How do I add a surcharge to a sale?

This post has been edited by a moderator. Learn more about Square's fees in our Support Center.


How do I add the fee to the customers bill?

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Message 1 of 170
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Verified Answer

Re: Is possible to add surchange to clients that pay us with credit card

Hey there, @Dhorton. Thanks for posting! - and welcome to the Seller Community 👋 Happy to have you.


When it comes to adding a surcharge for your customers, you may want to see how other Sellers have suggested. In addition, you can learn more about how Square processing fees work here: Understanding Our Fees | Square Payments.


Also, we have an informative video too!



We recommend talking to a tax or legal professional for guidance on whether surcharges are permitted in your area. Should you decide to apply a surcharge, it is your responsibility to meet all legal and card network requirements. You can learn more about surcharges here


[This reply was edited by a moderator on August 26, 2020 to offer more visibility into Square's pricing structure.]

169 REPLIES 169

As a second tax is the easiest way. Make sure to post a sign stating your policy though!
Message 2 of 170

I have read several posts in the community regarding this same question and have learned a ton so far. But a few people have mentioned adding a second tax and I am unclear of how to do this? Can someone explain further? Our business is mostly services so everything will be done through square invoices. I have added the fee as a tax, but if our client pays cash, it’s still showing the fee amount as uncollected? Any help in this matter would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks in advance 

Message 3 of 170
Square Community Moderator

Hey @HadleyGrey thanks so much for asking. You will add a second tax in the same way you would create your first tax, if that makes sense. So, you will go to Items > Tax > Create a Tax. If you create a second tax, it will apply both taxes to the sale.


Now, if you are not wanting to apply the fee to cash sales, you can simply toggle off applying the surcharge tax to the sale if they are paying through Point of Sale. Now, if you send an invoice first and then the client shows up in person and attempts to pay in cash, there will be no way for you to remove the second tax from the already existing invoice. You would have two options then, to either complete the transaction as is and then immediately do a partial refund, or to cancel the invoice and create a separate one without that tax applied. 


Hopefully this helps, but please let me know if you need more details or have other questions. Thank you! 🙂

Community Moderator, Square
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Message 4 of 170

I added the surcharge as an additional tax, but it does not show up when someone is paying via a checkout link.  How can I add the surcharge and allow the client to see the itemized charges, when they are paying via a checkout link?

Message 5 of 170

Can you add it as a discount at the end?

Message 6 of 170

Thanks for the info.

We are going to try this method to see if it works out for us. 😊

Message 7 of 170
Square Community Moderator

Excellent! Let us know if you need anything, @HadleyGrey! We are here to help.

Community Moderator, Square
Sign in and click Mark as Best Answer if my reply answers your question.
Message 8 of 170

Amount you are charging divided by 100 - the fee... so for square (3.5% + 0.15) so my fee $150 ÷ 0.965 then add the .15... so, 155.60 is what I charge... 155.60 minus the 3.5% + 0.15 is $150 even

Message 9 of 170

Note (2019): Square's per transaction fee for card payments that are dipped, tapped or swiped is 2.6% + 10c. Learn more in our Support Center.


Create a "Card Processing" tax but set it to 2.83% instead.  If you add the 2.75% tax, the total charge goes up that much more which means Square takes a bit more in processing fees.  By setting it to 2.83%, it almost always comes out to the right amount.  I say almost because of rounding the fee percentage, once in a while it will be $0.01 off, but usually in your favor.


For example, for a $100 item with a 2.75% fee taken would net you $97.25.  So you think, I'll just add a 2.75% tax to the total to make up for it, right?  Now your total charge is $102.75 and Square takes 2.75% of that leaving you with $99.92.  Well that's not right.

With a 2.83% tax added to the $100 item would be a $102.83 total charge.  Square takes their 2.75% from $102.83, which is $2.827825, rounding to a $2.83 fee, leaving you with the expected $100! 🙂



An issue with this is what about when someone pays with cash?  You shouldn't charge the Square processing fee on that order.  You could turn off the processing tax for each item but that is a PITA.  The answer I found is to set up the Dining Options of "Cash" and "Credit Card", with credit card being the default option.  Then in the Taxes section, set up a Tax Rule for the Cash dining option to disable the "2.83% Processing" tax for All Items.  During an order on your register, you will be able to switch between the dining options which then removes the processing tax automatically.


