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Automatic Tax Setup

BigCommerce has integrated with popular tax service providers like AvalaraVertexTaxJar, and TaxCloud to support automatic tax calculation in the cart and at checkout, as well as handle tax document submission to your tax provider.

If your products or business have complex tax requirements, using an automated service can save you the time it takes to look up your tax obligations required by each individual state for each individual product in your catalog and provide peace of mind that a third-party professional organization is monitoring proper tax collection and filing.


How It Works

Automatic tax calculation and document submission only apply to orders from countries that are supported by your selected tax service provider.

  • If automatic tax is enabled and both the order origin and destination are in supported countries, then tax is calculated automatically.
  • If automatic tax is enabled and either the order origin or destination is not in a supported country, then no tax is calculated.
  • If automatic tax is disabled, then tax is calculated manually. See Manual Tax Setup for more information on configuring manual taxes for your store.

Enabling an Automatic Tax Service Provider

Go to SettingsTax, then click Add tax service in the top right.

Add tax service highlighted on the Tax setup page

Click Set up or Install next to the service you want to use. You’ll be asked to enter your existing tax provider account information. If you don’t already have an existing account, you’ll be guided through the process of setting up a new one.


Regional Coverage for Automatic Tax Providers

Note: Not all countries supported by the tax provider are supported in BigCommerce.

Tax ProviderSupported Countries
AvalaraAll countries are supported except those listed here.
VertexUS, Canada

Assigning Local Tax Jurisdiction

If you have nexus in multiple states or local jurisdictions, the additional jurisdictions need to be adjusted from within your tax provider's account dashboard or control panel.


Adding a Tax Provider Tax Code to a Product

A Tax Provider Tax Code can be assigned to product one-at-a-time via the BigCommerce control panel, or in bulk using a CSV file product import.

To assign a code to a product in the control panel:

1. Go to ProductsView and click on a Product Name to edit the product.

2. Scroll down to the Pricing section and enter your code in the Tax Provider Tax Code field.

3. Save your changes.

Tax Provider Tax Code field highlighted on the edit product page

Note: The Tax Provider Tax Code field is utilized by all automatic tax service providers. If you switch providers, this field does not change. If your new provider uses different codes, you may need to update this field on affected products.


Adding a Tax-Exempt Code to a Customer

A Tax Exempt Code can be assigned to customers one-at-a-time via the control panel, or in bulk using a CSV file customer import.

To assign a code to a customer in the control panel:

1. Go to CustomersView and click on a Customer Name to edit the customer.

2. Under Customer Details, enter your code in the Tax Exempt Code field.

3. Save your changes.

Tax Exempt Code field highlighted on the customer details page

Note: The Tax-Exempt Code field is utilized by all automatic tax service providers. If you switch providers, this field does not change. If your new provider uses different codes, you may need to update this field on affected customers.


Verifying Tax Rates

You can use the tax calculation tools offered by your tax provider to confirm proper tax rates are being calculated for a particular region.

BigCommerce Support can assist with ensuring your automatic tax provider is enabled, your storefront tax display settings are configured properly, and that your tax provider codes are properly applied to products and customers. Some aspects of your automatic tax configuration (like setting up local jurisdictions) require access to your tax provider account or control panel, in which case you may need to reach out to your tax provider's support channels for assistance troubleshooting incorrect or missing rates.


Fallback Tax Rates

If an automatic tax provider cannot be reached, then a default or "fallback" tax rate of 10% is used. This can also happen if the shipping origin address in a store's shipping settings has not been set up, or if the tax provider was unable to validate the customer's address.

Optionally, you can use your manual tax configuration to calculate tax in the event an automatic tax provider is unreachable. This may provide more accurate tax calculations than the flat 10% rate and may help save time on remedying orders with incorrect tax.

Go to SettingsTax to change your Fallback Tax setting.

Check BigCommerce Status to be informed of any automatic tax provider issues.



Can I use more than one automatic tax provider?

No, only one automatic tax provider may be enabled at any one time on a store.

Can I use automatic tax for some countries and manual tax for others?

No. If you need to collect tax in countries not supported by any of our automatic tax service providers, you’ll need to configure Manual Tax for your store. Note that if automatic tax is enabled, and an order has a destination/origin country that is not supported, then no tax will be calculated for that order. See How It Works above.

Can I show tax inclusive/exclusive pricing with automatic tax?

Yes. You can set up how you want to display pricing under Tax Display Settings. There are seperate settings for the control panel, invoices, and the storefront.

Can I show prices inclusive of tax to some countries and exclusive of tax for others?

Yes, you can set this up using the price display settings in your tax zones. Although tax zone display is configured in Manual Tax settings, it will also apply to your automatic tax provider when enabled.

Can I assign a tax code to individual variants?

Yes. In the setup area of your tax provider's dashboard or control panel, you can assign tax codes to your BigCommerce variants by using their Product Code/SKU. Product tax codes cannot be added to variants via the BigCommece control panel or through import.

Are there any additional requirements to connect with TaxJar?

In order to enable TaxJar in your control panel for automatic tax calculation, you must be on their Professional plan or higher. For more information, see TaxJar's Pricing page.

What if I'm already using the TaxJar app for tax document submission?

The TaxJar app has been updated to also allow for automatic tax calculation at cart and checkout. Existing users of the TaxJar app may need to re-install the app before TaxJar is available to set up as an automatic tax provider in your control panel's tax settings.

My sales tax amount is off by a cent. Is something wrong?

By default, automatic tax calculation is done at the item line level. Resulting line item amounts higher than half a cent are rounded up to the nearest cent (for example, $4.495 rounds up to $4.50). This can cause a discrepancy when comparing to tax when calculated at the subtotal level. However, Avalara AvaTax can be configured to round tax at the item line level or the order level.

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