How to Calculate Sales Tax in QuickBooks

Automate Sales Tax in QuickBooks with AvaTax.

Learn how AvaTax automates your sales tax process within the Quickbooks environment.

If you are a business running QuickBooks, it's easy to automate your sales tax compliance process using AvaTax. This demo give you a preview of the process.


Hi, I'm Mark Wilhelm, Director of Product Integration here at Avalara. I'm a recovering accountant. I'm also one of the very early employees here at Avalara from back in 2005.

I'm here today to talk about AvaTax for QuickBooks. But first let me share some facts about the power of AvaTax. Everyday our tax decision engine processes literally millions of sales tax calculations. And when it comes to filing and remitting, our customers rely on Avalara technologies and services to process hundreds of thousands of sales tax returns each and every year.

What's more, Avatax integrates with virtually all the well-known ERP and financial applications as well as POS, E-commerce and mobile systems. Say you acquire a company that's running a different financial application, no problem. You want your sales force to begin collecting sales tax in the field on a mobile device? No problem. Want to begin selling online? No problem. Your admin console is the place you can monitor all of your despair systems and manage your sales tax compliance in one place.

Let me explain how easy it is to get started with AvaTax for QuickBooks. First, you're going to get a call from our Go Live team. They're going to help you setup your admin console and connect into QuickBooks. Next, you're going to map your products to AvaTax tax codes. For most of our customers this is a fast process using our tools in QuickBooks. You're going to either map tax codes to your groups of products or to individual products for your tax codes. Let me show you the remaining steps in QuickBooks.

Within the admin console we start at the home tab. The home tab is the resource center for everything AvaTax. Moving over to the organization tab, this is where I will create my company or set of companies that will be running AvaTax. And most importantly, going to my Nexus option is where I will identify the state or set of states where I wish to collect sales tax. Upon doing that, I'm going to go into QuickBooks. I'm going to select my customer center and my specific customer. On the additional information tab, I'm going to come down here to the tax item. This is a very important component. Rather than selecting the city, county or state where I wish to collect sales tax, all I need to do is select AvaTax to collect everywhere that I have nexus.

Also on the address information tab, AvaTax includes an address validation service. When I make a change to my existing address or enter a brand new address, Avatax will perform address validation services. I'll select okay, and then okay once again. Address validation has been performed, I now have the address in the US Postal service preferred format. Clicking accept and okay, that address will be saved within QuickBooks. But the real power of address validation is exemplified over here in By looking at Commerce City, Colorado you can see within that five character zip code range, I have a sales tax rate of 8.35%. However, right across the street you'll see that the sales tax is 4.85%. A simple zip five tax calculation will never identify that nuance. Having the specific address and Avalara's geospatial jurisdiction mapping technology provides that information.

Going back into QuickBooks I will now generate an invoice for my customer. I'll select my customer again, the product that that customer wishes to purchase, and upon hitting save, you'll see sales tax being calculated. I have a $135 invoice, $11.48 in tax calculated by AvaTax. Clicking on show tax details, will identify the state and locals, including special tax jurisdictions that are included in the calculation. Selecting close and okay, I'll be returned to the invoice identifying that AvaTax has indeed applied the $11.48 of tax to my invoice. Going back into my admin console the real power of AvaTax is shown here. On my reports that can be generated that identify specifically where I calculated sales tax and from this report I can manually create my sales tax return.

Though I must say it's even easier if you just turn on AvaTax Returns and leave the filing and remitting to us. I hope you found this video helpful. There has never been a more complicated time in the world of sales tax compliance. That complication means there has never been a better time for sales tax automation. With AvaTax, you will never have to worry about sales tax again.