API
 

USgeocoder API

Sales and Use Tax API

By utilizing our geocoding capability, USgeocoder provides address-based sales and use tax rate information with the highest accuracy. Through USgeocoder API service, we provide real-time tax rate and jurisdiction information for your online applications.

USgeocoder Sales and Use Tax API Solves Thorny Problems in Correctly Calculating Sales and Use Tax Rates

Sales and use tax are levied by state and local districts such as county, city and special districts.

Most off-the-shelf shopping cart and accounting software programs use either zip codes or city names to determine sales tax rates. But sometimes zip codes cross city and/or county boundaries. Their imprecision in this regard can make for flawed calculations and errors in the sales tax amounts assessed.

In addition, the city name to which your product will be delivered is a postal city name, which may not reside within the incorporated taxing entity's jurisdiction. Neither city nor zip code systems can determine with certainty, whether an address in a particular zip code is within a city or an unincorporated area.

In some states, there are special districts consisting of parts of one or more regular districts. Some of the regular districts in question may be located entirely within the special district, while some may span beyond the boundaries of the special district.

The transportation district mainly serving Seattle Washington is one such district that has some whole counties and some whole cities. Alabama has either 5 or 3-mile rings around cities that are special police districts served by the city at their centers. The size of the ring is determined by the population size of the central city. In Texas, there are 343 special purpose districts that impose sales and use tax. Without geocoding capability, it's impossible to correctly identify if an address falls within any special district.

For these reasons, more and more companies are adopting geocoding methods to calculate sales and use tax rates.

How the USgeocoder Geocoding Solution Delivers Unparalleled Accuracy for Sales and Use Tax Rates

As one of the few OEM geocoders in the country, a core competency of USgeocoder is in matching an address to its jurisdictions using Geographic Information technology.

USgeocoder uses proprietary methods to geocode a physical address and map it to county, municipality and special district boundaries. It then "talks with" the most current tax-rate database that we maintain for each state to provide your shopping cart or accounting system with the most precise and up-to-date tax rates. USgeocoder can also work with geocodes (latitude and longitude) directly to produce the same taxing jurisdiction and tax rate information.

USgeocoder currently offers sales and use tax rates for the states of California and New York. We are adding more states to the list throughout 2020.

California Sales and Use Tax

California is the first state that we started with offering sales and use tax rate information. Being a native Californian company, we understand how complicated California sales and use tax rules are. We designed a special structure for California merchants. And then, we took this design and expanded it nationwide.

According to the CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF TAX AND FEE ADMINISTRATION's Publication 105: (https://www.cdtfa.ca.gov/formspubs/pub105/#special)

In California, The total tax rate in effect in a special tax district (statewide rate + district rate) generally applies to sales delivered or shipped into the district. However, if you are not engaged in business in the district, you are not required to collect the district use tax. Instead, you may calculate the tax due on your sale at the statewide rate of 7.25 percent (see "Courtesy collection of district use tax," below). You are considered to be engaged in business in a special tax district and must report and pay district use tax.

To comply with the Wayfair decision, (https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/17pdf/17-494_j4el.pdf), on April 25, 2019, California passed Assembly Bill No. (AB) 147 that requires all retailers, whether located inside or outside of California, to collect district use tax on all sales made for delivery in any district that imposes a district tax if the total combined sales exceed $500,000 during the preceding or current calendar year.

We developed "Mandatory Collection" and "Total Collection" modules to calculate sales and use tax rates. The "Mandatory Collection" module is for California merchants who sell less than $500,000 worth of goods within the same calendar year. The "Total Collection" module is for California and Out-of-State merchants who sell more than $500,000 inside or into California within the same calendar year.

Our Mandatory Collection module automatically compares your business' locations with each delivery address and produces the correct tax rate for each. If your company has no presence in the destination jurisdiction or district, USgeocoder provides only the statewide tax rate and shows "Collection not required" for each county and city which the shipment is delivered to. If the delivery address is within the same jurisdiction as your business, USgeocoder returns all applicable state, county and city district sales tax rates for the delivery address.

With our "Total Collection" module, USgeocoder determines the tax rate on each sale based solely on shipping destination, regardless of where the seller is located. We return all applicable statewide, county and city district sales taxes for the destination location.

USgeocoder Sales and Use Tax API is Expanding Nationwide!

Our Total Collection module is based on destination. So for states whose sales tax is a destination tax, you can use the Total Collection module to calculate tax rates.

If you are engage in doing business only in a single state, and you are not required to collect and pay sales tax for the sales made for goods delivered outside of your own jurisdictions, you might want to consider the Mandatory Collection module.

We've added sales and use tax rate information for the State of New York in January, 2020. We are adding more states throughout 2020.

Each module can produce tax rate information in either Detailed or Summary formats. The Detailed format itemizes and totals the rates for state, county, city and special districts taxes. The Summary format provides just the applicable rates along with county, city and other taxing jurisdiction names. Both formats provide tax code information when applicable.

