Thinkific EU VAT Guide

We may earn commissions if you buy via links on our website. Commissions don’t affect our opinions or evaluations. Learn more.

Thinkific doesn’t automatically calculate sales tax and VAT for students buying your products in the EU. 

There are tools that you can connect to your Thinkific account, like Quaderno and Invoicebus, which make it easy to keep your business tax-compliant in the EU.

Key Takeaways:

  • Thinkific requires you to calculate and collect your own sales taxes for the EU
  • Quaderno is our recommended software to use with Thinkific to calculate EU VAT
  • You can also use an external payment solution or manually calculate EU taxes 

Does Thinkific Automatically Calculate EU VAT?

No. Thinkific Payments (TCommerce) only manages the sales tax for students purchasing your products in the US and Canada. 

If you have students in the EU purchasing your products, you will be responsible for calculating and charging VAT. 

However, Thinkific offers several options to make it easier to calculate and collect VAT.

How to Remain VAT Compliant for the EU Using Thinkific

There are several ways to ensure your Thinkific sales are VAT compliant.

The easiest way to do this is using Quaderno. But you could also use Invoicebus, manually calculate your VAT, or use an external payment solution like Shopify.

The method you choose will depend on your business and what works best for you. We’ll look at each option and who it’s most suitable for.



Quaderno is a tax compliance software. It automatically calculates and collects the VAT and sales taxes and can generate and send invoices to your Thinkific EU customers.

Quaderno also tracks how much you owe, so you can easily file your taxes. It will also alert you if you need to register your business in new places for tax purposes.

These features help to keep your business tax compliant across the world.

Quaderno is a paid platform with prices starting at $49 per month.

Who Is Quaderno Best for?

Quaderno is best for Thinkific users who sell in many countries, as its database covers over 14,000 tax jurisdictions.

We also recommend it to those who sell primarily outside the US and Canada. This is because you cannot use Thinkific Payments (TCommerce) with Quaderno; instead, you need to use Stripe or PayPal. Thinkific Payments are optimal for US and Canadian customers.

How to Use Quaderno and Thinkific

There are two options for using Quaderno to help keep your business VAT compliant for your EU sales on Thinkific. These include either using a Thinkific checkout or a Quaderno checkout. 

There are two main differences between the options.

  • Tax Amount – The Thinkific checkout option deducts the tax from the product cost, and the Quaderno checkout allows you to add the tax percentage on top of the product cost, depending on the buyer’s location.
  • Enrollment – If you use a Thinkific checkout, your students will be automatically enrolled in the course they purchase. The Quaderno checkout option requires you to manually enroll students or use an automation tool like Zapier to do so.

We’ll look at both options in-depth so you can decide which is best for your business. 

Use a Thinkific Checkout

The first option is to continue to use your Thinkific checkout. 

If you choose to continue using the Thinkific checkout, all customers will pay the same price regardless of where they live. The tax percentage will be deducted from the cost of the purchase.

For example, if you sell in two locations with a tax rate of 20% and the other 5%, the customers will pay the same amount. You will receive the remaining 80% of the first and 95% of the second. This would look as follows:

Location 1Location 2
Product Price$100$100
Tax Amount20%5%
Customer Pays$100$100
You Receive$80$95

How to Use a Thinkific Checkout with Quaderno

To enable Quaderno to automatically calculate your VAT for EU customers, you need to link Quaderno with your Thinkific payment processor (PayPal or Stripe) and tell Thinkific where the customers purchase your products from, so it knows how much tax to charge.

To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Ensure your Thinkific account is connected to either Stripe or PayPal.
    This is done through your settings, under “Payments.”
Ensure your Thinkific account
  1. Sign up for a Quaderno account.
  1. Go to “Integrations” on your Quaderno dashboard.
  1. Follow the steps to integrate either Stripe or PayPal (depending on which you use for Thinkific) with Quaderno.
Next, you’ll need to head back to Thinkific and add some custom sign-up fields. These will tell Quaderno where your student is based so it knows how much tax to charge.
  1. Go to the Thinkific settings.
  2. Click “Orders and Accounts.”
  3. Select “Custom Sign Up Fields.”
Custom Sign Up Fields
  1. Click “Add Field” twice, so you end up with two new custom fields.
Add Field twice
  1. Complete the first custom field as follows:
    • Custom Field Name: Country
    • Field Type: Country
    • Tick the Field: Make this custom field required.
  1. Complete the second custom field as follows:
    • Custom Field Name: Postal Code
    • Field Type: Text
    • Tick the Field: Make this custom field required.
  1. Save both of the fields.
Save both of the fields

Quaderno will now know where your customers are buying your products from so they can correctly calculate the taxes and send the invoices. The invoice will be automatically generated for each payment.

