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Need advice: handling U.S. county tax? (6 posts)

  1. jplacy2
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    All-

    I could use a conceptual push in the right direction. In my U.S. state (Wisconsin) sales tax is calculated by county. Zip codes almost always cross county boundaries, and larger cities frequently do as well. So those aren't good options for calculating sales tax.

    So, much like WC 2.0 has added cities to the tax table, I'd like to add U.S. counties.

    I'm wondering (in general) what it would take. I realize adding custom fields to a form is easy via an action and function. But it seems integrating a county tax option into the mix would involve a lot of hacking the core WC code to make it work.

    Any general thoughts or advice?

    http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/woocommerce/

  2. maximan
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    I don't know if this will help but in my case in Florida county tax is applied by zip code. I went through the process of extracting this data from their website and entered this into Shop Settings>Taxes>Local Tax Rates. I entered zips for each applicable county (not all counties add tax) and the tax rate (varies by county and can change depending on elections, although only a few did change for 2013). At checkout all shipments to Florida zips have the standard sales tax plus county tax if applicable. Hope this helps.

  3. jplacy2
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    Thanks for your response. In my experience, zip code boundaries cross county boundaries quite frequently. Meaning, a single zipcode could easily fall into multiple counties that each charge different rates.

    Check out these crude maps for an area in Wisconsin and also Florida. Helps illustrate what I'm saying.

  4. maximan
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    I don't see overlap when looking at this chart: http://www.altiusdirectory.com/Travel/florida-zip-code-list.html

    I used this chart to get the tax rates:
    http://dor.myflorida.com/dor/forms/2012/dr15dss.pdf

    Comments?

  5. jplacy2
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    Great question! Thanks for the discussion. I've found similar charts, and initially figured I could use those as well. I mean, how hard can this be right?

    To be honest, your source for the zip code info seems a little sketchy. How do you know it's accurate? What is the original source? Clearly though, the Florida DOR is the definitive source for tax info.

    The crude maps I produced used US Census Zip Code Tabulation Area data. ZCTA's are perhaps the best "mapped" approximation of zip codes you can find for free.

    Try this: go to zillow.com, and do a search on zip code 32640. It's hard to see, but you'll notice a very faint line that splits that zip into two pieces... one in Putnam County, the other in Alachua County. Maybe by dumb luck those two counties charge the same for sales tax, in which case you'd be fine. But what if they don't?

    If you really want your head to pop, read this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZIP_code

    ... thus, zips may seem fine at first glance, but when you dig in, it may not be so.

    I really wish I knew how the big online merchants with brink and mortar stores figure all of this out! Probably big $$ to throw at commercial services.

    Thanks again.

  6. maximan
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    Hmm, I didn't think to question the veracity of the source data. If you discover a verified source please let me know.

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