USgeocoder API offers XML REST-based communication style, making it more compatible with, and easier to integrate into, most web applications. The following is the sample XML output for a California Sales and Use Tax request as of July 1, 2019:


 Array
 (
 [usgeocoder] => Array
(
[request_status] => Array
(
[request_address] => 4820 Bonny Doon Rd, 95060
[request_status_code flags=""] => Success
[request_status_code_description] => Both street address and zip code were found
[request_status_version] => 08.0819
)
[totalcollection_tax_summary] => Array
(
[t_tax_summary_status] => Match Found
[t_tax_total_tax] => 9.00%
[t_tax_state_jurisction_name] => CA
[t_tax_state_tax] => 7.25%
[t_tax_county_jurisdiction_name] => Santa Cruz
[t_tax_county_tax] => 1.25%
[t_tax_city_jurisdiction_name] => Un-incorporated
[t_tax_city_tax] => 0.00%
[t_tax_special_district_tax] => 0.50%
[t_tax_incorporated_city] => Un-incorporated
[t_tax_code] => 44998
)
[totalcollection_tax_details] => Array
(
[t_tax_details_status] => Match Found
[t_tax_total_tax] => 9.00%
[t_tax_state_jurisction_name] => CA
[t_tax_state_tax] => 7.25%
[t_tax_county_jurisdiction_name] => Santa Cruz
[t_tax_county_tax] => 1.25%
[t_tax_county_district1_name] => Santa Cruz County Public Library Transactions and Use Tax
[t_tax_county_district1_abbr] => SZPL
[t_tax_county_district1_tax] => 0.25%
[t_tax_county_district2_name] => Santa Cruz Metropolitan Transit District
[t_tax_county_district2_abbr] => SCZT
[t_tax_county_district2_tax] => 0.50%
[t_tax_county_district3_name] => Santa Cruz County Transportation and Use Tax
[t_tax_county_district3_abbr] => SCMT
[t_tax_county_district3_tax] => 0.50%
[t_tax_city_jurisdiction_name] => Un-incorporated
[t_tax_city_tax] => 0.00%
[t_tax_special_district1_name] => Santa Cruz County Unincorporated Area Transactions and Use Tax
[t_tax_special_district1_abbr] => SCUG
[t_tax_special_district1_tax] => 0.50%
[t_tax_incorporated_city] => Un-incorporated
[t_tax_code] => 44998
)
[mandatorycollection_tax_summary] => Array
(
[m_tax_summary_status] => Match Found
[m_tax_business_address] => Array
(
[business_address_1] => 1591 Williamsport Dr, 95131
[business_address_2] => 271 La Cuesta Dr, 95066
)
[m_tax_total_tax] => 9.00%
[m_tax_state_jurisction_name] => CA
[m_tax_state_tax] => 7.25%
[m_tax_county_jurisdiction_name] => Santa Cruz
[m_tax_county_tax] => 1.25%
[m_tax_city_jurisdiction_name] => Un-incorporated
[m_tax_city_tax] => Collections Not Required
[m_tax_special_district_tax] => 0.50%
[m_tax_incorporated_city] => Un-incorporated
)
[mandatorycollection_tax_details] => Array
(
[m_tax_details_status] => Match Found
[m_tax_business_address] => Array
(
[business_address_1] => 1591 Williamsport Dr, 95131
[business_address_2] => 271 La Cuesta Dr, 95066
)
[m_tax_total_tax] => 9.00%
[m_tax_state_jurisction_name] => CA
[m_tax_state_tax] => 7.25%
[m_tax_county_jurisdiction_name] => Santa Cruz
[m_tax_county_tax] => 1.25%
[m_tax_county_district1_name] => Santa Cruz County Public Library Transactions and Use Tax
[m_tax_county_district1_abbr] => SZPL
[m_tax_county_district1_tax] => 0.25%
[m_tax_county_district2_name] => Santa Cruz Metropolitan Transit District
[m_tax_county_district2_abbr] => SCZT
[m_tax_county_district2_tax] => 0.50%
[m_tax_county_district3_name] => Santa Cruz County Transportation and Use Tax
[m_tax_county_district3_abbr] => SCMT
[m_tax_county_district3_tax] => 0.50%
[m_tax_city_jurisdiction_name] => Un-incorporated
[m_tax_city_tax] => Collections Not Required
[m_tax_special_district1_name] => Santa Cruz County Unincorporated Area Transactions and Use Tax
[m_tax_special_district1_abbr] => SCUG
[m_tax_special_district1_tax] => 0.50%
[m_tax_incorporated_city] => Un-incorporated
)
)
 )

What You Can Do Now

For more information about the USgeocoder API check out the USgeocoder API Integration Guide.

To retrieve the Sales and Use Tax information for a particular address, go ahead and take a test drive with our Live Demo.

You can also take a look at the sample API data output.

To get started using the USgeocoder API, signup for a free 2-week API trial account now! You will get instant access to our entire database (no credit card required).