AccurateTax FAQs

Here you’ll find answers to frequently-asked questions from our customers. If you need help with something not listed here, please contact us and we’ll do everything we can to assist.

General AccurateTax Questions

What is a Call?

TaxTools was created as a Software as a Service (SaaS) solution, which means as you use the service you are charged for the amount of calls your store makes to the server. A call occurs when your store communicates with the AccurateTax server. There are two types of calls: one for Address Validation (which happens after the customer enters their address) and another for Sales Tax Information (which is what calculates the sales tax on the items being ordered).

How do I know how many calls I will need?

We try to make this as easy as possible. You don’t pay per call; you pay per order. If your store receives 50 taxable orders a day, you’ll be charged for 50 transactions, no matter how many actual calls are made. When comparing sales tax software, make sure you take this into consideration. Other providers charge by call, and a single transaction may have 10 or more calls.

The only exception is for customers who want to scrub all addresses, and not just those in taxable states. Those accounts will be adjusted according to the number of additional calls made for address validation. Sales tax usage is still based on taxable transactions and not on individual calls.

Why would I choose to scrub addresses in non-taxable states?

To get accurate sales tax calculations, your website must provide us with a validated, scrubbed address. However, if you don’t have nexus in some states, you may still wish to scrub shipping addresses, even though the orders are not taxable.

Address validation provides several benefits beyond its need for sales tax calculations. First, it can reduce the time you spend researching a correct address when a customer provides an address that is noted as invalid by your shipping software. Second, it reduces or eliminates address correction fees charged by certain carriers.

Finally, address correction also prevents packages being returned and requiring re-shipment if the address provided by the customer could not be corrected by the carrier.

Shopify Questions

Do you calculate sales tax in Shopify?

Due to a limitation in Shopify’s API, we do not perform sales tax calculations during checkout on your store. You will need to use Shopify’s built-in Shopify Tax to calculate taxes. We download orders, recalculate them, and perform all filings and returns using the correctly-calculated values.

How do I specify which state(s) I need to collect sales tax for?

To review or change the states where you are collecting sales tax, please perform the following steps in your Shopify store’s administration:

  1. Click Settings in the left column. A large modal window will appear with all setting categories listed in a new left column.
  2. Click Taxes and Duties in the left column of the modal window.
  3. In the right column, under Regional settings, click United States.
  4. Scroll down to the Regions you’re collecting in section.
  5. The states where you are currently collecting sales tax are listed here. You can add or remove states. Note that AccurateTax does not use the optional Sales tax ID field. If you make any changes to where you collect, it is imperative that you work with your AccurateTax account manager to make sure our list matches your account settings.

How to review Shopify’s report of your economic nexus

Shopify reports the states where you are close to meeting, or have exceeded, the small seller exception for economic nexus. These exceptions differ by state, and it’s important to make sure you’re registered in, collecting for, and filing sales tax returns in all states where you have sales tax liability.

To review the information provided by Shopify:

  1. Click Settings in the left column. A large modal window will appear with all setting categories listed in a new left column.
  2. Click Taxes and Duties in the left column of the modal window.
  3. In the right column, under Regional settings, click United States.
  4. Scroll down to the Sales tax liability insights section. Here, Shopify will tell you where you have liability according to their records, and whether you are collecting in each state. Please be aware that Shopify can only report on the transactions it knows about, so if you utilize other sales channels, this report may be inaccurate.

Here is how this report appears inside of Shopify:

Shopify sales tax liability insights

How do I classify products for the purposes of taxation?

If you sell products that have any sort of special taxation – including but not limited to apparel, food, and medical equipment – then it is imperative that you assign the appropriate tax categories to the products in your catalog. Shopify offers suggested tax categories for your products, but it is up to you to accept and verify (or correct) their suggestions. If your categories are not set, or are set incorrectly, then you may be liable for under- or over-collecting sales tax.

You can set product categories individually, in bulk, or via a CSV upload. Shopify also shows you which products are not categorized. For more help, see this page in their documentation.

Magento Questions

Why do my AccurateTax reports not match my Magento reports?

In Magento, if you go to the tax report, the sales tax amount is recalculated based on tax rate stored inside of Magento. This calculation is done every time the report is viewed. As a result, it doesn’t reflect the amount that was actually charged to the order. The solution is to compare the actual rate charged on the order itself to what is in your AccurateTax reports, rather than using the Magento tax report feature.

Miva Merchant Questions

When a shopper uses a coupon, why is the tax calculated on the non-sale price?

In Miva Merchant, you call tell us how to map charges that are added to the basket. If a coupon is added by a third-party module, its tax class needs to be set to taxable in order to reduce the amount of tax charged to the customer.

I enter orders directly into the Miva Merchant Order Processing system. Why are these orders missing from my reports?

Miva Merchant doesn’t run its “fulfillment modules” automatically on manually-entered orders. You might also notice that other fulfillment processing functions aren’t happening, such as sending order confirmation emails. To resolve this, you’ll need to manually call the fulfillment modules. Here’s how:

  1. Once you have finished editing the order in Miva, click the “Order Fulfillment Modules” link. It is in the list of links above the “Ship To:” column on the order page.
  2. In the modal window, you will see a list of fulfillment modules. Check the box next to AccurateTax. (You can also check any other modules you want to cause to process.)
  3. Click the blue “Process” button. This will send a commit message to AccurateTax for this order.
  4. If later you make changes to an order, complete these steps again. (The most recent commit message takes precedence.)

A failure to complete these steps properly will cause your reports to be incomplete.

OpenCart Questions

Why do my products show their prices as if sales tax were already included?

This is due to a setting in your store, and has nothing really to do with AccurateTax. The reason is that OpenCart is primarily developed in Europe, where sales tax (VAT) is included in the product price that you see while shopping. You can easily turn this off in your OpenCart settings.

To do so, click the “cog” icon in the OpenCart admin, and then click Settings. Next, click the Edit button (blue button with a pencil icon) next to the name of your store. Click the Option tab on the next screen, and scroll down to the Taxes section. The first option should say “Display Prices With Tax”. Change this to No, then scroll back up and click the Save button (blue button with floppy disk icon).

Do you support OpenCart 1.0? How about OpenCart 2.0?

When you download our OpenCart extension or view the documentation on our website, you’re working with the OpenCart 2.0 extension. We do have a version for the older OpenCart 1.x releases, but you’ll need to contact us for the extension and help getting it installed. The 1.x version requires modifying a number of additional files that our 2.0 extension doesn’t require.