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AvaTax

  1. Overview
  2. Setup & Configuration
  3. Product Tax Code
  4. Customer Tax Exempt Settings
  5. Updating Tax Code & Entity Use Codes
  6. Calculating Taxes in Admin
  7. Searching For Orders in AvaTax
  8. Migrating From Existing AvaTax Module
  9. XML Provisioning
  10. Sample API Request
  11. Sample API Response

Video Overview

Overview

AvaTax from Avalara is an industry leading sale tax solution for calculating the most accurate tax rates for your customers in real-time right during checkout. Offering tax solutions for both North America and International customers, advanced reporting, and over 700 pre-built integrations, Avatax provides best in class tools for all customers.

Setup & Configuration

Installation

  1. AvaTax can be downloaded from the App store here.
  2. Upload the module under Modules -> Add Modules.
  3. Finally, to assign AvaTax to your store, go to Store Settings -> Store Details -> Settings -> Sales Tax Calculations and choose "AvaTax" from the drop-down menu.

Important Note: Changing your Sales Tax Module will take immediate effect. We recommend applying this change on a development store to test and verify settings before moving to a production environment.

Three new tabs appear on the Edit Store page when the module is installed:

  • AvaTax Configuration
  • AvaTax Charge Taxes
  • AvaTax Shipping Method Taxes

Note: These tabs will likely appear under the "more" menu (three dots).

AvaTax Configuration

This is where you will add your credentials to allow you to connect to the AvaTax API.

Endpoint: Choose Sandbox or Production

Company Code: This is the company code setup in the AvaTax control panel. It is located in AvaTax under: Settings -> Details -> Company Code

Account ID: Your Account ID is displayed in the AvaTax control panel when you generate an API License Key. In AvaTax go to Settings -> License & API Keys then click Generate License

License Key: Generated in the AvaTax Control Panel (see above)

Create Sales Invoices: Checkbox to automatically create sales invoices.

When a customer goes through checkout, Miva will make a call to AvaTax to get tax rates. This creates a SalesOrder Transaction in AvaTax and is used to calculate real time Tax Rates. SalesOrders are temporary transactions and never used for Tax filing.

Most customers will want this setting enabled.

Ship From Address Fields: This defaults to the Stores address but can be changed to any address. This address is used in each AvaTax transaction. The Ship From Address is used to determine the product Origin location as this can sometimes impact tax rates. Miva only supports a single Ship From address at this time.

Fallback Tax Rate: In the rare instance that the AvaTax API is down, this fallback tax flat rate will allow orders to continue to be placed in Miva. The default is 0, which will not charge any tax but allow customers to continue to place orders. This can be modified to any flat rate percentage you want.

AvaTax Charge Taxes

AvaTax gives you the ability to define tax codes for different types of charge types that exist in Miva, such as shipping or handling charges, and tax them independently. There are three default entries in this list:

  1. SHIPPING - FR
  2. HANDLING - OH010000
  3. DISCOUNT - OD010000

This covers all default Miva Charges (except TAX which is not applicable here). However, any module can create its own custom charges. If there are other charges used and they need to be taxed, you can map the charge type to its tax code.

Here you enter in the Charge Code used in Miva as well as the Tax Code from Avalara to define the tax rate on that charge.

Default Values

  • FR - Shipping Only common carrier - FOB destination (Backward Compatibility)
  • OH010000 - Handling Charges
  • OD010000 - Discounts

AvaTax Shipping Method Taxes

The AvaTax module also allows you to tax individual shipping methods. From the AvaTax Shipping Method Taxes tab you’ll see a list of all the current shipping methods you offer on your site. Here you can select a record, click edit (or double click it) and add your Tax Code.

Note: The list of available tax codes can be found by editing a product and clicking lookup under the AvaTax menu.

Product Tax Code

In order for AvaTax to be able to accurately calculate taxes for your customers, it needs to know the classification of each product so it can apply the correct taxes to it. This is done via Tax Codes. AvaTax has a list of almost 2400 Product Tax Codes you can choose from to classify your products.

On the Edit Product screen, click LOOK UP under the AvaTax tab group. This will bring up a modal batch list to search and look up your tax code.

Importing Tax Code Assignments

It is also possible to import and export the Product Tax Code assignments. This field is available as a standard custom product field on the product export. Go to Data Management -> Export Products to Flat File.

In the Custom Fields select box, choose "AvaTax Tax Code" and click Select > to move it to the list of fields to be exported.

Once Exported, you’ll see it in the export with the following column header: AVATAX_TAX_CODE. This is the header value required when importing values from a CSV file.

Note: The tax code is used as the import value, not the name.

Inventory Variants & Kits

The following logic is in place to determine which product tax code is sent to AvaTax when you have a product with Variants or a Kit.

Single-part variants:

  • Use part product's SKU, then code as the AvaTax itemCode
  • Use part product's taxcode if configured, falling back to parent's taxcode
  • Use part product's name as description

Multi-part variants (kits):

  • Use master product's SKU, then code as the AvaTax itemCode
  • Use the master product's taxcode

Note: For Kits, the master product SKU/Code and Tax Code are always sent, part product tax codes are ignored.

