Avalara is a full-service sales tax company that helps you automate your tax compliance processes. Their services offer accurate and affordable ways for you to calculate, collect, report and remit sales taxes.
3dcart allows you to integrate your store with Avalara’s services in order to process orders with real-time tax calculation. The information below will outline the basic process of integrating your store with Avalara:
In order to use 3dcart’s integration with Avalara, you must first sign up for and purchase their services. You can contact Avalara at https://www.avalara.com/Contact to begin this process.
Setting Up Avalara
Once you have an account with Avalara, you will be provided an account number and license code for your account with them. You will also be required to specify a “Company Code” with Avalara for each company (store) you will be using with their services.
After this preliminary set-up is complete, you will then configure your account on their service to specify which locales you will be collecting taxes from. Avalara refers to these locations as your “Nexus.” You can also specify distinctive tax rules as needed for your store all within Avalara’s interface. For example, if you need to have certain products listed as non-taxable or if you need to have specific rates for different products; this would be configured in your Avalara account. (Avalara’s support services will be able to help with these settings if needed)
Once you have your Avalara settings configured on your account with them, you’re ready to integrate it with your store!
Integrating Avalara to 3dcart
To integrate the Avalara account with your 3dcart store, log into your 3dcart Online Store Manager and, using the left hand navigation menu:
- Go to Modules and look for the module labeled “Avalara”
- Click on its + icon to expand the selection
- Then click on the “Settings” link
- Enable Avalara by marking the checkbox at the top.
- Enter your Avalara account number, License and Company Code into the appropriate fields.
If you have a specific tax code for charging tax on shipping, enter this into the appropriate field as well. This code will match the tax rates for shipping as they are set at Avalara.
Below the main credential and code settings, you will see additional options.
- Include Discount
This setting will calculate tax on the item(s) ordered after their respective discounts have been applied. In other words, if your item is normally $10 and has an applicable discount of $2, the tax calculated will normally apply for the original $10 price instead of the discounted rate ($8). Marking the “Include Discount” checkbox will calculate the tax on the item after the discount is applied.
- Don’t Commit Transactions
Use this checkbox if you are using a third-party order management service (i.e. StoneEdge) which ultimately processes and finalizes the orders and commits the transaction on Avalara for you.
- State Selection
This feature will allow you to select which states your Avalara tax calculation will be applicable to.When configuring your individual store’s Avalara integration, you can either select a specific state or group of states, or otherwise select them all.
If no state is selected, the Avalara Tax Module will be called upon each and every time to provide a tax calculation – even if your nexus does not include a particular state. This may incur fees from Avalara since it generates a call to their module, so it’s important to only select the States you wish to have tax calculated for..
How it all comes together
As mentioned, Avalara provides real-time tax calculations for your particular area of service (i.e. Nexus). It does this by factoring the order information as well as the shipping addresses used to process the order – including the shipping FROM addresses for distributors. Therefore, if you are using distributors for your order processing, you will want to ensure their addresses are valid and up-to-date.
When an order is processed, there are a few “behind-the-scenes” steps that will occur with Avalara integration:
- Step 1 – Your customer places item(s) in their cart and “Proceed to Checkout”
- Step 2 – At the shipping information page, the customer specifies their shipping address and “Proceeds to Shipping Calculation.”
Behind the Scenes:
The shipping address is sent to Avalara and is verified/validated.
If the address cannot be verified or validated with Avalara, (i.e. User error: Customer inputs wrong city/zip code) the order will bypass Avalara altogether and process as normal – albeit without any tax charge being applied. This will also apply in the unlikely event of a connection timeout between Avalara and your store.
Step 3 – Customer selects their shipping method and clicks “Proceed to Payment information” page.
Behind the Scenes:
The order information – items, shipping address, distributor address, etc – is sent to Avalara. The tax amount is instantly returned to the cart and displayed for the customer.
- Step 4 – Customer processes their payment and the order is placed.
The above example illustrates a mutli-page checkout scenario. However, the same basic process occurs if your store is set for Single Page checkout.
Avalara Sales Invoices
In addition to providing you with real-time tax calculation, Avalara will also record “Sales Invoices” for your business’ tax reporting requirements. These Sales Invoices will reflect the order invoice status in your 3dcart store. Furthermore, when the order status is changed in your 3dcart store, the Sales Invoice status on your Avalara account will update as well.
Below are the three main status situations you will see with 3dcart/Avalara integration:
If the order is fully paid for and its status is “New” in your 3dcart, the Avalara Sales Invoice will be listed as “Committed“
If the order is paid for with an offline payment method or otherwise is sent to the “Unpaid” status, Avalara will display the Sales Invoice as “Uncommitted” When you change the order status to “New” from your 3dcart order management screens, Avalara will update the respective Sales Invoice accordingly
Finally, if the order is canceled by you in the 3dcart store, Avalara will update the respective Sales invoice to “Voided.”
The Avalara Sales Invoices will provide an easy way for you to calculate your tax charges by tying them to specific invoices in your 3dcart store, thereby making your business tax reporting process more efficient.