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Avalara AvaTax for Sales App


Avalara AvaTax for Sales App


Install the Avalara AvaTax for Sales app

Follow the instructions in Install an App to install the app. Specific to the Tax app: 

  • Run mode - Select the tax vendor you want to use.
  • Tax - Select the desired credentials to the selected tax vendor. If no desired credential can be found, click New to create the credentials for the new Tax instance.
    • Username and Password - The credentials for your tax vendor account. 
    • Security Token - The security token for your tax vendor account. If you have specified the username and password for your tax vendor account, this field is not required.
    • URL - The endpoint of your tax vendor account. Check this resource on Avalara for information. 

Configure the Avalara AvaTax for Sales app

1. Configure templates

The Dynamic Request Template is the body of the request where Zuora populates invoice information that can be configured based on your needs. Templates are dynamically rendered using the Liquid Template Language and are provided in the Text/XML or Application/JSON format.

Perform the following steps to configure a dynamic request template:

  1. Launch the created Tax instance and click the TEMPLATE CONFIGURATION tab. 
  2. Select the tax engine for which you want to configure templates from the Tax Engine dropdown list.
  3. Select the tab for the template (Standard or taxVoid) you want to configure.
    Zuora provides you with two templates called Standard template and taxVoid template, but only the Standard template is required to be completed. Tax systems have many configuration options. The template does not have to use all the options and must be configured based on the required information of the request. Templates can include more fields than the required set of fields in the request. Refer to your tax vendor’s API documentation or contact their support to learn more about how their fields are formatted. 
    In the case of a failed payment where rollback of the Subscribe call and deleting the invoice is desired, a taxVoid template is necessary to send a request to the tax vendor to also void the invoice and subsequent tax records from their system. For more information, see Configure the taxVoid template.
  4. Add a new template or modify the default template in the text box.
    To view all available fields and corresponding values that can be used in the template:
    1. Click Show Liquid Examples.
    2. Select the desired field in the Example Field dropdown list, the corresponding value you can copy and paste in the template is displayed under Example Value. The fields in the following objects are available for selection. See Context object for rendering tax app templates for more information.
      • Customer
      • Seller
      • Document
      • Document Item
  5. When you complete the configuration, click the gear icon and then select Preview Template to preview the configured template. If you want to start over, you can click the gear icon and select Revert Template to Default.
  6. Click Save Both Template below the text box to save the template configurations.

Configure the taxVoid template

If the taxVoid Call Handling option is set to Enable, Zuora uses the taxVoid template when sending a request to the tax vendor to void billing documents and subsequent tax records. The supported document types are Invoice, Credit Memo, and Debit Memo. 

In the taxVoid template, set code to DocVoided. For example:

  "code": "DocVoided"

Tax vendor requirements for voiding tax calls vary. Contact your tax vendor to determine whether additional information needs to be included to void the document.

2. Configure engine settings

After configuring the template, take the following steps to configure engine settings:

  1. Click the ENGINE SETTINGS tab.
  2. Click the pencil icon for the tax engine that you want to configure. The tax engine details window is displayed.
  3. In the Headers tab, select the value forContent-Typein the Value dropdown list. You can click Add Header to add additional headers that will be added to the tax requests that are sent to your tax vendor. 
  4. Click the System Configuration tab and complete the system configuration. 
    • Select an authentication type in the Authentication Type dropdown list. Consult your tax vendor for further information regarding your specific authentication type and credentials. 
      • None - No authentication required.
      • Basic-Auth - Will require Username and Password to be entered.
      • BearedId - Will require Token to be entered.
      • OAuth 2.0 - You can configure the Access Token URL, Client ID, Client Secret, and Scope.
    • Select an option from the taxVoid Call Handling dropdown list:
      • Pass Through - Allows the call to process without any issue, but tax will not be processed.
      • Block - Does not allow the call to process and will generate an error message.
      • Enable - Allows the call to pass and will either process tax or generate an error message. For more information, see Configure the taxVoid template.
    • Optionally, you can select Skip Taxation on External Failure. When this option is selected, taxation will be skipped in the case of external failures such as network issues or error responses from the vendor side.
  5. Complete the information in the Seller Information tab. The information that is required to be completed varies depending on the selected tax engine requirements. Check with your tax engine vendor for details. 
  6. Click UPDATE to save the configuration for each tab.

Process large billing documents

The Avalara AvaTax for Sales app can support a maximum of 15,000 taxable line items (a tax vendor imposed upper limit) in a single invoice, credit memo, or debit memo. To process a large billing document in a single tax calculation request: 

  1. Go to ENGINE SETTINGS > System Configuration.
  2. In the NETREAD TIMEOUT(SECONDS) field, increase the timeout seconds up to 600. (Default is 60.)
  3. Click UPDATE to save the change.


For a single tax call on a large invoice with 5,000 to 15,000 taxable line items, the tax vendor side of the process could take 5 to 8 minutes to complete. 

Tips: We suggest that you post invoices and calculate tax via bill runs, as the asynchronous operations are not limited by the designated network timeout in Zuora Billing. If you use Zuora UI or synchronous API calls, it is better to check the result back in about 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the size of the invoice.

