Can the Checkout Page pull in external sales tax information and apply it through the Checkout API?

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Explorer
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I am building an app for a client that requires two features: 

1) Mapping Shopify Products to an external Tax Research company's Product Tax Code. 

2) At checkout, an API call would be made with the Product Tax Code and the Destination Shipping Address and returning an exact rate for that jurisdiction and tax code. This rate would then be applied to the line items and totaled. 

I can see that the Shopify Product has a built in variant called "Tax Code" which is used by Avalara with its AvaTax app. I also saw that this Tax Code is editable in a Shopify Plus Product / Pricing page. 

Can I use this Product Variant - "Tax Code" to store my custom tax code and then make a call to an external API (when the user enters his shipping information at checkout) with this tax code and the destination address?   

I can see how to do this in Shopify Plus like is done by Avalara, however, I want to know if there is any way to do the above in a regular Shopify Store.  

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Shopify Partner
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This is an accepted solution.

We have been in the process of evaluating Shopify POS as a solution for our company's site locations. The one challenge we ran into involved our Nashville, TN site location, which observes tiered sales taxes --> https://help.avalara.com/Frequently_Asked_Questions/Product_and_Service_Taxability_FAQ/How_is_the_Te...

Last year I was looking to leverage the Shopify POS SDK in order to calculate correct TN sales tax and apply it back to the POS cart via an Edit Cart function. But I found that this wasn't viable.

Based on my recollection --- after posting questions here, after speaking with Shopify account and tech managers, etc. --- it seemed the only way to get this to work would be to upgrade to Shopify Plus, which was the lowest subscription level that would expose the Avalara app plug-in. At the time, based on the payment processing fees, percentage of sales fees, etc. and the Shopify Plus cost it forced us to pull back on flipping the switch for Shopify POS in production.   

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@Greg_Kujawa thanks for the response and sorry you had to drop the Shopify POS due to this. My goal is to build a plugin that can provide a similar tax solution as the plugin you described, but without requiring the Shopify Plus upgrade. From what it looks like, this would be possible, if I can access cart line items from the API, call an external API with to get the correct tax and return it to the cart. Think that is possible? 

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Shopify Partner
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This is an accepted solution.

I would strongly urge you getting a-hold of a Shopify Plus sales/account rep.  We were working with Omar Abboud <omar.abboud@shopify.com>.  He could speak to whether or not any Sales Tax API endpoints are exposed to Shopify Plus customers, or it was just something exposed to Avalara as a third-party partner with Shopify. We never dug that deep since if we did pull the trigger that Avalara plug-in was all we would've needed. :) 

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Thanks and that is very helpful and I reached out to Shopify Plus to get this answered. 

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I reached out to the Shopify Plus Support Team and got this as the response: 

"I would say that this is amazing and personally we would love to see more apps like this for our merchants. The only issue is that right now, Avalara is the only exclusive Tax software that can have access to our Tax api (which lets them take over our tax settings and show proper taxes for collection at checkout). Not sure if this is because we have a commercial agreement with them or not, but this is as far as I know. 

"Connecting with our partner team can get you more answers, but I doubt they will give you access to our tax api (to be fully transparent). 

Hope this helps - our support team/partner team may have more info on this."

That seems pretty clear that access to the Tax rates at Checkout is not possible unless you get a similar type of agreement as Avalara has to access this data. 

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Shopify Partner
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What's a shame is that the base Shopify plan doesn't fully support sales taxes and whatnot right out of the box. As a potential customer, we shouldn't have to pay for an upgraded POS plan in order to do something as simple as correctly calculate Tennessee tiered sales taxes. But that's the way it is. I'd imagine the same could be said for non-US VAT structures and whatnot...

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