Feature Spotlight: Automated Tax Calculation with TaxCloud

As the tax laws across the US increase in sophistication with respect to eCommerce, there has been growing  demand for automated tax calculation with NitroSell eCommerce. To satisfy it, we have chosen to integrate with FedTax’s TaxCloud. TaxCloud is a free service that calculates sales taxes for over 13,000 jurisdictions and has been certified by the Streamlined Sales Tax Governing Board.

As well as calculating and reporting on tax, under recently-introduced Streamlined Sales Tax laws, TaxCloud is also capable of remitting tax on your behalf to jurisdictions in a growing number of participating states.

When the integration is enabled, the webstore automatically sends order details, including items and origin and destination addresses, to TaxCloud, which then returns the tax rates per SKU, as well as the tax on shipping (if applicable). The integration follows a 3-step process for each order:

  1. Lookup: assuming your session has an address associated with it and assuming that address is taxable, every time you modify your basket a lookup call is made to TaxCloud to update the tax rates in the basket;
  2. Authorize: to confirm tax transactions, the transaction first needs to be authorized, in much the same way as you would authorize a credit card transaction;
  3. Capture: once the order has been fulfilled, in whole or in part, a capture request is sent to TaxCloud, similar to delayed settlement for credit card transactions.

Once a transaction’s tax has been captured, it is automatically added to your tax reports on TaxCloud’s control panel. These reports can be generated at any time and are continually updated, reflecting the taxes charged per SKU and on shipping for each order.

For Microsoft RMS customers, due to limitations in RMS Store Operations’s API, we are unable to record calculated tax values in the usual way. Therefore, it is necessary create an Internet tax item, to which calculated tax will be applied.

Also for our RMS users, an updated version of Get Web Orders (GWO v2.0.0.36) ensures that any time a web order’s contents are modified at the POS, the tax rates are re-calculated, and authorization and capture for tax only takes effect when you tender the web order. Furthermore, if you refund all or part of a web order that had auto-calculated tax, we automatically send a request to TaxCloud to ensure the refund is correctly recorded in your tax reports.

For users of our new pcAmerica Cash Register Express (CRE) edition, the taxes will be automatically applied to your transactions at the point-of-sale and can be reported on through CRE, in the same way you report on tax for in-store transactions.

Set Up Your TaxCloud Account

To get going with TaxCloud, you’ll first need to ask our support team to upgrade your store to the beta channel. Note that CRE customers will automatically be on this channel because the CRE edition is currently in beta.

Once you’re on beta, follow these steps to sign up with TaxCloud:

  1. Visit https://taxcloud.net/account/register?ref=1EE00D80 and fill out the registration:
  2. Next, on TaxCloud’s control panel, add at least one physical location, from the Locations menu on the left. You will need to add one for each of your bricks-and-mortar store locations:
  3. You will also need to add your webstore as a website:
  4. Once that’s done, click on the new web site location in the location listing and you’ll see that you have been provided with an API ID and API Key for your webstore (highlighted in red):

That completes the basic set-up process on TaxCloud. We’ll come back to it once we have performed a test transaction in full to illustrate how to set your TaxCloud account live.

Configure TaxCloud on Your WebStore

Now that we have our API ID and Key, let’s get your webstore connected:

