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  • TaxJar

    I am in the process of setting up my 3dCart store, again, and currently use TaxJar for my sales tax. It is awesome, easy to use, and they autofile a number of my returns to make life a bit easier. I was bummed to see that it is not part of 3dCarts integrations / apps available, so I was wondering what the process of submitting an app request is. I know there are feature requests for 3dCart, but how to do this for an app / external saas provider?

    If I was talking about 3d features, I would beg and plead for native filtering in the category area so that people can find what they are looking for quickly / easily, especially when one has a large inventory count / many subs.

    Thank you, Andrew

  • #2
    Hey Andrew, we are interested in Taxjar also. Did you find a solution for using them with 3dcart? It seems they are about 8 times cheaper than Avalara.


    • #3
      Hi smower - yes, I have more information. I currently use taxjar for a couple of shopify websites, amazon and ebay. I am going to be rolling over to avalara because their tax calculations are more accurate, and they actually provide the tax calculation engine for 3dCart, so it will all happen in real time based on the jurisdiction someone is purchasing in. Also, with the recent supreme court decision, we are going to file in every state, and let avalara submit our taxes for us. It is just too dangerous not to do it this way. Worth the extra $$ in my humble opinion to not stay awake at night waiting for an audit. I hope that helps.


      • #4
        Thank you for your response massagestore. Have you actually tested Avalara with all your sites? Their 3dcart integration software Avatax doesn't handle eBay or Amazon, they have a separate software / manual process for those so it is very un-automated according to other users posts I have read - so you can't just have their autofile take care of all your sites for you. Their manual process and separate software seems like problematic for audit risk to me. Also their support department seems to get poorer reviews then Taxjar's from what I have read. Do you wish 3dcart would integrate with TaxJar to get the realtime calculations to show up on 3dcart? It sounds like 3dcart is considering the integration if there is enough interest and if TaxJar cooperates financially with them.


        • #5
          smower No, I haven't engaged avalara yet, and yes, I am aware that the ebay / amazon integrations are manual. It is claimed that avalara doesn't have access to the ebay / amazon api, and that taxjar actually uses approximations to generate their sales report, and is not 100% accurate in their reporting. That said, I don't know how they would be able to show the transactions if they didn't have access to the marketplaces. I have reached out to taxjar, and I feel that there may be some resistance to integrating with 3d (too small?). I also feel like the response I got from 3d is that they are focused on avalara as their preferred partner in this case. All of that said, to me, taxjar seems WAY easier to use, doesn't require manual anything, etc, other than if they were integrated into 3d cart. That causes me to wonder how tax is calculated in 3dcart if you don't have avalara installed? This is just a big / gray cloud of information that is never really clear. Please bang the drum for taxjar.


          • #6
            Would you mind putting your vote in for the 3dcart Taxjar integration here?


            I think a lot of small 3dcart sellers aren't aware yet of the TaxJar product or may not even have much understanding of Sales Tax Economic Nexus so I think when they realize they may need to charge sales tax they may come looking and hopefully will vote here. I talked with a taxjar rep who used to work for Avalara and he asked me to contact Jimmy at 3dcart. I contacted Jimmy requesting the integration and he asked me what made it better than Avalara so I told him. He then did some research and said it would cost 3dcart around $20,000 to get it built and would take about 2 months and was asking TaxJar to help with the funding or something like that. I contacted TaxJar and they thanked me for getting those communications opened up. In my humble opinion I think it would be best for 3dcart users to vote for this, to get 3dcart to build the integration and start using taxjar as I think they are more geared towards helping smaller sellers and about 8 times cheaper in cost and would then be much more automated and handsfree. Hopefully in the meantime, Congress will step in and get this whole sales tax mess regulated or simplified and hopefully Amazon and eBay will make some improvements to make this process better and smoother for sellers or open their apis for accurate tax calculations. If you know any other 3dcart users please encourage them to vote on the integration also. I think if enough people also contact TaxJar they may help expedite the process also since they seem to want the integration also.


            • #7
              I will definitely vote, and posting this in uservoice as well as the forums is a good way to get people onboard. Taxjar is incredibly simple to use. The big thing is to find out if TaxJar has the sales tax calculation engine needed for proper / accurate sales tax calculation by jurisdiction. Avalara does this for shopify, so they are extremely familiar with the 9600+ taxation entities that exist in the US. Would I use TaxJar over Avalara? Heck yeah. Simple, easy, etc. Their autofile is great too, and helps avoid the nightmare that is Texas, California, NY, etc. For anyone reading this, trust me when I tell you that you will want to use software like this and file in as many states as possible. There are some nasty folks out there now, which includes, but is not limited to CA, FL, IL, NY, PA, WA. Amazon has turned this whole thing upside down, and by 2020, almost every vendor / dropshipper will be charging, and I think sellers should do the same. People don't blink / complain about paying sales tax anymore, and manual filing is a time drain and total nightmare. Pay someone else to do this stuff, and have records for when the 'tax man' cometh!


              • #8
                I also put the link to vote on 3dcart integration in the TaxJar facebook group here:

                Right now on 8/8/2018 at 10:44 am I see 10 votes, so if you can put your vote on it and get enough others to do the same I think we could get it to happen.


                • #9
                  smower - I 'applied' for acceptance into the taxjar facebook group, so hopefully I will be able to vote / ask for that soon. Since you seem to have a connection at taxjar, I would ask if they have a calculation engine at taxjar that will make sure 3dcart charges the correct sales tax on each transaction. I am not sure if 3d's calculation engine is updated / accurate for all of the (ever changing) jurisdictional requirements. I highly doubt it, but can be wrong. I see how shopify automatically adds the taxation rates in their backend, and 3d does nothing like that. 3d just asks for a state and a rate. This is a very simple top level of taxation, but then you get into county, city, zone, etc etc depending on where it is. As stated above, Texas is an utter nightmare in how they do sales tax. I am currently registered in 7 states, and will have all 45 registered by next year.


