How does TaxCloud work?
There are four basic steps in TaxCloud's process
Address verification (API: VerifyAddress): To ensure the most accurate sales tax jurisdiction(s) can be identified, your customer's address should be verified before being included in a Lookup API request. You can use your own address verification system/service, or our free VerifyAddress API.
Tax Amount lookup (API: Lookup): Your system asks TaxCloud to determine the sales tax amount due for each item the customer is purchasing, based on the address provided in step 1. TaxCloud resonds with the total amount of sales tax due for each item in the transaction.
Order Completion (APIs: Authorized and Captured; or AuthorizedWithCapture): Your system lets TaxCloud know that the customer has completed his or her purchase and that the store has collected the sales tax due on the transaction. Important: The Captured API call is required to prepare your sales tax reports and returns, regardless of who is actually filing your sales tax returns.
Merchandise returns (API: Returned): This step occurs when an order is cancelled or modified after it was completed (after the Captured call). Once a return is initiated through the store's cart admin panel, the store alerts TaxCloud and we modify our transaction records accordingly.
Q: Do you have any Step-by-Step Guides?
Please take a look at our easy-to-follow step-by-step guides (we are still working these):
- How to: Verify and Address
- How to: Lookup Sales Tax Due
- How to: The most important step: Order Completion
- How to: Return a Previous Order (coming soon)
- How to: Manage Exempt Entity Certificates (coming soon)
Q: Do I need to create a test account?
There's no need to create a separate test account with TaxCloud. Every account is in test mode until a website's API credentials associated with the account goes live (by pressing a "Go Live" button in TaxCloud). You can associate as many websites with your TaxCloud account as you want, and each will be given a unique set of API credentials. All transactions from a Website's API credentials are test transactions until you specifically press the Go Live button for that particular Website. Once a Website is marked as Live in TaxCloud, all transactions from that point forward will be included in our automatically generated (and optionally filed) sales tax returns and reports. All of your development and staging websites that are not marked as Live will behave exactly like your Live production websites, but those transactions will never be included in any sales tax returns or reports.
Q: Does TaxCloud have a staging system?
In our prior lives at e-commerce companies, we noticed with disturbing regularity that staging environments tended to behave differently than production environments - and we hated that. So with TaxCloud, there is no staging enviroment - you always get our "best juice" regardless of whether your website has gone Live - and there will be no code changes necessary to go Live.
Q: Is TaxCloud really free?
We are paid by the states help retailers easily collect sales tax. However, we only get paid by the states if a retailer agrees to collect sales tax in all 24 of our current Certifying States.
|TaxCloud Certifying States|
However, if a retailer does not want to collect sales tax in all 24 of our Certifying States (for example: they only want to collect sales tax in California or New York), they can turn off Automated Compliance within TaxCloud, but they will then be subject to monthly service fees.
More information is available on our TaxCloud Pricing Page.