Using the example above, the invoice would be broken down as follows:

Location 1Location 2
Total Cost$100$100

Use a Quaderno Checkout

If you want the tax amount added on top of your prices, you will need to use a Quaderno checkout. This option allows you to set the price of the course and then, depending on the location of the customer, add the tax on top.

We can use the example in the Thinkific Checkout section, with one tax rate of 20% and the other of 5%. That will look as follows using a Quaderno checkout:

Location 1Location 2
Product Price$100$100
Tax Amount20%5%
Customer Pays$125$105.26
You Receive$100$100

How to Use a Quaderno Checkout for Thinkific

To add the tax on top of your product price, you’ll need to create a Quaderno checkout link, set your course to private, add the checkout link to your Thinkific page (usually on your landing page, but it can be added anywhere), and enroll your students once the purchase is made.

To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Open Quaderno, click “Checkout,” and select “Links.” 
How to Use a Quaderno Checkout for Thinkific
  1. Create your checkout. You’ll need to add the product information and other checkout details.
  2. Click “Create Link” and copy the link.
  3. Open Thinkific and choose the course you want to add the Quaderno checkout link to.
Create your checkout
  1. Go to the settings and click “Private Course.”
This will stop potential students from being able to purchase your course using a Thinkific checkout rather than the Quaderno one.
Private Course
  1. Click “Build Landing Page.”
Click Build Landing Page

You’ll need to add a button to the landing page builder that links to the Quaderno checkout.

You can add the button to any section of the page, but we’ll show you how to add it to the banner.

  1. Click “Banner.”
Click “Banner
  1. Select “+ Add Button.”
Select Add Button
  1. Choose “A Custom URL” from the “Link To” dropdown menu.
  2. Paste in the Quaderno checkout link.
Quaderno checkout link
  1. Update the button text and click “Save.”

Now, anyone who clicks the button to purchase the course will be redirected to your Quaderno checkout. From here, they can buy your course.

However, as customers haven’t used the Thinkific checkout, Thinkific won’t know the customer has purchased the product. Therefore, you will need to grant them access to the product they’ve purchased.

You can do this manually or use Zapier. Zapier allows you to connect Thinkific and Quaderno to automate the enrollment process.

manually or use Zapier

To do this, you’ll need to set a trigger and action:

  • Trigger – Quaderno – Successful Checkout
  • Action – Thinkific – Enroll User



Invoicebus is a software that generates and sends invoices. 

You can connect Invoicebus with Thinkific, and it will automatically create tax-compliant invoices for your EU customers. The correct tax amount will be clearly shown on the invoice. You can also customize the invoice, so it suits your brand and products.

It’s an affordable platform, with monthly plans starting at $9.95.

Who Is Invoicebus Best for?

Invoicebus is best for Thinkific users selling mostly outside the US and Canada. If you’re selling in the US and Canada, you will likely want to use Thinkific Payments rather than Stripe.

Invoicebus is a good option for smaller businesses, compared to Quaderno, as it’s more affordable. However, it is only an invoicing tool rather than compliance software, like Quaderno.

How to Connect Invoicebus and Thinkific

  1. Click “Integrations” from the left-hand menu.
  2. Click “Visit App Store.”
How to Connect Invoicebus and Thinkific
  1. Search for Invoicebus.
Search for Invoicebus.
  1. Click “Install.”
Click Install
  1. Connect your Stripe account with Invoicebus.
Once you’ve connected Stripe with Invoicebus, it will automatically calculate the correct tax amount and generate invoices for every new course purchase.

External Payment Solution

External payment solutions have more options than Thinkific’s built-in payment solution: TCommerce. 

External payment solutions can automate charging VAT for EU customers.

Who Is an External Payment Solution Best for?

You might want to use an external payment solution for various reasons, like if you sell in multiple currencies and the external payment solution supports the sales tax requirements of all your locations. Alternatively, you might sell in a country with very specific tax requirements.

You might also already use another external payment solution, like Shopify, which works for your business, so it makes sense to keep everything in one place.

How to Connect Thinkific with an External Payment Solution

The three external payment solutions are all connected to Thinkific in the same way. 

However, the payment solution you choose will determine the features that are supported. 

For example, if you use Shopify, you will likely want to add your courses to your Shopify sales channel. If you use Infusionsoft, you will likely use your own checkout workflow and Infusionsoft checkout.

