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Sales tax in New York?

AndreasAndreas Member
in Help edited March 2012
My company is based in New York which has MANY different sales-tax rates, based on region. My bookkeeper is telling me we need to collect sales tax at the rate where the package is being shipped. This seems arduous at best. Anyone have any experience? How do you handle it?
Comments
  • lukeluke FoxyCart Team
    Hey Andreas. We've actually been testing our zip-code based tax system which will be available in our next release. We don't have a release date yet, but we're getting closer every day.

    What's your timeline for needing this setup?
  • Luke, thanks for the prompt reply. We're primarily a manufacturer/wholesaler so sales tax is an annual thing for us - at least for now.

    New York is especially problematic because individual towns can add a local sales tax on top of the state tax, or not. Additionally, in the greater New York City area there is an additional "Metropolitan Commuter Transportation District".

    A zip code offering would be nice, however NYS does not recommend it. Quoting from their publication 750, "A Guide to Sales Tax in New York State" (http://www.tax.ny.gov/pdf/publications/sales/pub750.pdf):
    Note: ZIP codes should not be used for identifying customer location.
    Postal zones usually do not coincide with political boundaries, and the use
    of ZIP codes for tax collection results in a high degree of inaccurate tax
    reporting. Instead, use our Sales Tax Jurisdiction and Rate Lookup service
    to determine the taxing jurisdiction, correct sales tax rate, and jurisdictional
    reporting code.

    Here's a link to the "Rate Lookup service" they mention:
    http://www8.tax.ny.gov/STLR/stlrGateway

    If you'd like to test it, here are three various addresses:
    45 Kensico Dr, 10549 (that's our office in Mount Kisco)
    2608 Main Street, 12946 (Random address in Lake Placid)
    40 Harbor Lane, 11762 (Library in Long Island)
    12 Capen Hall, 14260 (Random address in Buffalo)

    As you can see, it is a PITA to collect for each town. It seems overly onerous on behalf of the merchant so part of me doubts what our bookkeeper and accountant say.

    That being said, it will probably be better than the current "Local" offering where town names need to be entered exactly as users would enter them. I can see customers entering "Masapequa" instead of "Massapequa."
  • brettbrett FoxyCart Team
    Hi @Andreas. Fwiw, our next release will have this version, which is just a single tax rate per zipcode. The tax rate per zipcode is calculated based on the largest city/county/etc within that zipcode, and while not perfect, it's a lot better than what we have now. That said, we do plan on moving to TDS's more detailed systems, but that'll require some address verification and other UX (ie. to detect or allow for the customer to choose their city or zone when multiple rates are present for a single zip). But we wanted to get _something_ out to everybody in between now and then.

    And yes, it's beyond an overly onerous PITA. I'll stop myself there before I go off on more tangents and tirades than would be appropriate for this venue :)
  • Thanks @Brett. I'm impressed with the solution. It will definitely make things much easier and "close enough for government work." (Although tax departments are the one exception to that expression.)
  • RolfRolf Member
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