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Apply a Surcharge

A surcharge is a fee added by the Seller to the cost of the goods or services when a buyer pays for a transaction with a credit card. Surcharging is a seller’s decision to pass the cost of Square’s payment processing fees on to their customers. A Seller’s decision to surcharge should align with local legislation permissions and card network registration requirements. The card networks include Visa, Mastercard, Discovery and American Express.

What you need to know before surcharging

  • Surcharging is not permitted on debit, prepaid cards, or Afterpay in-person or online transactions.

  • If you wish to apply a credit card surcharge, you will first need to notify the card networks of the intention to surcharge by filling out the notification forms and sending them, 30 days prior to starting surcharging.

  • Payment network’s rules (Visa, Mastercard, Discovery and American Express) require signage at a seller’s store; on their website, at their point of entry, and at their point of sale disclosing to all cardholders and customers that the seller is surcharging on credit card transactions.

  • The surcharge amount may not exceed your Square processing fees and cannot exceed 4% of the total transaction amount.

  • Make sure to review the payment networks surcharging rules for notification timeframes, signage templates, percentage limits and surcharging prohibited jurisdictions.

  • If in doubt about your local legislation on surcharges, please contact your legal department, attorney or accountant.

Additional Resources

We have gathered the previously noted network notification forms and linked them here for ease of use:

Calculate a Surcharge

You can use our Surcharge Calculator to easily calculate the amount to charge customers in order to cover transaction fees. Simply enter the amount you would like to net after payment processing fees. Our calculator will automatically calculate the total amount you need to charge, depending on the payment entry method selected.

Other Types of Charges 

To learn more about the differences between a surcharge, service charge, and other types of charges, visit the articles in the list below.

Service Charges

You can create a variety of service charges from your Dashboard and apply them to a transaction to cover overhead costs. Service charges can be percentage-based or a fixed amount that won’t change based on the purchase cost.

Note: Individual areas have their own rules and regulations regarding service charges. Consult with a professional if you’re not familiar with the rules in your area.

Charging Sales Tax

You can create and manage taxes from your Square app or online Dashboard. Square’s fees are taken out of the total amount of each transaction, including tax and tip.

The amount of sales tax charged on a Square Online order is determined by applying the tax rate to the total price of taxable items. You can alternatively include tax in the item price, charge tax on shipping and delivery fees, and use item-level tax rates for pickup, delivery, and self-serve orders.

Note: Rules for charging sales tax on shipping and delivery vary from state to state. Consult with a professional if you’re not familiar with the rules in your area.

Charging for Shipping

If you are selling physical items through your Square Online website, you’ll need to decide where you will ship to and how much to charge for shipping. There are several shipping options to choose from depending on your needs, and whether you want to charge custom rates.

Learn more about: Point of Sale

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