Sales Tax API TaxJar WooCommerce

SmartCalcs Sales Tax API Equals Instant Infrastructure

by Kevin Reeth

sales tax softwareIt’s not a secret that we want anyone selling online to be able to use TaxJar. That’s why we’re working so hard to complete new integrations like Bigcommerce and Etsy (with more to come very soon, by the way). Today we’re announcing our Simple Sales Tax API. Although the goal for our API is similar (eliminate sales tax compliance burdens), the target audience is different than anything else we’ve announced previously. I’ll explain that more throughout the post.

Why build an API?
We realized early on that folks like developers, startups, anyone who enables ecommerce merchants  to sell taxable items needed an easy way to calculate an accurate sales tax rate on transactions so their customers can be compliant at the point of sale. And they wanted to do it without a huge, up-front investment of engineering resources. Oh, and they also wanted something that’s affordable. On other words, don’t make it so expensive that it’s not even worth trying to be compliant with sales tax laws.

How does the API work?
Nothing about sales tax is simple. I take it back, maybe this is the first truly simple thing related to sales tax. Here’s the most basic way I can explain the API.

TaxJar takes the following input from the ecommerce merchant:

  • Merchant’s home state, city, and zip code
  • The amount of the transaction
  • The city and zip code where the item is being shipped
  • Any shipping fees being charged

With that information, the Smart Sales Tax API is able to determine:

As a result, our API returns an accurate sales tax rate that includes local taxes when applicable. Boom! It’s really that easy.

What about the rates? Don’t they change a lot?
We’ve got that covered, too. We update rates at the beginning of each month. That means no need to manually upload rate tables every time you hear a rate has been changed.

How is the API being used?
Let me give you an example of how powerful this API can be in the hands of a developer. Take a look at this WooCommerce plugin, developed by Sean Voss

After downloading the plugin, the only thing a seller on Woo needs to do to collect sales tax is  enter their business address (which establishes their point of origin) and an API key (which they get from their TaxJar account.) That’s it. Check out the screenshot below as evidence:

sales tax api

Once the seller clicks “Save changes” buyers will see a sales tax amount (when applicable) in the Woo Commerce checkout experience.

How much does it cost?
Our pricing structure is based on the number of calls you make to the API in a month. Our lowest plan allows up to 200 calls for just $19 per month. We have more info about higher tiers in our developer section. If you want to try it out, we offer a free, no-limit 30-day trial with no credit card required.

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