It’s not often we release a feature that we never want our customers to have to use. But then there’s TaxJar’s Sales Tax API’s “Summarized Rates.”
The TaxJar API’s users now have the option to download the latest sales tax rates in the event that our taxes endpoint may be down or slower than expected. This allows you to collect sales tax from your customers even during a worst-case scenario such as a slow down or outage. (Thankfully our API is fast and practically bulletproof. Check out TaxJar’s status for yourself here.)
Think of these Summarized Rates as your sales tax backup plan.
How Do Summarized Sales Tax Rates Work?
Here’s what you need to know:
- Summarized rates provides you with the minimum and average sales tax rates in every state
- Updated monthly to incorporate any changes among the thousands of jurisdictions we support
- Should a worst-case scenario occur, use Summarized Rates to collect sales tax as close to accurately as possible
Find out how to get summarized rates in our TaxJar API documentation here.
What IS the Worst Case Scenario?
In the very worst case, your customer is trying her best to buy a product from you but faces a slow or stalled checkout because your tax calculations are failing.
Without a backup plan like Summarized Rates, your options are either to shut down your cart and stop selling until you can fix the problem, or forego collecting sales tax while continuing to make sales. In that case, you still owe the sale tax to the state, but those funds will come out of your pocket instead of from your customers. This could mean you percentage of every sale. Ouch.
While we plan to support our TaxJar API so that you never need to use our Summarized Rates, we never want our customers to spend a single second worrying that they may lose the ability to collect sales tax (and potentially pay sales tax out of pocket!) due to a sales tax outage. With the TaxJar API + summarized rates you can be confident that collecting sales tax will never break your checkout.
Want to know more? Check out the TaxJar API and schedule a demo.