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Set up AvaTax Connector for BigCommerce for your tax calculation needs

We’ve outlined the steps for you to connect and manage AvaTax Connector for BigCommerce to get started.  

Before you begin 

Step 1: Install the AvaTax Connector for BigCommerce

Download and install the AvaTax Connector for BigCommerce to establish the connection between AvaTax and your business application.  

Steps

  1. Log in to BigCommerce if you are not logged in already.
  2. In the navigation pane, select Apps > Marketplace.

  3. On the Apps page, select the BIGCOMMERCE.COM/APPS button to open the BigCommerce's Ecommerce Apps Marketplace on a new tab.

    clipboard_e2eae8147c091ea2dd4ed0b1209198ae3.png 

    Note

    You can also directly go to the BigCommerce's Ecommerce Apps Marketplace and log in with your BigCommerce user credentials. 


  4. Type ‘avalara’ in the search box, and then select the Avalara AvaTax app.
  5. On the overview page, select the GET THIS APP button. The Avalara AvaTax page is displayed. 
  6. As an existing user having an eCommerce store at the BigCommerce site, select the Log in button.

    clipboard_e2eae8147c091ea2dd4ed0b1209198ae3.png 

    Note

    If you are new to BigCommerce, select Sign up. Create an eCommerce store, and then repeat the above-mentioned steps.


    When you select Log in, the "Choose an account and associated store" page is displayed.

    clipboard_e2eae8147c091ea2dd4ed0b1209198ae3.png  

    Important

    The "Choose an account and associated store" page displays only those accounts and stores that are associated with your current user ID. If you want to install the app to an account/store that is associated with a different user ID, select the Change user link and log in with the appropriate user ID.

  7. Select Install and then Confirm to allow Avalara AvaTax the permission to access basic information and configuration settings. 
    The app is saved in My Apps. To confirm, go to Apps > My Apps.

  8. On successful installation of Avalara AvaTax app, Avalara's Complete your company details page is displayed.

Create an Avalara account 

On successful installation of Avalara AvaTax app, Avalara's Complete your company details page is displayed.

Steps

  1. On Avalara's Complete your company details page, provide complete details of your company, and then select Next.
  2. On Add a credit card page, provide your credit card details and then select Next.
  3. On the Create your Avalara account page, provide the required details.
  4. Select the Avalara terms and conditions check box, and then select Create to create an account.

 

Step 2: Connect Avalara Account to a BigCommerce Store 

By linking an Avalara account to a BigCommerce store we map the associated company for tax calculation and file returns.

Before you begin 

  • Create one or more eCommerce stores in BigCommerce. 
  • Install Avalara AvaTax app.

Steps

  1. After you install the Avalara AvaTax app or you create an Avalara account, you are taken to the Avalara sign-in dialog.
  2. Sign in using the Avalara account associated with the current BigCommerce store. 
  3. If multiple Avalara companies are linked to this Avalara account, select one company from the Select company drop-down list. 
  4. Select Save to exit. 

All transactions for the current store will be mapped to the selected company. 

Step 3: Configure tax options in BigCommerce

Before you begin 

  • You must have created one or more stores at BigCommerce. 
  • You must have installed the Avalara AvaTax app. 

Steps

  1. After you have installed Avalara AvaTax, go to BigCommerce's Tax page.
    (In the navigation pane of BigCommerce, Select Store Setup > Tax.) 
  2. Under Configured tax services, in the Avalara AvaTax box, select Enable to enable Avalara AvaTax.
  3. Select Edit next to the Enable button to display the following details: 
    edit_details.png
    • Account - The Avalara account to which Avalara AvaTax is associated. 
    • Update connection - If you want to associate Avalara AvaTax with a different account, select Update connection and follow the instructions.
    • Test connection - If you want to test whether the connection is appropriate, select Test connection.
    • Tax options - Under Tax options, select the 'Please submit my order data so that I can use solution tax reporting and returns features.' check box to enable AvaTax to perform tax calculations and store transaction records.
      If not selected, AvaTax will still calculate tax on transactions but will not store the records.
    • Default values of the following codes appear under Tax options. 
      • Gift Wrapping Code 
      • Handling Code 
      • Shipping Code 
      • Default Taxable Code
        The populated default values are implemented to those products that are not associated with a specific tax code. 

Step 4: Configure tax settings in BigCommerce

Before you begin 

  • You must have created one or more stores at BigCommerce. 
  • You must have installed the Avalara AvaTax app. 

Steps

  1. After you have installed Avalara AvaTax, go to BigCommerce's Tax page. 
    (In the navigation pane of BigCommerce, select Store Setup > Tax.)
  2. Scroll the Tax page to locate the Tax settings section.
  3. Select Edit to expand the section. 
  4. Under Configure Tax Options, enter the following values to the respective fields. 

