TaxJar helps businesses manage sales tax compliance by automating sales tax calculations and filing.
Although the Run Free Project ecommerce platform has a free tax calculator built directly into the system, in some cases (e.g. you're a large retailer or a retailer in a state with complex tax rules such as Nevada) it may be less burdensome to integrate your ecommerce store with an external tax tool like TaxJar instead. Luckily, we make this easy.
Setting Up Your Run Free TaxJar Integration
Login to your TaxJar account and generate an API token (this token tells TaxJar you've authorized us to connect to it). Instructions on how to generate this API token can be found here.
Login to your Run Free Project ecommerce store as an administrator and navigate to Settings > Integrations.
Locate the TaxJar tab on the left and click.
Toggle the switch to "On" and you will be presented with the settings page shown below:
Copy and paste the API token you retrieved from TaxJar into the API field where you see "enter the api token" in faded gray
Setting a default TaxJar product category is optional. If you leave this blank, TaxJar will calculate taxes based on location with no special circumstances. We recommend that you set a default category here if you plan to set up special tax rules for certain products (e.g. zero tax for training programs). The default product category you set here will be assigned to every product automatically (unless you assign a different TaxJar product category to it).
This will nullify any settings you added to Run Free's internal tax calculator. We will no longer reference that when calculating tax, we'll reference your TaxJar account.
How the TaxJar Integration Works with the Run Free Platform
When your TaxJar integration is toggled on, your settings in TaxJar will inform how TaxJar calculates the tax rate it will send to Run Free. During the checkout process, Run Free will refer to TaxJar and ask for the taxes we should append to the order instead of calculating them on the platform.
The diagram below shows how this process works inside the shopping cart on the Run Free platform.
After your customer adds the products they wish to purchase to their cart in your ecommerce store, they are presented with the first page of the checkout process as shown in the diagram above. Taxes are calculated using the following process:
When the customer enters their zip code and clicks calculate shipping, Run Free will begin the tax calculation process. When the platform sees you have TaxJar toggled on...
Run Free will reach out to your TaxJar account using its API and ask it to calculate taxes for us. During this process, Run Free sends the following information to TaxJar so that it can accurately make that calculation:
Customer zip code
Store zip code(s) by product
Products in the cart + the TaxJar product categories you have assigned to those products in Run Free if there are any. If there aren't any TaxJar product categories assigned, TaxJar will calculate taxes based solely on location for that product.
TaxJar will send Run Free its tax calculation as a dollar figure via the API, then Run Free will display that figure on the "Taxes" line in the customer's shopping cart.
* If the customer does not click the "Calculate Shipping" button, the aforementioned process will run when they click "Proceed to Checkout"
How Do TaxJar Product Categories Work?
Before proceeding any further, it's important to note that Run Free Project cannot provide tax advice, nor can we instruct anyone in how to set up and use TaxJar. If you need assistance relating to TaxJar and its inner workings, please contact their support center.
With that out of the way, let's shed some light on TaxJar's product categories and their role in tax calculation within Run Free...
TaxJar has a list of pre-existing, government-official product tax categories designed to ease the process of applying taxes in special circumstances. This is a static list, meaning that it is not editable by TaxJar users (or Run Free) and you cannot add custom categories to it. You can find the TaxJar product category list here.
When Run Free requests a tax calculation from TaxJar, we send them a TaxJar product category alongside each product so TaxJar can reference any tax rules it has associated with that product category to calculate taxes before sending the total back to Run Free. If no product category is indicated, TaxJar will calculate sales tax without considering special circumstances.
If you would like TaxJar to calculate taxes differently for a specific product (or group of products), you will need to adjust a few settings in Run Free so our system knows to notify TaxJar.
Setting Up Special Tax Considerations for TaxJar within Run Free
By default, Run Free will send whichever TaxJar product category you selected on our integrations page with every product we send to TaxJar for calculation.
If you did not select a TaxJar product category (as is shown in the example below), TaxJar will simply apply general sales tax.
If you would like to set up a special tax consideration such as tax exemption for holiday gift basket purchases for example, you will need to follow these steps:
Create a category in Run Free that will house all of your holiday gift basket products (if one does not already exist). In the category creation dialog box, click "None Selected" under the External Category section as shown below:
This will open TaxJar's list of product categories. Choose the TaxJar category that you want Run Free to send with the products that belong to this Holiday Gift Baskets category when TaxJar calculates taxes for a sale.
Select the appropriate TaxJar product category, scroll down, and click "save"
Navigate to the Products section of your Run Free ecommerce admin area and locate the products you wish to give special tax consideration to. In this case, the holiday gift baskets (shown below):
In steps 1 and 2, we set up a "Holiday Gift Baskets" category in Run Free with special tax considerations as defined by TaxJar's list of product categories. Now, we're going to select all of the products we want to add to our "Holiday Gift Baskets" category for special tax consideration.
First, select the products using the selection checkboxes on the left, then using bulk actions, select "Set Categories". The dialog box below will appear:
Simply find the "Holiday Gift Baskets" category, click on it, and it will move to the right column indicating we have assigned the selected products to that category. Then, click "set category" to save the setting.
Now, when TaxJar calculates taxes for any product belonging to my "Holiday Gift Baskets" category in Run Free, it will apply the rules associated with the TaxJar product category we chose in #2 above.
Unfortunately, the Run Free Project team does not have visibility into how taxes are calculated for TaxJar's product categories and we cannot provide guidance on which you should select for your circumstances, as that would be considered "giving tax advice" and we cannot provide support services for third party products.
Therefore, if you do not know which TaxJar product category contains the tax rules you want, reach out to TaxJar's support team and tell them what you're trying to accomplish. For example, "I want to choose a TaxJar product category that is tax exempt for my holiday gift baskets" and they can provide insight into which of their categories can provide that calculation.