIPPED ITEMS would resolve the issue.


Upping the price of my product isn't a good business practice and shouldn't be the answer. I want to be upfront with my customers so they know what they are paying for.


Thanks in advance!

Message 5 of 23
Square Community Moderator

Hey there @OnLineSeller


So I make sure I am understanding you right you mean an additional fee besides the shipping fee? If so I will make sure to pass this request over to our product team for their visibility and consideration when working on updates.

Community Moderator, Square
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Message 6 of 23

Yes sir...an additional fee besides the shipping fee. The customer would see these charges:


Total purchase price if items -$10

Tax - .53

Convenience Fee (4%) - .40

Shipping - $6.00

Order total: $16.93


I think I did it as item level tax but shipping is not an option to check.

Message 7 of 23
Square Community Moderator

Understood @OnLineSeller


I will pass your request along with this example to our product team. 

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Message 8 of 23

Thank you.


I am also having another issue (if I need to post in another thread, please let me know) that I think adding SHIPPING to item level tax will resolve as well.


I have food items and non-food items which are taxed at two different rates in VA. The POS calculates them correctly; however, it does not work on the online sales. Customers are charged the same tax rate regardless of what they purchase. The only way I can get the taxes charged correctly is on pick-up or delivery and the majority of my items are shipped.


I called support and was told that for my shipped orders, I will need to choose between taxing everything at the food rate or taxing everything at the non-food rate. This is not right...customers need to be charged correctly.


Thank you again for your help! It is greatly appreciated. I hope you have a blessed day!

Message 9 of 23
Square Community Moderator

Yes at this time Square Online is only able to charge one Tax Rate per location. This is also a feature request that our team is aware of and currently investigating how to make it possible on Square Online.

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Message 10 of 23

Stupid question, how do I add a 3.5% service fee to every transaction total? I did it a while back when I first got square and want to change it from 3.0% to 3.5%. I can’t remember how I did it! Any help would be appreciated!

Message 11 of 23

How do I attach a fee to each credit card transaction?

Message 12 of 23
Super Seller

Hello @Middy !


That's a good question but a slightly dangerous one. First thing you'll have to do is verify with your local authorities that adding a swipe fee surcharge isn't against the law: it is in quite a few places.


Regardless of the legality, I think it'll be a little easier to think of it in a different way: I'd set up a 3-4% discount that you could use for cash sales instead. That's usually not an issue legally. Just post a note at your register stating you have a discount for cash sales.


But I'd like to pose another way of thinking about credit card fees, which are definitely a cost of doing business anymore. Looking at your profile, I see you've been on the community since July of last year. I'm going to assume you've been making sales since then for the sake of this argument. I recommend doing some math on your sales history and seeing how much your cc fees are costing you:


Let's say on average you make 50 sales a day with an average check of $10. If your business is like mine, you're running about 80% credit card sales, or 40 of those transactions. So you're seeing fees on $400 of your sales. To keep the math relatively easy, I'm going to assume every sale is swiped/tapped in person at 2.6% + 10¢. That means on those 40 transactions, you're paying $10.40 plus $4. Now, take that 14.40 and divide it by your total sales, which would equal 2.8%. Instead of dealing with discounts or credit card fees, I would look at my prices. In this scenario, you'd have to add 28¢ to each transaction to offset the cc fees. I really don't think anyone is going to notice that increase in your pricing.


If, after that you're still wanting to do the cc fee, that's your choice of course. Square has the ability to make Service Charges you can apply to your tickets. Main Dashboard -> Account & Settings -> Business -> Service Charges. You can create a charge on this screen. In your point of sale, there is a service charge section in your item library (where gift cards, rewards, etc are). Tap that and choose the CC fee you've created.

More information on Service Charges


Hope this helps!

Ryan Wanner
R&R Coffee Café
Golden Pine Coffee Roasters
Colorado Springs, CO, USA

Super Seller: I know stuff.
Beta Tester: I break stuff.
he/him/hey you/coffee guy/whatever.

Happy Selling!
Message 13 of 23

Washington State has a new mandatory "bag" charge of 8 cents, plus tax for any paper or recycleable bag used. Single use bags are now banned. Being a restaurant, I am trying to figure out how to implement this charge online, other than having the customer choose the bag charge as an item option because if the customer decides not to choose the bag and orders alot, I have to charge them separately when they come in to pick up their order. Not good customer service. Help!

Message 14 of 23
Square Community Moderator

Hi @Karyn1 - Welcome to The Seller Community, it's always nice to see a new face 😊


I can totally see how charging the customer separately isn't the best for customer service. A great work around for this new tax could be to us our service charge option.


You can create various service charges from your Dashboard and apply them on the Point of Sale app or the Invoices app.

Note: You will need to upgrade to the newly redesigned Square Point of Sale app and run the latest version of the app to use the free service charge feature.. Follow our guide to get started with the newest version of Square Point of Sale.


Set up service charges


To create and edit service charges online:

1. Go to Account & Settings in your online Square Dashboard.
2. Click Business > Service charges > Create a service charge.
3. Name your charge, choose if you want a percentage-based charge (%) or a fixed service charge ($), and enter the amount of the charge.
4. Choose the location where the charge applies, and add any taxes that apply.
5. Click Save to add your new service charge.


Apply service charges to a sale

Once you create a service charge on your Square Dashboard, you can manually apply it to transactions from your Point of Sale, the Invoices app, or Square Dashboard. You can add service charges to orders that include items, custom amounts, or both. You cannot apply a service charge multiple times on the same sale or invoice, though.


As always, feel free to stop by The Community with question, concerns and even feature requests. We are more than happy to assist.


Community Moderator, Square
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Message 15 of 23

I would, but I would prefer to use the free option and not have to pay monthly service charges.

Please let me know when this will be available to the free plan. Running a business on an island destination location, we must budget appropriately. I am currently using the bag charge as an item and when paying taxes, I deduct all the bag charges from my totals. It is very cumbersome and is making me shop around for other POS systems that can accomodate us. I feel it is unfortunate that Square will not make this feature available to the free plan, as this is not the business fault or choosing. It is our local government that is mandating it, making the businesses strapped. Thank you.

Message 16 of 23
Beta Member

You do understand that the "service charge" option is available on the free Square POS app?
What Ria said above is how you set up the service charge. Not changing to a subscription plan. 

Service charges are located under your business settings where you find your tax settings, as these 2 things are somewhat similar in function. This isn't adding charges to you for using the option.


On the POS in person, you have to add the service charge manually by tapping the service charge and adding it as you would an item. Keep in mind you must have the latest version of Square on your device. Some older devices can't get the update and can't use service charges.


You can set up service charges to be automatically added to items in the online store for Delivery, Pickup, and self-serve. 

You just can't add it to shipped items, which is the issue I was having. 



Here's a link the the Square Support page on how to set these up for both the POS and Online sales.


Message 17 of 23

Thank you crystalimages. That worked! I am now a happy camper 😁

Message 18 of 23

I keep trying to have the service charge auto apply to my online orders, but it just won't show up. I have followed the steps multiple times. Any suggestions? Shouldn't the charge show up when I get to the cart summary before I put the CC info in?


Message 19 of 23
Beta Member

Is this for a shipped item? The service charge only works for pickup or delivery items.

This is an issue I also have. I guess their thought was you wouldn't add a service charge to a shipment and include all necessary fees in the price. 

Message 20 of 23

Yes it's for shipped items. I don't understand why the option for "shipping" can't be added like pickup and delivery. This really seems like it should be an easy fix. 

Message 21 of 23