     
    Field Value
    Tax Label  Type of tax applied to the orders your store. For example, Sales Tax, GST. 
    Prices Entered With Tax 

    Select one of the following options:

    • Use a flat rate of 10% tax 
    • Use my Manual Tax setting 
    Fallback Tax  Select one of the following options to determine the tax zone: 
    • Billing address 
    • (Recommended) Destination address 
    • Shipping origin 
    Calculate Tax Based On  Select one of the following options to determine the tax zone: 
    • Billing address 
    • Destination address 
    • Shipping origin 
    Shipping Tax Class  Select one of the following options to determine taxes for shipping costs. 
    • Default tax class 
    • Non-taxable products 
    • Shipping 
    • Gift wrapping 
    Gift Wrapping Tax Class  Select one of the following options to determine taxes for gift wrapping: 
    • Default tax class 
    • Non-taxable products 
    • Shipping 
    • Gift wrapping 
  5. Under Configure Tax Display Settings, enter the following values to the respective fields.

     
    Field Value
    Show Prices Within Control Panel  Select one of the following options to determine how pricing should be shown within your control panel:
    • Including tax 
    • Excluding tax 
    Show Prices on Invoices  Select one of the following options to determine how pricing should be shown on invoices: 
    • Including tax 
    • Excluding tax 
    • Use tax zone display settings 
    Show Tax Charges in Cart and Checkout  Select one of the following options to determine how the list of applied taxes on a customer's cart should be shown on the cart and checkout pages. 
    • As one summarized line item 
    • Broken down by tax rate 
    Show Tax Charges on Orders and Invoices  Select one of the following options to determine how the list of applied taxes on an order should be shown to customers on invoices, and in your store's control panel: 
    • As one summarized line item 
    • Broken down by tax rate 
  6. Under Configure Default Tax Address, enter the following values to the respective fields. 

     
    Field Value
    Country (Optional)  
    State (Optional)   
    Postal Code (Optional)   

Step 5: Manage taxability of products and services

Map the items you sell to Avalara tax codes 

Map the items you sell to Avalara tax codes so that AvaTax calculates the most accurate sales tax rate for your customers. If you don't assign tax codes, all products and services are taxed at the standard rate for each jurisdiction. Examples of products with varying tax rates include clothing, food, software, medical supplies, software subscriptions, and freight. 

Steps

  1. In AvaTax, go to Settings > What you sell
  2. Select Add an item
  3. Enter an item code and description. 
    The item code must match the name of the product, service, or charge as it is recorded in your business application.
  4. Select the Avalara tax code that best fits your item.
    A list of codes displays when you start typing. 
  5. If you can't find the code you're looking for, scroll down to the end of the list and select Browse the directory. Or, create a custom tax code.
  6. Select one of the following options:  
    • Save: If you use AvaTax to calculate sales and use tax, VAT, or GST, select Save when you're done.  
    • Save and get attributes: If you use AvaTax to calculate other types of taxes or fees, select Save and Get Attributes.
      If additional attributes are required for accurate tax calculation, they appear under the Define Product Attributes section.
      1. Enter the required information for each attribute.
        Refer to this guide for more information about the attribute options. 
      2. Select Save when you're done. 
  7. Repeat steps 3-6 if you have more than one item to map. 

Exempt customers from tax 

If you regularly sell to tax-exempt customers—such as government agencies or non-profit organizations—you need to do two things: 

  • Indicate customer purchases are exempt so customers aren't charged sales tax.  
  • Decide how to organize and store valid customer exemption certificates and invoices in case your company is audited. 

Steps

  1. If you already have a way to manage exempt customers, skip these steps.  
  2. To use Exemptions, go to AvaTax > Exemptions > Get Set Up
    For help adding customers, see add a customer to AvaTax. 
  3. To exempt on a case-by-case basis, choose one of these methods depending on your business application.  
    • Enter the exemption certificate number in the transaction. 
    • Assign an entity use code to a customer at the line level in a transaction.
      Note that this option is not available in all business applications.
       

      clipboard_e2eae8147c091ea2dd4ed0b1209198ae3.png 

       

      Note

      Make sure entity use codes are enabled in your system before you assign one to a customer.

Step 6: Send a test transaction from your business application

After you connect your application to AvaTax, send a few test transactions to make sure the connection is working and to verify different business scenarios and workflows.

  1. In your business application, create and commit a transaction or an invoice.
    The transaction must be committed for AvaTax to calculate tax. If your application allows it, add a prefix to the document code on the test transaction so you can easily identify the transaction and void it later on. 

    Tip icon

    Tip

    We recommend testing common workflows and billing scenarios including quotes, return invoices, or credit memos.

    Here are some things you might want to include in a test transaction:

    • Addresses in jurisdictions where you collect and pay tax
    • Products and services mapped to Avalara tax codes
    • Shipping fees included in a freight line
    • Tax-exempt customers, if any
  2. Once the transaction is posted to AvaTax, sign in to AvaTax and go to Transactions to review the transaction. If the test transaction doesn't show up in AvaTax or look as you expect, try these things:
    • Make sure the account ID, license key, and company code in AvaTax match the ID, key, and code in your business application.
    • Create another test transaction and turn off any plugins or customizations to your business application. Sometimes these additions interfere with the connection to AvaTax.
  3. Change your settings as needed.
  4. Once you're satisfied with the AvaTax results, void the transaction in your business application and in AvaTax to make sure it isn't included in your tax returns.

Frequently asked questions