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Incorrect tax calculations...?

consolibyteconsolibyte Member, Integration Developer, Consolibyte Quickbooks
in Bugs & Feature Requests edited March 2011
This is a data feed we're seeing:

<id><![CDATA[3263205]]></id>
...
<product_total><![CDATA[27]]></product_total>
<tax_total><![CDATA[1.71875]]></tax_total>
<shipping_total><![CDATA[10]]></shipping_total>
<order_total><![CDATA[38.71875]]></order_total>
...
<taxes>
<tax>
<tax_rate><![CDATA[6.8750]]></tax_rate>
<tax_name><![CDATA[MN Tax]]></tax_name>
<tax_amount><![CDATA[1.7188]]></tax_amount>
</tax>
</taxes>


According to my calculations, this isn't correct. I believe it should be:

$12 t-shirt (tax)
$15 pint glasses (tax)
$10 shipping (no tax)

tax rate of 6.875%
tax total = 27 * 6.875% = $1.86

total amount should be $38.86



Where am I going wrong here...?
Comments
  • consolibyteconsolibyte Member, Integration Developer, Consolibyte Quickbooks
    edited March 2011
    EDIT: Nevermind, I figured it out. The shipping is taxed, the t-shirt isn't.

    This raises another question though- how can my data feed processor tell *which items were taxed*, and *which were not*? It doesn't look like it's possible to tell right now... can you guys add a node to each line item (and maybe to the shipping too?) to indicate whether or not it was taxed?

    Without that, there's no way to accurately push this information into another system (say, QuickBooks).

    Thanks!
  • lukeluke FoxyCart Team
    Hey consolibyte, thanks for posting. We actually have a ticket opened almost a year ago about this issue. One of the reasons we haven't tackled it yet is we're not sure how to correctly deal with rounding issues. Taxes are calculated per order and if you try to slice those up per line item, it often won't match. We've had this same issue when dealing with coupon discounts and PayPal. The way we got around it with PayPal is to add a dummy line item as needed to handle the rounding difference. How would you prefer we handle rounding issues for this?
  • consolibyteconsolibyte Member, Integration Developer, Consolibyte Quickbooks
    At this point rounding issues aren't even the problem (at least for me)- the problem is just that I can't tell which items were taxed, and which weren't.

    All I really need to be able to know at this point is: YES, shipping is taxed. YES, the pint glasses are taxed. NO, the t-shirt is not taxed. Just a boolean flag indicating what was taxed, and what wasn't.

    The problem for me is that I can only send QuickBooks a list of (item, rate, taxable) and a tax percentage. I *can't* just send it a calculated tax amount.

    So I have to send it this:

    $12 t-shirt TAXABLE
    $15 pint glasses NO-TAX
    $10 shipping TAXABLE
    RATE = 6.875%

    But right now, there's no way for me to know that the pint glasses weren't taxed by FoxyCart, and there's no way for me to know that the shipping was.

    If you added a node <taxable>true</taxable> or <taxable>false</taxable> to each line item and maybe a <shipping_taxable>true</shipping_taxable> node, I'd be all set.
  • brettbrett FoxyCart Team
    The issue is that a product could be taxed on 2 taxes but not 3 others, which I think is what Luke was getting at with actually including the amount each was taxed at. If you're going to say that a specific tax was actually applied, it makes sense to actually say what that tax amount was.

    Does Quickbooks handle multiple taxes like that?
  • consolibyteconsolibyte Member, Integration Developer, Consolibyte Quickbooks
    Ahhhh, I gotcha now- sorry, I misunderstood what Luke was saying then.

    Hrm... that's a tough question then... what about just showing the tax percentage applied to each line item on the order? Would it be easy to show the tax % for each line item on the order? That's actually what I need to send to QuickBooks- I need to tell it what's taxable (% not equal to 0), and what rate each line item was taxed at.

    QuickBooks won't let me just send it a dollar value for the total tax charged, it want's to know the percentages.
  • lukeluke FoxyCart Team
    @consolibyte we're still chatting about this behind the scenes a bit. We're not really sure where on the roadmap we can schedule making changes to this. It's interesting that you're needing the % which does make things a bit difficult, especially when there are multiple tax brackets involved. How big of a deal is this for you?
  • consolibyteconsolibyte Member, Integration Developer, Consolibyte Quickbooks
    It's not a huge issue- most FoxyCart users have pretty simple tax rules, so they just end up telling us "we charge tax in the state of Connecticut" and we set things up on our end.

    The only time it gets really messy is when FoxyCart users charge different tax rates for different ship-to addresses and different product groups. Think about someone who has two store locations (so they charge tax in MN or CT) and charges 5 different tax rates for 5 different categories of products. The FoxyCart user needs to tell us where they charge sales tax and what each category is and what the tax rate for each category is and etc. etc. etc.. And then whenever they add a new category or a tax rate changes or they start charging sales tax in another place, they need to remember to tell us that in addition to changing it in FoxyCart, or they start getting incorrect data in QuickBooks because we don't know about it.


    The core of the issue here is really that the only thing QuickBooks accepts is percentages- I can't just tell it "$10.52 sales tax", I have to tell it what tax percentage to charge to each individual line item on the order. Yuck.


    If the FoxyCart data feed had information about the tax rate applied to each line item, then it would save the end-user from having to tell us about that- we could make it "just work" instead of having to set things up for the user. You must know the tax rate for each line item at some stage- you need to know it to calculate the final tax amount, right? Can you store that at the time the order is placed, and just make it available via the data feed?
  • consolibyteconsolibyte Member, Integration Developer, Consolibyte Quickbooks
    Oh, another thing that would help and might be easy- can you add a flag to indicate if tax is being charged on shipping or not?
  • lukeluke FoxyCart Team
    Thanks consolibyte. We're taking notes on all of this and creating tickets, but we don't have it in our timeline yet. Thanks again for your valuable input.
  • consolibyteconsolibyte Member, Integration Developer, Consolibyte Quickbooks
    No problem, appreciate you listening to the feedback and considering it. :-)

    Thanks!
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