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Create and manage advanced transaction rules

This article applies to:AvaTax

Advanced transaction rules modify transactions before or after tax calculation, offering more customization options than a custom tax rule. Use advanced rules to assign location codes to marketplace transactions, find and replace transaction values, and allocate tax for bundled items or items with multiple points of use.

Advanced rules for marketplace transactions are available to all users. If you want access to other kinds of advanced rules, contact your Account Manager.

Exclude marketplace transactions

Some states require online marketplaces, such as Amazon, Etsy, and Ebay, to collect sales tax for you.

Create an advanced rule to exclude online marketplace transactions if the marketplace you sell through collects and pays tax for you. This ensures tax isn't reported twice on those transactions. Before you create the advanced rule, make sure you create a marketplace location for each online marketplace used by your company. 

Find and replace transaction values

Modify transaction values before or after tax calculation based on other transaction data, such as the Tax Code field or the sum of certain transaction lines.

Create an advanced rule to find and replace transaction values under specific conditions. For particularly complex find and replace scenarios, use aggregates and expressions to define variables and apply functions to your transaction data before find and replace operations occur.

Allocate tax for bundled items or multiple points of use

Products and services may be taxed differently when they're sold in a bundle or used in multiple tax jurisdictions.

Create an advanced rule to apply separate tax codes to bundled items or distribute tax across multiple addresses

Troubleshooting advanced rules

If you discover that an advanced rule you made doesn't seem to be working:

  1. Make sure that the rule is active.
    • Go to Settings > All AvaTax Settings, click Manage next to Custom Rules, and then click Active to see the list of all active rules.
    • If the one you're looking for isn't there, click Inactive and find it in the inactive rule list.
    • Edit the rule, check the box marked Yes, apply this rule to transactions, and then click Save advanced tax rule.
    • The rule is now applied to transactions coming into AvaTax, and to any transaction that you edit and save.
  2. For marketplace rules, run a Tax Summary by Marketplace Location report to make sure that all of the relevant transactions are being targeted by your rule.
  3. Make sure that the values used in the rule criteria are spelled correctly.
  4. Make sure that the transactions you want the rule to affect match all of the criteria for the applicable rule set. For a rule set to apply to a transaction, the transaction must match every criteria under the WHEN heading for that set.
  5. After making adjustments to your rule, send a test transaction that matches the rules you're troubleshooting to see if the problem has been resolved.

Change the order rules are applied

Advanced rules are applied to transactions in a specific order, rather than all at once. To adjust that order:

  1. Go to Settings > All AvaTax Settings, click Manage next to Custom Rules, and then click Advanced Rules.
  2. Click the check box next to the rules you want to rearrange, and click Reorder.
  3. Adjust the order that the rules are applied in using the dropdown menus in the Order column.
  4. When you've got them arranged how you want them, click Reorder again to save.
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