Avalara Tax Guides

How to Automate eCommerce Shopping Cart Sales Tax

Tax calculation can sometimes be an afterthought when you’re developing a complex eCommerce rollout. But given the continuing rise in tax complexity (and the potential end of “tax-free” shopping), it’s a smart first step to figure out how you’re going to calculate sales tax quickly and accurately.

Sales tax is complicated. How complicated? Suppose you’re buying a candy bar in Indiana. Is that taxable? It depends on which candy bar. But what if there’s a drop-shipper involved? You can see where this is going. (See more wacky tax facts on the right.)

The AvaTax API handles all the complexity of tax compliance for you, quietly and behind the scenes—reconciling nearly 3,000 different product categories across more than 10,000 separate (but often overlapping) tax jurisdictions, from cities to counties to states to countries.

Five reasons to use the AvaTax API

We’re always working to make tax calculations with the AvaTax API as easy and self-serve as possible. Based on what we’ve heard from other developers who work with AvaTax, we think these are the top 5 reasons you’ll love the API.

  1. Robust developer support
  2. Code snippet library
  3. Fast, accurate tax calculations
  4. Integrate with financial applications
  5. Highly customizable

Understanding the AvaTax request and response

AvaTax takes the complexities of tax calculation around the world and makes it painless with one simple request.

The AvaTax API can calculate a wide range of taxes for goods, accounting for the taxability of each line item in your transaction. Let’s start with a basic example: a sale in Washington State and shipped to New York State. The CreateTransactionModel is used to submit a document to AvaTax for calculation.

Complete the form on the right to download the complete white paper!

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