                  • #10
                    So TaxJar said their smartcalcs api can do that:
                    We just need Jimmy from 3dcart to integrate and implement the api with 3dcart. It may be a good idea for you to send Jimmy an email telling him about your current situation and about your needs as well.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by smower View Post
                      So TaxJar said their smartcalcs api can do that:
                      We just need Jimmy from 3dcart to integrate and implement the api with 3dcart. It may be a good idea for you to send Jimmy an email telling him about your current situation and about your needs as well.
                      We've been in conversations with TaxJar and also actively working with Avalara and their new plans for small businesses and marketplaces. Integrating a tax service and maintaining it is a big project, they have certifications in place that require a lot of resources from our company. Avalara provided assistance with the development but unfortunately TaxJar is not able to provide assistance for development at this time. It's still an active conversation, but I can tell you that both solutions are in the same $3k / year range for their service. They both have some advantages over the other, but you can't go wrong with either one of these.


                      • #12
                        smower and jimmy3dcart Thank you both so much. Shawn, so you know, I have actually spoken with Jimmy about this in the past, and it appeared that taxjar wasn't a possibility at that time. When I saw your recent posts, I thought that perhaps some forward momentum had developed in creating this integration. I actually received some pushback from TaxJar around my inquiries, and perhaps this was due to the cost / time requirements to create the integration. Jimmy, thank you for explaining the situation, and admittedly, it is disappointing that TJ won't support the integration, for it truly is much easier to use than Avalara... even their small business offerings. As I stated to the rep I spoke with, and he agreed, Avalara is complicated in its structure. Even their sales pitch is complicated because they use multiple products to accomplish 1 desired goal. Upon my last conversation, he explained it in a way that made sense, so based on timing, and the fact that most states are initiating their nexus requirements by 10/1/18, I will probably have to roll over to Avalara for my 3d site, as well as the shopify stores I have, amazon, ebay, etc etc. I wasn't really looking for $$ savings, for to have either one file all tax reports is $3-5k / year, which is a good deal based on how onerous it is to do those things. My sales volume supports that kind of payment, so what ever works for 3d, and is easiest is what my goal is. Jimmy, if 3d ever does integrate with TJ, please do post here so anyone interested can get that app. Looking forward to 8.2!


                        • #13
                          Thank you Jimmy and messagestore, so I talked with a knowledgeable Avalara rep today. He said that Avalara trustfile doesn't actually do any of the sales tax calculations, it is just a reporting tool so it just summarizes the taxes you collect on the marketplaces from Amazon and eBay and then builds reports for you to submit to the states. He claims that Amazon can figure the correct tax amount but that eBay can't and that eBay only lets you choose 1 rate which is what I have seen so trustfile doesn't help get accurate sales tax owed reports. Or it is only as accurate as the places where you set up the sales tax to collect. He also talked about avatax which has a 3dcart integration for figuring the right sales tax to charge on 3dcart and that can file the tax for you from 3dcart but it doesn't work with eBay and Amazon, but he said you can manually export data from eBay and Amazon and manually import into avatax but that you might have to manipulate the eBay and Amazon import files before importing. They also have annual fees for returns on top and generally about $50-$58 per return they file so it adds up pretty quick for states that want 12 returns per year. So I feel really stressed going with Avalara in that it appears to require a lot of manual work since we use multiple sites and is pretty expensive. I was really hoping to get a completely automated solution that I didn't have to manually work with (risking user error) and have the software cover everything and protect from audits but it doesn't seem to be the case in my understanding.


                          • #14
                            smower Hey Shawn, this is an interesting post. I was told something a little differently, but the overall nuts and bolts of it sounds pretty similar. My understanding is you wouldn't need avatax for anything other than working as a calculation engine for 3d, for the marketplaces have their own calculations which they then pass on to what ever software is being used. Since Amazon / eBay don't have open API's, you need to print out a sales report and upload it to avalara 1x / month for each marketplace - how TaxJar doesn't need this done is above my pay grade. For eBay, TaxJar gives a recommended tax rate to charge which functions as an average amount given all of the jurisdictions, and probably some historic activity level of activity based on their experience. As far as tax report submissions, and the tax itself, did your rep tell you that they have an all inclusive plan that covers every possible submission you may make over the course of a year? I forget the total amount, but for monthly states like FL, as well as the more complicated / time consuming ones like CA, NY, TX, it makes sense to take advantage of that program. Again, as per your sharing, Avalara seems to be much more complicated than TaxJar. I wish that Avalara would continue to simplify their offering. They literally should have a 3dCart program at this point so that conversations like this don't have to happen. Even sifting through the sales pitch at Avalara can be complicated. Having signed up for a trail account with Avalara, I can say that their user interface is the same way. TaxJar is a dream to use. I would stay with them in a heartbeat if I could.


                            • #15
                              Thank you messagestore. So currently with Taxjar and 3dcart are you just setting one average TaxJar tax rate in each state in 3dcart and export those orders out and then import those orders into TaxJar to figure out approximate what is owed? It seems that manual exports and imports and possible formatting manipulations must be used with either product so we are still trying to figure the best direction. Avalara claims that CA, NY, and TX haven't yet set their economic Nexus and start dates yet. I am hoping that Congress will step in and limit the "Undue Burden" that some of the states with complicated jurisdications are trying to put on small sellers.