Customer Tax Exempt Settings

AvaTax supports customer tax exemptions which allows you to mark specific customers as Tax Exempt and they will not be charged tax when they purchase from Miva.

Before you can identify a customer as Tax Exempt in Miva, you first need to create them as a customer in AvaTax. Go to Exemptions -> Add an Exempt Customer.

When you add a customer, AvaTax generates a customer code. You can use this auto-generated code or use your own.

From here you can choose which regions the customer is exempt from and add an exemption number. The exemption number is a unique number found on a customer's exemption document.

The Customer Code, Entity Use Code, and Exemption Number must be all linked to the customer in Miva. Go to Customers -> Edit Customer -> AvaTax tab. Here you can enter the same information for the customer created in AvaTax.

AvaTax has the following Entity Use Codes:

Updating Tax Code & Entity Use Codes

Both the Product Tax Codes and Entity Use Codes get updated by AvaTax. To sync your list with the latest list from AvaTax, the module provides a way to make a request to AvaTax to get the latest list.

Go to Utilities -> Click the Arrow (submenu) -> Update AvaTax Tax Codes / Entity Use Codes.

From here you can update either list

Real Time Tax Calculations

The main benefit of the AvaTax module is the ability to calculate and display accurate real-time rates to the customer during checkout. The contents of the customer's basket along with any product tax codes and customer exemptions are sent to AvaTax as the customer is going through checkout. AvaTax will determine the tax rate and return it to Miva. Miva displays it to the customer as its own line item on the order giving the accurate tax costs before the customer completes their order.

Setup In AvaTax

Note: AvaTax should walk you through this configuration with their new customer onboarding. This guide does not cover all possible setup examples and should just be used as a high level guide.

In AvaTax click on Settings -> Where you collect tax.

From here click on “Add to where you collect sales and use tax

Calculating Taxes in Admin

AvaTax supports tax calculations when creating orders manually via the Miva admin (phone orders for example).

Automatic Tax Calculation

It's also possible to calculate (or recalculate) taxes for any order in the Miva admin. Sales taxes in admin are calculated in two scenarios:

  1. Automatically any time an item is added, removed or updated on an order.
  2. Manually by clicking the Edit Shipping/Taxes/Other Charges button and clicking the Recalculate button. This will update shipping but also recalculate all tax changes based on the current order.

Manual Order Actions

When viewing and updating an order within the Miva admin, there are three actions you can take to modify the order in AvaTax.

Insert Order Into AvaTax

All orders placed manually via the Miva admin will need the order manually pushed to AvaTax. This allows the transaction to be recorded in AvaTax. To insert the order into AvaTax, click the AvaTax link on the order detail screen. This causes a SalesInvoice to be created for the order just as if the customer had placed the order via the checkout process:

Adjust AvaTax Invoice

If an order changes and you need to adjust the tax amount in AvaTax, you select “Adjust AvaTax Invoice”. This then allows you to choose a reason from a predefined list and add a description.

Void AvaTax Invoice

Miva also allows you to void the AvaTax invoice. To do this, select “Void AvaTax Invoice”. A Refund in this context is only used for Tax Reporting in AvaTax and does not issue any money back to the customer.

You will be prompted for a reason and a description. If you choose “Other” as the reason, the description will be required. Otherwise it is optional.

Refund AvaTax Invoice

If an order is returned or cancelled, Miva also allows you to refund the AvaTax invoice. To do this, select “Refund AvaTax Invoice”.

There are 4 options when ou refund an invoice:

  • Full - Refunds the full amount of the tax in AvaTax
  • Refund alll Cancelled and Returned Items - This option only shows if the order has cancelled or retruned items
  • Tax Only - Refunds just the Tax Amount
  • Percentage - Allows you to specify what % of the Tax to refund

Note: Issuing a refund in AvaTax does not do anything with payments. That needs to be done seperately if you wish to refund money back to the customer.

Historical Order Import

AvaTax offers the ability to import historical orders via CSV format. In AvaTAx Under Transactions, go to "Import transactions".

From this page you can download their transaction import toolkit which has example CSV files for the import format.

Miva recommends that you create a custom batch report to output transactions into CSV format.

Searching For Orders in AvaTax

When an invoice is created in AvaTax a uniquie invoice code is generated by AvaTax and saved at the order level in Miva. You can view this code from the batch list as a custom field or from the order detail screen by clicking AvaTax:

When searching for a transaction in AvaTax use this unique code to identify the correct order. Also note, the Miva order number is sent to AvaTax and viewable in the Reference Code field.

Migrating From Existing AvaTax Module

If your site is currently using the old AvaTax integration it is recommended you plan on migrating to this version when convenient. Here are the high level steps:

  1. Setup the new module in a dev environment
  2. Import all your product tax codes and customer exemptions to the dev environment
  3. Test and verify things are working as expected in dev
  4. Pick a time to make the change over when you remove the old module from the live store , add the new module and import the settings from the dev store.
  5. Once the new integration is live, the old module should be uninstalled and the php scripts on the server should be removed. (The new integration does not use them.)

XML Provisioning

The following XML Provisioning tags are supported:

Sample API Request

Sample API Response

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