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Setting up taxes in Auctiva Commerce

Watch the Taxes video tutorial.

Taxes are an important factor in setting up your Auctiva Commerce store. This tutorial will show you how to add a tax code and tax rules to sales and shipping transactions.

Tax Disclaimer

We strongly recommend you consult a tax professional when determining your tax liability. Tax laws vary from state to state and change often. You will want to know what tax you need to collect and report.

What is a tax code?

A tax code is a set of tax rules that can be assigned to specific products or shipping methods. You can add, edit and delete tax codes as necessary.

What is a tax rule?

A tax rule is a logical expression that applies the tax rate to an item, shipping charge, or order amount. Tax rules can be assigned to one or multiple tax codes. You can add, edit and delete tax rules as necessary.

Add a tax code

Adding a tax code will enable you to assign special tax rules to a product. The first thing you'll need to do is create a new tax code.

Step 1. Add a tax code
  • Go to Store> Taxes> Tax Codes.
  • Enter the name of the tax code in the Add Tax Code box.
  • Click the Add button.

You should see the newly created tax code in the Tax Code list. You can edit or delete tax codes in this list by clicking the Edit or Delete buttons. When a new tax code is created, there are no tax rules associated with it. So, we'll do that next.

Add a tax rule

Adding a tax rule will allow the tax code to calculate a tax rate and specify which customers to tax.

Step 1. Add a tax rule

If you're not already at the tax rules page, go to Store> Taxes> Tax Rules.

  • Enter a name in the Add Tax Rule box.
  • Select the country you wish to have the tax rule applied.
  • Enter in the specific Postal Codes you wish to have the tax rule applied.
  • Enter in the tax rate.
  • Select which address you wish to have the tax rule applied.
  • Assign this tax rule to any tax codes you wish.
  • Click the Add button.

You will now see the new tax rule in the Tax Rule list. You can add additional tax rules and assign them to the same tax code or other tax codes as needed. You can edit or delete tax rules by clicking the Edit or Delete buttons. At this point, the tax code and tax rules exist, but they won't charge a tax until you assign them to the appropriate products or shipping methods.

Assign a tax code to a product

Tax codes can be assigned to specific products to fit the needs of your inventory. You may have products that have varying tax rates, in which case you would assign a different tax code to those products.

Step 1. Assign tax code to a product
  • Go to Inventory> Manage Inventory.
  • Find the product you need assigned to the tax code.
  • Click on the Edit link for the product. The product Details page will load.
  • Go to the Taxes and Shipping section on the Details page. You may need to scroll down on your browser window to reach this section.
  • Select the desired tax code in the Tax Code field.
  • Click the Save and Close button at the bottom of the screen.

This product is now subject to the tax code and its related tax rules. Should the tax rates change, you only need to edit the rules to make adjustments. You can change the tax code for multiple products at one time using the Bulk Edit feature. Read the "How to do a Bulk Edit" tutorial for more information.

Exercise 1

The following exercise is an example of how the tax code and tax rule features in Auctiva Commerce can be used to add sales tax to purchases. Its purpose is for demonstration only. Please consult with a tax professional before assessing your own tax liabilities.

Add state and city sales tax

In this demonstration we will create a tax code and tax rules that apply state and local sales taxes to a transaction. We will set up the tax rule to make sure only customers with billing addresses defined in the tax rules are taxed. Please follow the steps below. We will omit the final step of assigning the tax code to a product in order to avoid actually taxing your customers. Make sure to delete the tax code and tax rules that we create during this exercise to prevent any confusion when you set up your actual tax codes.

Step 1. Add a tax code.
  • Go to Store> Taxes> Tax Codes.
  • Enter "Sales tax" for the tax code name in the Add Tax Code box.
  • Click the Add button.
Step 2. Add a tax rule for state tax.

If you're at the Tax Codes page, click the Edit tax rules link below the Add Tax Code box. Or, go to Store> Taxes> Tax Rules.

Note: When entering information into the fields, do not include the quotes as shown in this excercise. The quotes are there to represent the string you will enter.

  • Enter "CA sales tax" for the name in the Add Tax Rule box.
  • Select "United States" for the country. This ensures the tax rule will only be applied to Postal Codes of this country.
  • For California, enter "9*" in the Postal Code field. This string will apply the tax rule to any postal code from 90000 to 99999. The "*" in this string is a wildcard.
  • Enter "7.25" in the Tax Rate field. This will tax the customer 7.25 percent of all taxable items in your inventory added to the cart for checkout.
  • Select "Billing" as the customer's address that is checked for this tax rule.
  • Assign this tax rule to the "Sales tax" tax code.
  • Click the Add button.
Step 3. Add a tax rule for local tax.
  • Enter "City of Chico sales tax" for the name in the Add Tax Rule box.
  • Select "United States" for the country. This ensures the tax rule will only be applied to Postal Codes of this country.
  • For the "City of Chico sales tax," enter "95926,95927,95928" in the postal code field. This string will apply the tax rule to the 95926, 95927 and 95928 Postal Codes. Note that there are no spaces in the string.
  • Enter "0.75" in the Tax Rate field. This will tax the customer 0.75 percent of all taxable items in your inventory that are added to the cart for checkout.
  • Select "Billing" as the address that will be used to check for this tax rule.
  • Assign this tax rule to the "Sales tax" tax code.
  • Click the Add button.

That completes this exercise that builds a simple sales tax code. We made one tax rule that applies a state tax to transactions where the billing address is a California Postal Code and another tax rule that adds a local tax rate to any of those customers who also have a local Postal Code. Remember to delete the tax code and tax rules we created in this exercise.

Tips for taxes

  • Consult a tax professional to learn about your store tax liability.
  • You should consider testing new tax codes on the storefront to make sure they are working properly.
  • If you discover a tax rule error, you can enable Suspend Purchasing mode (go to Store> Configure> Store Settings) to stop customers from adding products to their cart. Keep Suspend Purchasing mode enabled while you're fixing the issue. Turn Suspend Purchasing mode off when the problem is fixed.

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