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Tax code mapping guidelines

This article applies to:AvaTax

Tax codes are the laws and rules that determine how items are taxed depending on the jurisdiction. Items that aren't mapped to tax codes are taxed as if they are tangible personal property—at the standard rate for each jurisdiction.  

When to map items

  • Some products require special tax treatment. If you sell items such as clothing, food, software, medical supplies, software subscriptions, and freight, map them to Avalara tax codes to get the best sales tax rate for your customers.
  • You can create a custom tax code if you sell an item with special taxability, but can't find a matching Avalara tax code.
  • If you're participating in Avalara's SST program, items you sell must be mapped to SST-certified tax codes provided by Avalara. See SST Transaction Requirements.

Where to map items

The best place to map your items to tax codes depends on your business. 

  • The most common place to map an item to a tax code is the place where you maintain your master inventory list, which is typically in your business application. 
  • We recommend mapping items to tax codes in either your accounting software or AvaTax, but not both. Mapping items in AvaTax overrides mapping them in your business application.
  • If your transactions come from multiple business applications, it's usually easier to map your products to tax codes in AvaTax.
  • If you need a bit of help, look to this decision tree for some recommendations.

 Get specific help to learn how to map items to Avalara tax codes in your business application.

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