Post by tom327 » Mon Jul 08, 2013 6:39 am

Johnathan,

I may decide to use your extension to handle my NY County taxes. I had a few questions I hope you can answer.

I was looking at the Admin demo of your extension.

Now, would I just need to put in the Zip Code in the Cart Criteria area?
And I think you had mentioned that I could also put in a Zip Code range like 15000-15700? Is that correct?

Then Do I just need to put in the tax percent under Cost Brackets? To the right of where I just put in the zip codes?

I assume I can add as many "rows" of settings as needed for all the counties, or is there some limit?


How does the calculation part work? Assuming a customer has the "right" zip code that should be taxed. Does your extension do everything needed to do the multiplication in checkout to get the correct amount that should be added.

What about on the Shopping Cart page? Will customer see the tax added there?

Will I be able to label each tax by the county name? And will that appear on the Checkout and shopping cart page?
Looking at your admin page for your extension, I see a place under General Settings for "Title". Is that the place to do this?

Last, my site uses paypal offsite to handle payment, will this extension work with that type of set up? Specifically, that the the correct total with tax applied getting correctly passed to PayPal?

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Post by Johnathan » Tue Jul 09, 2013 12:19 am

1. For adding new regions, you'd need to create new ones like I suggested: one titled "New York > Albany", one titled, "New York > Allegany", etc. So when people are choosing a state/region, the list would look like this:

Alabama
...etc...
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York > Albany
New York > Allegany
...etc...

2. If you're charging tax for both products and shipping, you'd need to get Shipping-Based Fee/Discount to do that. I just created a tutorial that shows how you'd set it up, available here:

http://forum.opencart.com/viewtopic.php?f=143&t=105475

Please take a look at the demo, which should answer most of your questions. (The answer is "Yes" to most of them.) Then let me know at www.getclearthinking.com/contact if you have any further questions.

3. For PayPal, passing the correct fees and discounts is up to the PayPal extension, not any other extension. However, if you're using the built-in ones, they should handle it fine.

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Post by tom327 » Tue Jul 09, 2013 1:07 pm

1. For adding new regions, you'd need to create new ones like I suggested: one titled "New York > Albany", one titled, "New York > Allegany", etc. So when people are choosing a state/region, the list would look like this:

Alabama
...etc...
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York > Albany
New York > Allegany
...etc...
OK, Thanks very much for the example. I think I finally understand.

So a New York State County is just being added in the same way as just "New York". But, for tax purposes I would not just enter "New York" but instead "New York > Albany", "New York > Allegany", etc as shown in your example.

And then in Checkout, these "counties" would still be listed under the Region/State drop down. Only instead of just "New York" being on the drop down, there would be 52 versions of "New Yorks" - one for each NY county.

Definitely a workable solution. Not sure about the usability for some shoppers to have to deal with such a long drop-down, with over 100 items.

Using Jonathan's extension, still might be a better choice in terms of ease of use for customer.

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Post by tom327 » Thu Jul 11, 2013 12:11 pm

I found something out that makes using NY Zip codes a pain.

It seems the zip codes are not in uniform order based on county. I found a site that lists all the zip codes, and it's crazy, in some places it changes from one county to another after one zip code, or every few zip codes.

So you can't easily do something like set a zip code range of 12400 - 12490 and apply a single county tax rate, because it might contain several counties. This seems to make setting up Jonathan's extension more difficult. What a bummer.

http://www.zipcodestogo.com/New%20York/

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Post by SteampunkMuseum » Thu Jul 11, 2013 12:25 pm

@tom327 That's how Washington state is too. Cities physically right next to each other had different tax rates, and even sequential zipcodes had different tax rates. I had to get two different documents from the state and sort them myself to finally get the listing of zip codes and tax rates. And then I reduced it somewhat by being able to create some zip code ranges for a given tax rate. Still had almost 400 entries.

It was a lot of work to do that prep, BUT Johnathan coded the program so I could easily copy the whole mess from the spreadsheet right into the extension in 2 seconds, which meant I didn't have to enter each range manually one at a time. I had to do that for the County Taxes 4.3 and it took hours to get everything entered.


