This simple tool will convert a CSV file of tax rates for any US state downloaded from Avalara into a WooCommerce compatible tax rates CSV file.
You can download a free CSV file of tax rates for all US states from https://www.avalara.com/taxrates/en/download-tax-tables.html
This feature will almost certainly lead to increased cart abandonments and lost sales.
Automated taxes are very user friendly for shop owners, but less so for customers.
Automated taxes only display taxes to customers when they go to the cart or checkout pages. Taxes are not displayed to shoppers when they browse the store or add a product to the cart. That means when a shopper selects a product, they see one price, but in the cart and checkout, they see another.
With manually configured taxes, in most cases shoppers will see the correct price in the shop.
Multiple reports state that unexpected charges being added at checkout is one of the biggest causes of cart abandonment. On that basis manually configured tax rates will increase your sales which should more than compensate for the small amount of time needed to configure them.
A company called Avalara publish CSV files containing the tax rates for all US states.
You can find the full list of files at https://www.avalara.com/taxrates/en/download-tax-tables.html.
You’ll be asked to enter your email address before downloading and this ensures you receive notifications of any changes to tax rates that you will need to update.
Different states have different rules on whether sales tax also applies to shipping costs.
In most cases, states do want shipping taxed. However, this article will help clarify the situation in your state – https://blog.taxjar.com/sales-tax-and-shipping/.
You can let the converter decide and in most cases it should be accurate. However we can’t guarantee it will always be up to date so it is advisable to manually select the setting.
That depends on whether you live in an origin-based or destination-based tax state.
If you live in an origin-based state, then you only need to install your local rate of tax for all those customers who have to pay tax.
If you live in a destination-based state, you need to install all the rates.
This is explained in more detail here – https://www.avalara.com/us/en/learn/whitepapers/origin-vs-destination-sales-tax.html.
In the admin section of your site, mouseover the WooCommerce menu item and in the flyout menu, click on Settings.
Click the Tax tab and then the Standard Rates link near the top of the page.
On the new screen, click the Import CSV button to open the import screen.
Click the Browse button and select the CSV file you downloaded from this page. Ensure the Delimiter field contains a comma (,) and click the Upload file and import button.
Ensure you are uploading a CSV file. The file extension must be “.csv“.
If you upload a file with any other extension, such as “.zip“, the converter will fail.
Files downloaded from Avalara are usually compressed in a ZIP file. Be sure to extract the CSV file and upload that.
On Windows, right-click the ZIP file and select Extract All.
On Mac, just double-click the ZIP file to extract it.
No, the original files from Avalara calculate taxes based on ZIP code and some codes may cover multiple tax areas. This is more fully explained in a read me file bundled with your CSV file/s.
Each ZIP code entry has a rating to show the risk of incorrect rates being applied. You should understand that some customer addresses may be charged a little more or less tax because of this. Consult a tax expert to find out if this acceptable for your business.
Firstly, when you download a CSV file of tax rates from Avalara, they require you to enter your email address. If any tax rates change that affect you, they will email you a notification advising you to update your rates.
Secondly, the CSV files are the intellectual property of Avalara. I have no right to host them here, so if you want a WooCommerce compatible CSV of tax rates, you’ll have to download the original file from https://www.avalara.com/taxrates/en/download-tax-tables.html first.
© Ian Pullen – Craft Entrepreneur 2018