Currently Ghost’s memberships feature integrates directly with Stripe which is a “lower-level” payment provider that doesn’t deal with VAT and other local taxes. Stripe’s core competency is payments and this won’t change anytime soon.
Unfortunately, this means that all Ghost paid newsletter with EU customers are doing something illegal by not collecting and reporting VAT properly.
This not just affects European-based companies! Every company is required to pay the EU digital VAT on EU-based orders. People forget that. Also the Ghost team is obviously aware of just how big of an issue VAT is.
You either have to exclude all European customers or collect and report VAT irregardless of where your business is located.
So it’s quite an important issue that there’s no way to handle VAT (and other local taxes like HST in Canada) if you’re using Ghost unless you’re building a custom payment integration which somewhat defeats the purpose of Ghost’s memberships feature.
But there is an easy solution:
If Ghost would integrate with a merchant of record instead of Stripe the problem would be solved. Platforms like Gumroad and Paddle handle VAT for you. As the merchant of record they collect and report taxes from all customers and the amount you’re paid is like a royalty payment from a book publisher.