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Post by butte » Thu Jul 11, 2013 12:34 pm

You do not even need the existing ones, you can set those to disabled and then use instead your own arrays of categorical and subcategorical Geozones and Tax whatevers. You can number them, you can name them, they just need to correspond to something that customers have to enter (which will normally, here in the States, include State, City, and zip, with strict counterparts in many other countries). The best way to understand the Geozones and the Tax rates is to set up a few, enable them, go into Checkout, and see what they do, hands-on. You'll learn where the lampposts are how to peddle around them.

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Post by Johnathan » Thu Jul 11, 2013 10:58 pm

In all my fee/discount and shipping extensions, you can paste in cost brackets from a spreadsheet as tab-delimited data. So if you just set up a spreadsheet of your values like this:

Code: Select all

12400	12449	9.5%
12450	12455	9.0%
12456	12490	9.5%
etc.
then you can enter them all at once in the extension.

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Post by SteampunkMuseum » Fri Jul 12, 2013 10:42 am

Hi everyone,
just wanted to mark my initial need as "Resolved" thanks to Johnathan's Shipping Based Fee/Discount extension.
It was exactly what I needed, met all of my needs, and was straightforward to configure and use.

Summarizing, in Washington state, an online business needs to tax both the products and the shipping charges based on the shipping destination. And every city in the state has a different tax rate, ranging from 7% to 9.6%.

With this extension, I was able to upload almost 400 individual and ranges of zip codes for the associated tax rate.
Prep work took time to gather all the necessary information from the state, and reducing it down from individual zip codes into a mix of some ranges and some individual zips. Towns right next to each other physically had different tax rates, and sequential zip codes had different rates.

Once I had the data tho, I was able to copy and paste the whole lot right into the extension, saving me hours of manual entry. I was able to set up one rate to calculate a tax fee on the product sub total, and a second fee on the shipping cost.
While I could have left both rates display separately on the check out page, I chose to combine them and display a single tax charge for the order.

The extension worked for my needs perfectly and I only wish I had found it much sooner in my searches.
Johnathan's customer service is top notch, too!


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Post by butte » Fri Jul 12, 2013 12:04 pm

You notice, of course, his hexagonally close-packable infrared light bulb; works even in the dark in tight places.

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Post by Johnathan » Fri Jul 12, 2013 9:35 pm

SteampunkMuseum wrote:The extension worked for my needs perfectly and I only wish I had found it much sooner in my searches.
Johnathan's customer service is top notch, too!
Thanks! Glad it's working well for you. :)
butte wrote:You notice, of course, his hexagonally close-packable infrared light bulb; works even in the dark in tight places.
:laugh:

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Post by tom327 » Mon Jul 15, 2013 6:44 am

SteampunkMuseum wrote:
Once I had the data tho, I was able to copy and paste the whole lot right into the extension, saving me hours of manual entry.
Thanks for the update.

I wanted to ask you or Jonathan a question about the spreadsheet part.

If I understand correctly, I would need to create 3 columns:
1. Start of zip code range
2. End of zip code range
3. the tax percent for the range.

Is that correct?
And from what you wrote it looks like the percent symbol should be included, but NOT any hypens for the zip codes?

And use as many rows as I needed.

Then I am assuming something like Excel would have a way to export or save this date in a tab delimited way? Is that correct?

I was looking at the Admin Demo for the extension. Can you explain exactly how you import the data? Into the Rate area.
I see "Post Codes" under "Cart Criteria"? Is there a particular button that does the import?

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Post by SteampunkMuseum » Mon Jul 15, 2013 7:15 am

@tom327
Yes you are correct about the 3 columns on the spreadsheet and the % sign, and not having any hyphens.
The ranges could be a single zip code or an actual range, such as
10000 10000 6.0%
11000 12000 6.2%
12250 13050 6.0%

etc
Use as many rows as you need, mine had about 400.
However, there is a one line addition to two different php.ini file to enable OC to use that many rows.
The details are listed in the installation instructions. It will take seconds to make the modification.