We won’t go into this in this article, but we’ll show you how to connect the platforms with Thinkific.

  1. Click “Integrations” from the left-hand menu.
  2. Click “Visit App Store.”
How to Connect Invoicebus and Thinkific
  1. Search for the external payment solution you want to add.
  1. Select the app.
Select the app
  1. Click “Install.”
Click install
  1. Read the permissions and app details.
  2. Click “Accept and Install.”
Accept and Install
  1. Enter your Shopify domain.
  2. Click “Install on Shopify.”
Enter your Shopify domain
  1. Click “Install App.”
  1. Sign in to your Thinkific account.
Your accounts are now connected, and you can add your courses to your Shopify storefront.

Manually Manage Your Own Taxes

There is always the option to manually calculate and charge sales taxes.

Who Is this Manually Managing Your Own Taxes Best for?

We recommend this option for those who don’t make a large volume of sales and who only sell to a small number of countries or locations. 

This is because it’s time-consuming and complex to manually calculate and collect sales taxes.

Pros of Manually Managing Your Own Taxes:

  • More Control – You know exactly what’s happening with every sale and how much tax is charged. This gives you full control over your business.
  • Better Understanding of Taxes – If you use software or rely on a payment solution, you will likely only need a rough understanding of EU VAT. By doing them yourself, you will have to learn how to calculate, collect, and submit your taxes. This can help you understand how the tax system works, which can potentially help you save money on your future tax returns. 
  • Save Money – You don’t need to pay for automation software or an external payment solution if you manually calculate your own taxes.

Cons of Manually Managing Your Own Taxes:

  • Complicated to Manage – If you have a large volume of sales and sales from a variety of countries, it can be complicated to calculate your taxes. 
  • Time-Consuming – Manually calculating and sending your taxes will take far more time than using automation software.
  • Friction for Customers – If your process isn’t fully ironed out, it might cause friction for your customers when they check out and pay, which can reduce your conversion rate.
  • Higher Risk of Errors – Manually calculating your taxes, rather than using automated software, has a higher risk of mistakes, especially if you operate in multiple countries or locations with different sales tax percentages and requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions

It depends on what you’re looking for. If you want tax compliance software that simplifies and automates collecting VAT from EU customers, choose Quaderno. If you want help creating and sending invoices, choose Invoicebus.

No, Thinkific only calculates and collects taxes for students based in the US and Canada. For EU customers, you will need to choose a way to handle sales taxes. This could be done manually or using a tool like Quaderno.

As of June 2023, Thinkific subscriptions are charged in GBP or EUR with VAT added on top. Currently, Thinkific has 29 tax-supported European countries and is working on bringing this feature to the whole of the EU.


About Authors

  • Samuel Fletcher

    Samuel Fletcher is a entrepreneur with over 15 years in online course development. With an in-depth understanding of online course platforms, including Kajabi, Thinkific, LearnWorlds, and more, he has not only created courses on these platforms but has also assisted others in their course creation journeys. Beyond his hands-on experience, Sam is a passionate blogger, online business mentor, and a proactive contributor to community initiatives. His commitment to excellence and belief in dedication, perseverance, and unwavering commitment drives his success. Recognizing the gap in unbiased, quality information about online course platforms, he co-founded SupplyGem. In addition to his leadership role, Samuel serves as a Technical Writer at SupplyGem, sharing his expertise with a broader audience. Moreover, he's an active member of professional associations such as the Association for Talent Development (ATD), The Learning Guild, and others, underlining his dedication to continuous learning and industry advancement.

  • Dr. Angelia Cline, Ed.D.

    Dr. Angelia Cline, Ed.D., has over 20 years of extensive editing expertise and a commendable academic foundation from William Carey University. Besides her position as a Chief Editor for SupplyGem, she is also an Instructional Designer. Dr. Cline manages the Learning Management System (LMS) for a large team, skillfully converting SME knowledge into engaging courses. With over 12 years of teaching experience, she has demonstrated her aptitude across various subjects and educational settings. At William Carey University, Dr. Cline achieved an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, a Master’s in Teaching of the Gifted and Talented, and another in English Language and Literature. She also secured her BA in English from The University of Southern Mississippi. Her proficiencies range from research and differentiated instruction to educational leadership.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More from SupplyGem

Disclosure: I am an independent Thinkific Affiliate, not an employee. I receive referral payments from Thinkific. The opinions expressed here are my own and are not official statements of Thinkific.