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Creating a Tax-Exempt Customer Group

Some customers, like wholesalers and governmental agencies, can be exempt from tax laws. You can use customer groups to allow these customers to check out on your store without having tax applied to their order.

This feature (customer groups and segmentation) is available on select BigCommerce plans. A tax-exempt customer group can be created if your tax settings are configured manually. If you're using Avalara for automatic tax calculation, we recommend linking your paid Avalara account to designate specific customers as exempt from specific taxes.


Be careful! Typically, organizations need to provide documentation attesting to their tax-exempt status. Check with a local tax professional regarding rules and regulations surrounding tax exemptions before enabling tax-exempt customer groups on your store.

Creating the Tax-Exempt Customer Group

You'll first need to create two customer groups:

  • one for Retail, which will be taxed
  • and another for Tax-Exempt, which won't be taxed

To ensure customers checking out as a guest are charged the proper taxes, be sure to configure Customer Group for Guests to the Retail group. Since customers who checkout as a guest don't have a store account, this setting informs checkout to treat these guest customers as if they were in the Retail customer group.

Customer Group for Guests

Configuring a Retail Tax Zone

Now that you have your customer groups created, we'll configure which group(s) to apply tax to. This is done in your Tax Zone settings.

1. Go to Store SetupTax and make sure Tax Calculation is set to Manual.

Manual sales tax calculation button

2. Click the Tax Rates & Zones tab.

Tax Rate & Zones

3. Click ActionEdit Settings on the applicable tax zone.

Edit Settings

4. Scroll to the bottom of the page. For Tax Zone Applies to, select Only customers in these groups.

5. Check the box marked Retail. Save your changes.

"Tax Zone Applies to" setting set to only apply to the "Retail" customer group

Now you're ready to begin building a solid customer base to help you grow your online store. Remember, customers will need to have created an account with your store and be logged in under their account to gain these benefits.

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