When my customers use Paypal Express (especially if they click the button from the cart page), they bypass my Magento tax configurations. When they enter the Paypal page, Paypal has no tax calculated because the customer did not enter their location information yet. Now when they enter their info, Paypal does not seem to communicate back to Magento to grab my tax configuration. When the customer pays and gets redirected back to Magento, their purchase is ready for confirmation, but still no tax calculation.

When not using Paypal Express, tax gets calculated fine. Is this a known 1.4 issue? Do I also need to set taxes in Paypal? It seems like any logic that happens on the Magento checkout page gets bypassed when customers use Paypal Express, so I'm curious what's going on here.

  • My specific question is for tax, but other attributes could apply like shipping, currency, etc.
  • with paid extensions that offer free support you should contact support first.
    – Anton S
    Commented Jun 7, 2013 at 13:21
  • I mentioned the onestepcheckout, but I don't think that's the issue. Users bypass the checkout page (no matter what it is) and head straight to paypal without sending location information. I'm not super familiar with Paypal settings. Do you think it's something to configure there as well?
    – kevando
    Commented Jun 8, 2013 at 19:08
  • you have to ensure that user location is detected before you redirect them to paypal and taxes applied in cart by their location.
    – Anton S
    Commented Jun 9, 2013 at 20:55
  • Gotcha. Is there a normal way to do this? As of right now, I just plan on using javascript to hide the express checkout link until location is set.
    – kevando
    Commented Jun 10, 2013 at 14:20
  • probably the smartest choice , as paypal can be accessed by button in cart then hiding would be needed yes
    – Anton S
    Commented Jun 10, 2013 at 22:29

1 Answer 1


As @fooman pointed out there is no way to dynamically re-query Magento for shipping rate selection. Due to this many companies elect to remove the button on the cart and instead provide it as an option on the first part of the checkout. You can also elect to have a modal window prompt for the shipping destination zipcode (or even the entire shipping address) before whisking away to Paypal.

However, most of this is terse to the customer because they're electing to use Paypal which theoretically would have most of that information already stored.

So the preferred solution is to configure Default Tax Destination Calculation setting. As mentioned by @fooman this is located in System > Configuration > Tax > Default Tax Destination Calculation and will provide all quotes the default tax unless specified otherwise during checkout.

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