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What's the difference between a single-purpose voucher and a multi-purpose voucher?

You can sell PDF Product Vouchers to customers that can be redeemed for products and services in your WooCommerce store. There are two types of vouchers: single-purpose and multi-purpose. This article will help you understand the differences between each voucher type and decide which type of voucher you should create.

Required: PDF Product Vouchers is a premium WooCommerce extension included with WordPress Ecommerce Hosting or as a standalone purchase.

Single-purpose vouchers are vouchers that are associated with and redeemable for a specific product or service only. The voucher redemption offsets 100% of the product, even if the voucher itself is sold for less than the redemption product's cost. We recommend ensuring that your single-purpose voucher uses the same tax class as the products it can be used on, since redeeming a single-purpose voucher will offset 100% of the product price, even if it’s more.

Multi-purpose vouchers are vouchers that are redeemable for any product in your store. These vouchers offset the cart total and can be thought of as being used like a gift card. If only part of the voucher’s value is used, it is considered partially redeemed and can be used again at a later date.

Disclaimer: If you’re not sure whether a voucher should be taxed at purchase or not, please consult your tax attorney or accountant. Our documentation can help guide your decisions around voucher taxation, but tax compliance is your responsibility as a merchant. Please be careful to choose the right options for your store.

The key differences between single-purpose and multi-purpose vouchers are outlined in the following table:

Single-purpose voucher Multi-purpose voucher
Redeemable for A single product (good or service). Any product (good or service).
Redemption amount 100% of the product price that the voucher is being redeemed for; the voucher is applied to the highest priced item eligible for redemption regardless of voucher value. Same as the voucher amount / cost of the voucher.
Partial redemption? No. Yes.
When is voucher applied? To the product price, before taxes are calculated on the product. To the cart total. The order total (after taxes) is offset by the voucher value.
When are taxes incurred? When the voucher is purchased. When the voucher is redeemed.
Taxability of voucher purchase Voucher purchaser pays taxes on the voucher product since the associated redemption product has a known tax class. Ensure the voucher price matches the redemption product price to collect the same tax. Voucher purchaser pays no tax on the voucher product when purchased, similar to buying a gift card.
Taxability of voucher redemption When redeeming a voucher, the voucher will first offset 100% of the product price. If multiple eligible redemption products are in the cart, the voucher will offset the product with the highest price!

Then, taxes will be assessed on the subtotal of the order after the voucher has been applied.

If a customer checks out online with only one redemption product in the cart, no taxes will be assessed since the order subtotal is $0.
When redeeming a voucher, the voucher recipient will pay tax on the order subtotal first. Then, the voucher amount is deducted from the total (subtotal plus tax).
Shipping Shipping cost is excluded; any shipping fees would be paid by the voucher recipient when redeeming a voucher. Shipping cost is excluded; any shipping fees would be paid by the voucher recipient when redeeming a voucher.

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