If you’ve ever had to spend time on any of the following:

  • Guessing at a customer’s sales tax rate based on zip code
  • Having a customer reject an invoice because you guessed wrong
  • Had a tax audit find you charged the wrong tax (even if you based it on what jurisdiction the customer said they were in).

there is a website that can save you time and grief.

Avalara provides a tax rate lookup that tells you the tax rate and jurisdiction for the specific address, not just the zip code.

Why is the zip code not good enough? Especially here in Georgia, with its multiple small counties, zip code borders and county lines rarely match up exactly. 30052, where I live, has pieces of four counties, and I can always tell when I order something from a company that uses a zip based tax map (yes, Office Depot and MicroCenter, I am talking about you), because I get charged 7% instead of the 6% Gwinnett County rate).

Avalara offers the online map for free, and if you’d like to completely automate the sales tax process and even have returns filed for you, they offer a paid service which integrates with Sage 100 ERP (MAS 90/200) and Sage 300 ERP (Accpac).

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