Configure rate plans in Zuora

After the Tax app is installed and configured in Marketplace, take the following tasks before using the configured tax instance:

1. Set up Connect Tax Engine

To set up a Connect Tax Engine:

  1. In your Zuora tenant, click your username at the top right and navigate to Settings > Billing.
  2. Click Setup Tax Engine and Tax Date.
  3. Select Connect Tax Engine from the list, and click setup new tax engine. Note that you can create at most 10 Connect Tax Engines.
  4. In the Basic Information area on the Setup Tax Engine page, specify the basic information for the new tax engine:
  • Name: Name the Connect Tax Engine you would like to use in Zuora. For example, Avalara Brazil, India Local Tax, Avalara Telco, etc.
  • Connect Token: Enter the unique 32-character API Token of the Tax app. To obtain your API Token, complete the following steps:
  1. From the left-hand navigation menu under Marketplace, click the name of the tax app.
  2. Select the instance you would like to launch.
  3. Navigate to the APP INFORMATION tab, the API token is listed near the top of the tab. 
  1. In the Custom Fields sent to Open Tax Connector area, select all the custom fields that you want to use in the tax request for tax calculation. Failure to select them will result in that blank values are used in the corresponding Liquid objects. At most 50 custom fields are allowed. See Manage custom fields for more information.
  2. Click save to save the configurations.
  3. In the Company Information area, add at least one Company Code to activate a tax code.

After completing the previous steps, you can click back to Tax Engine list to view the Connect Tax Engine you just created. If you want to modify it, click Edit. If you want to remove it, click Delete.

Note: If you want to remove an existing Connect Tax Engine referred by a tax code, you need to first remove the tax code before removing the Connect Tax Engine. 

2. Set up taxation code

To set up a tax code that uses the Connect Tax Engine:

  1. Click your username at the top right and navigate to Settings > Billing.
  2. Click Setup Taxation Codes.
  3. Click add new tax code.
  4. In the Basic Information area, complete the tax code details:
  • Tax Code Name: Enter the name of the tax code to be selected in the product catalog when discerning which Connect Tax Engine the charges will use to calculate tax.
  • Tax Engine: Select the name that you have specified for the Connect Tax Engine.
  • External Company Code: Select the company code created when setting up the Connect Tax Engine.
  • Active: This is No by default. You will activate it later.
  • Description (Optional): Describe the tax code and the tax app that will be used for future reference.
  1. Click save.
  2. Click Activate to ensure the tax code is present in the product catalog.

3. Activate tax code in product rate plans

To activate the tax code in your product rate plans:

  1. From the left-hand navigation of the Zuora UI, click Product Catalog.
  2. Click the name of the product where you want to change its rate plan.
  3. Select an existing rate plan or create a new rate plan to use the tax code. See the following articles for more information:
  1. Hover over the title and click Edit to edit the rate plan. 
  2. Complete the details in the Taxation section of the selected rate plan:
  • Taxable: Select this check box to enable the rate plan to be taxable.
  • Tax Mode: Select the desired tax mode:
    • Tax Exclusive: Tax is excluded from the charges.
    • Tax Inclusive: Tax is included in the charges.
  • Tax Code - Select the desired tax code in the dropdown list.
  1. Click save.

Test the Avalara AvaTax for Sales app

After the Avalara AvaTax for Sales app is configured, take the following steps to test the app:

  1. Configure Debug Logging.
    1. Log in to your Zuora tenant, navigate to Marketplace > Avalara AvaTax in the left-hand column navigation menu.
    2. In the TESTING tab, select the number of hours to capture logs in the dropdown list next to the Start Logging button.
    3. Click START LOGGING.
  2. Create a test product in your product catalog. See Create a Product in Product Catalog for more information on creating a product. 
  3. Create a subscription on an account with only the test product. See Create Subscriptions for more information.
  4. Define billing rules. Navigate to Settings > Billing > Define Billing Rules > edit in your Zuora tenant. 
  5. Create a bill run for the test account and generate an invoice. See Creating Bill Runs for more information.
  6. Post the invoice. If the tax value is displayed on your invoice, your template was configured correctly and can be used for future bill runs. 
  7. If no tax is displayed on the invoice, perform the following steps to troubleshoot:
    1. Navigate back to the Avalara AvaTax for Sales app.
    2. In the Testing tab, click the eye icon to enable the columns to be displayed. It is good practice to enable the Document Number, Exception and Status columns. Test Tax.png

      Each request should contain two lines: the request and the response. If no return payload is contained in the response, check the API transaction for the corresponding request. The error message might provide additional information.  

    3. If both the request and response are present, check the values in the Status column. 
      • If the value is Success, review the transaction response of the Tax instance and check for the error in the response. Use the error message as a guide in your tax template and resubmit the request after resolving the issue. 
      • If the value is Error, review the message in the Exception column. Common causes of the errors include the incorrect selection of your authentication type and invalid credentials. 

Alternatively, you can use the CURL requests to test your configurations.