Hope that helps!

Message 10 of 170

Just wanted to hop in here to say, make sure this is legal in your state. Some states have laws against an additional fee for using credit cards. I'm not a lawyer, but I would create my policy to offer a cash discount.


Here's a website with more info on the ability to charge credit card processing fees:



Message 11 of 170

@Shots_Billiards @NLAUtah @FACTplayers Awesome job helping out here! 💯


THere are a few states that actually prohibit passing along surcharges to your customer, so definitely check in with a tax professional or your local government to be sure. 


Should you decide to apply a surcharge, it is your responsibility to meet all legal and card network requirements. If you intend to enact a surcharge policy, you must first notify both Visa and MasterCard:

VISA Merchant Surcharge Notification Form
MasterCard Surcharge Disclosure Form


You can check out our Support Center article Can I Apply a Surcharge to Square Sales for more details. 



Product Manager | Square, Inc.
Message 12 of 170

Your Visa and Mastercard Surcharge links are not any good

Message 13 of 170

@Learner - Thanks for pointing that out! Just updated them. 🙂

Product Manager | Square, Inc.
Message 14 of 170

Discover also has a form to notify them: https://www.discoversurcharge.com/


Here's some other links to VISA rules/reg/info that applies (though some of these PDF's obviously have NOT been updated since the 2015 court decision allowing FL merchants to surcharge):





VISA  is VERY particular in signage rules: Must be 32 point Arial font at point-of-entry and 16 point Arial at point-of-sale.

Message 15 of 170

If someone charges a processing fee and they are from New York, can you go after them for the fee?  Also, will square help support you if one of their retailers scammed you? 


Message 16 of 170

I'm only giving the info as I know it thus far:

1) I'm not sure how rules on no-fee apply if seller and buyer are in different states where one state has rule and other doesn't so will leave that to someone else to hopefully reply, but if both of you are in a no-fee state and you were charged a fee, the way I was told to handle it was to contact Visa or MasterCard or Discover to file a complaint.

2) Square isn't eBay or such where the transaction is done via their platform. They only do the payment processing so there isn't any reason why Square support would get involved. You wouldn't look to USPS or UPS/FedEx if an item wasn't what you wanted, would you?

Message 17 of 170

No one really answered the question. It's great that many interjected post about the legalities of surcharges but the question was HOW. Creating a tax doesn't really fit the bill as you assign taxes to items. This enhancement is something Square should add.

Message 18 of 170

@AcesRun Thanks for the feedback with this. This isn't something that's on our roadmap but if anything changes we'll update everyone. 


The workarounds in this thread, combined with a surcharge calculator, would be your best chance at accomplishing this 👍🏼



Message 19 of 170
Beta Member

Unless I'm missing something on this Monday morning, the workaround doesn't work for e-commerce options. 


For instance, the % fee + $.30 processing fee for API orders adds up to about 10% on an average coffee ring of $5. I could add a convenience tax of 10% to recapture most of those fees. The problem is the tax is applied at the register as well. So customers that come inside the store and order at the register would be charged unless staff physically removed the item from the sale. This is not an acceptable solution when running 40 customers through the register per hour. Staff will inconsistently remember to remove the tax and customer service issues will follow. 


I tried creating a rule to remove the tax but the only options are "for here" or "to go" this does not accurately represent e-commerce sales versus in-person sales. 


There must be a way to better manage this process. The pandemic has more than tripled our online and API (app) ordering. Increasing prices is not an option due to partner locations and the need for pricing consistency. So, we are left trying to figure out how to absorb nearly 10% higher cost on selling to customers we already have but choosing different ordering option.

Message 20 of 170

Great!  Thank you for the info.  Very helpful!

Message 21 of 170