Managing VAT issues for international sales

We have a foodhub in France which is based in Spain. He is connected to local producers in Spain, and buy its products with the Spanish VAT rate (4% or 10% depending if he buys from producers or wholesalers)
He sells directly to individual buyers in France, and ships once a week a fair enough quantity for logistics cost to be acceptable. He sells products that don’t grow in France but that people buy anyway, like oranges, citrus, avocados, etc.

To setup the producers and hub, we can import localization files so that they appear in Spain (see here).

Regarding VAT I have created the VAT zone for Spain, and the appropriate tax categories and rates.
Reminder: How does tax work - VAT and GST

The problem is:
When I upload a product, the system ask me to choose the “tax category” not a tax rate, but the tax category is not linked to any VAT zone (the tax rate is, so could possibly display only the tax of the zone of the enterprise), so if I am an enterprise in Spain, all the tax rates are proposed to me. Also now that I have added two tax categories for Spain, the new categories are added to the already long list of French tax categories, so French users now are proposed 10 tax categories to choose from… imagine what it will be if we have another food hub working with italy, and another one with Grece.

I don’t really know how this would be set up, but something that surprises me is that when you create an enterprise, the system just ask “charges VAT”, but doesn’t ask which VAT zone you are attached to. So either it should deduce it from the address, or either ask… and only the related tax categories should be proposed when adding a product.

Ping @oeoeaio and @Kirsten as it is connected to our … hum. complex tax issues.
Maybe a need also shared by UK @NickWeir and @lin_d_hop

seems like the problem is that the same product might have different tax settings depending on the buyer i.e. the product actually needs multiple tax rates and which one appears in the shop depends on settings of the shop and potentially info (e.g. location) from the buyer?

I also wonder if it is possible that some of this may be better supported once the spree upgrade has happened, as is my understanding that the main reason that is crucial is for tax stuff - @rohan is that right?

@MyriamBoure - not sure that this page should be in ‘using OFN’ if is actually describing a problem?

@Kirsten, actually the same product might have a different tax setting depending on the seller, not the buyer.
The hub here buys the product 100 +10% VAT on it (because the supplier charges 10%VAT on this product), then he sells the product 100 + 4% VAT on it (because his company type is subjected to a 4% VAT only), so the price that displays in the shop should be 104€ for the final customer, so maybe it can be treated as an override, in inventory? So you can “override” the VAT rate on a product.
The VAT account of the hub is -10 (he has paid VAT) +4 (he has collected VAT from his client), so the VAT balance of the hub is -6 (the Spanish state in that case pays back some VAT to the hub.
I am not sure the VAT account should be treated in the platform, but the info that should come from the platform is the total VAT collected on sales by a hub.

If we integrate a system like Mangopay the problem light be different as the hubs choosing Mangopay will not be middleman anymore, but business providers (if I understand all that right) so basically the producer will be the seller (in the present case the price would be displayed 110) and the hub would take a margin on the sale (for example 15% of the price before tax)… I’m not sure if we want to keep the two rates, the one of the producer (1st seller) and the one of the hub (2nd seller) to provide the hub with his VAT balance… in that case override doesn’t work.

Yes, let’s see if spree upgrade can change that…