  1. On the left-hand menu in your WebStore Manager (WSM), click Tax Providers. The first tab you’ll see is Provider Configuration:
    (You’ll notice a warning about your version of GWO if you haven’t yet updated your on-premise software to v2.0.0.36.)
  2. Click on TaxCloud and click Activate. Here you’ll enter your API ID and Key that you received when you added your site on TaxCloud:
  3. Having saved your configuration, you’ll now need to set Tax Identification Codes (TICs) for your items. Clicking the Tax Codes tab, you’ll see your store’s navigation on the left and the available tax codes on the right:
  4. To assign a tax code, click on a navigation element on the left, then browse through the tax codes on the rightm choose the most appropriate code and click Save. It is best to assign as granular a tax code as possible to  ensure accurate calculation.Note that the the tax code assignments go in order of precedence based on the depth of the assignment. By that we mean that if a tax code is assigned to an item’s subcategory, we’ll use that; and, if no subcategory tax code is available, the item’s category tax code will be used; finally, if neither an item’s subcategory nor category have a tax code assigned, the item’s department tax code will be used.If no tax code is available for an item, the webstore will fall back to using the General Goods and Services code (00000) , and the tax code for shipping is automatically assigned.
  5. The last step is to verify your store’s mailing address with the US Postal Service. To do so, click on the Store Address Verification tab and clickVerify Address:
    If the  address verifies successfully, you will see an appropriate message, along with the verified address that came back from USPS. If you receive an error, you will need to go back to your point-of-sale, update your address, sync the change with the webstore and try again.

    If your address needs to be updated to verify successfully, you may find this USPS tool useful:https://tools.usps.com/go/ZipLookupAction!input.action

Perform a Test Transaction

Note: for  Microsoft RMS users, before proceeding, you will need to create an “Internet Tax” item in RMS SO Manager with the lookup code tax. This non-inventory item must exist in RMS at the time of processing the order for the TaxCloud to work correctly:

Before we can set TaxCloud live, we need to complete a test transaction from start to finish:

  1. Go to your webstore, add some items to your basket and go to checkout;
  2. Once you have either logged in, or filled out the checkout form, assuming you entered a valid US destination address that is taxable — typically one within your store’s state — you should see auto-calculated tax values;
  3. Fill in payment details and place the order.At this point, for CRE edition customers, the test transaction process is now complete, authorized and captured with TaxCloud.For RMS customers, you will additionally need to follow steps 4 through 6.
  4. Synchronize with your webstore to download the new web order;
  5. At your RMS Store Operations POS, open the order in Get Web Orders (GWO). You’ll notice that, in addition to the items you ordered, the tax item has been automatically added with the calculated tax value from your web order:
  6. When you click Tender (F12), a new GWO popup will appear showing that the tax is being recalculated. This is an additional lookup call to TaxCloud to ensure tax rates have not changed since the order was placed,  or to recalculate tax if you made changes to the order before tendering:
  7. If the tax amount has changed, the Internet Tax SKU at the POS will have its amount updated and that value will be reflected in the order total as well. When you click OK in the  Tender window, another GWO popup will appear indicating that it is capturing the tax transaction with TaxCloud:

    This completes our test transaction.

Set Your TaxCloud Account Live

We are now in a position to set our TaxCloud account live. To do so:

  1. Click on Locations on the left-hand menu;
  2. Click on your website location;
  3. If your test transaction completed successfully, you should see You are now ready to Go Live! in the status section:
  4. Congratulations, your TaxCloud integration is now live and ready for your webstore to automatically calculate and report on tax for US customers!

For Microsoft RMS Customers: Processing Tax Refunds

If you find that you need to return all or part of a web order, GWO will also automatically mark tax transactions as refunded with TaxCloud. To effect a refund:

  1. Recall the web order transaction for a refund at the point-of-sale (F11). The items in your web order will appear in the POS, along with the Internet Tax line item:
  2. When you go to Tender, this time you’ll see a new popup indicating that GWO is making a refund tax call to TaxCloud:
  3. You should then receive a success message, indicating that the tax transaction has been marked as refunded in TaxCloud.

Questions / Comments / Feedback

We hope you find this new feature useful. Should you have any questions, or if you encounter any problems, please feel free to contact our Customer Services team through live chat, or by support ticket, on our Partner Portal.

5 thoughts on “Feature Spotlight: Automated Tax Calculation with TaxCloud

  1. Can TaxCloud calculates tax based on origin address??
    I need the tax based on the origin address when it ships with in the state. Thanks!

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