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Tax Revolt? How to handle tax rates by county, and sometimes city.

I have a project that requires applying taxes in NY State by county, but sometimes also by city for special locations. Has anyone faced this challenge successfully? And if so how was it done? A zillion rules for every city in the state? Addition of county to shipping address with rules by county?

Please no legal debates on what is actually required or what should be required. Client insists that taxation must be done by county, and sometimes by city. I realize this is insanity.

Any help appreciated.


Asked by: avery
on April 25, 2013


NC applies sales tax by county as well. I created a module that adds counties to the address fields in Checkout. I don't have this on a live site yet, but working on it.

In the addressfield module there is an "Example" module that can be edited to create a sub-administrative-area (county). I have done this for NC and, with maybe an hour of editing, you could turn that into NY. I then wrote rules to apply the approrpriate tax based on the county. The field created on the checkout form with the new module, is required with a default selection as none. If one chooses NC they have to choose a county or the checkout will not go to the next step. IF they choose a different state and still choose a NC county they do not get charged the tax (trying to idiot proof the process). I also exported the rules such that someone could add or edit as needed in a text editor rathe than clinking and adding them through the UI.

As to the City tax, that could be written as a rule. My understanding of the rules thing would require a rule for each City that has its own tax and the appropriate tax added to the checkout process.

- FrankJC on April 27, 2013

2 Answers

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You can try to rig this up through on-site configuration, but your best bet is to find a public or private web service for determining tax rates for the order. I've heard some states have their own web services for this (WA? dunno about NY), and there are private services like Avalara and CyberSource that do tax calculation for a fee.

Ryan Szrama
Answer by: Ryan Szrama
Posted: May 1, 2013
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I got this working on my site. I did a write up about how I did this at TriDUG

Answer by: FrankJC
Posted: May 27, 2013