As for copying, it is a simple copy (Ctrl+C) of the data in the spreadsheet and then a paste into a pop up window in the extension. There's no need to save the spreadsheet as a delimited file, it's just copy and paste. I think there is a button like "Copy from spreadsheet, a pop window opens, Ctrl+V to paste the data in and click the button which says something like "overwrite old data" and all of the lines will appear in the extension.

And in that right hand column for the zipcodes, make sure to select "Post code based". In my haste in setting up the second rate, I missed that little tidbit when setting it up :(

It's the little things that will trip us up every time.


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Post by Johnathan » Tue Jul 16, 2013 2:29 am

1. Yes, SteampunkMuseum is right. You would line up the lower zip code, upper zip code, and charge (including the % sign) and then paste it into the pop-up box. (The pop-up box comes up when you click the notepad icon in the Cost Brackets column.) You should make sure it copies as tab-delimited data, which most spreadsheet programs do.

2. The "Cart Criteria" Postcodes field can be utilized as well, but it is for when you need a combination of charges, such as weight + postcode based or postcode + quantity based. It doesn't work with the pasting feature, which is why I didn't recommend using it for a large spreadsheet of values. If you wanted to use it that way, you could group all the postcodes into one rate like this:

Title: Tax
Cart Criteria Postcodes: 10000-10000, 12250-13050, etc.
Rate Type: (any)
Cost Brackets:
- From: 0, To: 999999, Charge: 6.0%

That requires a rate for each tax charge, though, which I think takes more time to create than pasting the spreadsheet values in.

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Post by tom327 » Wed Jul 17, 2013 2:00 pm

Thank you both for the detailed explanations!

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Post by blindjoedeath » Sun Jul 21, 2013 6:50 am

Hey, folks - relatively new to Opencart, and I live in Washington state. :-( only due to the tax headache the state created.

Are there any more thoughts on a non-extension solution to this? That, or will the Fee/Discount module work with an extension like this? http://www.opencart.com/index.php?route ... nd%20order

And am I understanding Zones correctly in that they don't go more granular than state level (in the US)?

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Post by SteampunkMuseum » Mon Jul 22, 2013 2:10 am

@blindjoedeath Johnathan would have to speak to compatibility with that backend order extension. From a few messages above, it sounds like there is a way to create very detailed level zones but for me, it would take a lot more time than I have or care to put into it to make it work for our Washington state tax needs, along with creating some potential selection issues for the customer during checkout.

For my needs, Johnathan's extension fit the bill to create several different fees (taxes for me) so that I could tax by zip code and collect that tax on the item total and the shipping costs. And it enables me to add on more fees later as needed. Also, for time involved, I had to do the tax info prep work anyway, but configuring things in the extension took minutes to set up. My time/$ is better spent on other things than trying to do a workaround to make OC to do what I want.

Washington state really has made our taxing situation difficult. I know why they did it, to collect the appropriate revenue for each city, but there really should be an easier and far less intrusive manner to charge and distribute that tax.


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Post by Johnathan » Tue Jul 23, 2013 12:24 am

1. Compatibility with other modifications depends on how they change the system. That one you've posted has a good chance not to be compatible, unless it properly reproduces the front-end checkout process so it adds Order Totals properly.

2. Zones are created as states/regions for countries by default, but you can create or delete them, so you can make them whatever you want. See my previous post on how to create county-level zones for states. This would be a non-extension solution to this issue, but results in a long lists of zones.

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Post by tom327 » Thu Aug 15, 2013 4:26 am

Hello Johnathan, I had a follow up question about your extension. In particular, if I use it to charge customers NY County sales tax.

First, let's assume my NY customers will select New York as their state and then put in their zip code.

what happens if they put in the wrong zip code. in other words a non-new york zip code that I did not input into your extension?

Would they just not be charged any tax?

Is there a way to set a tax rate that gets applied when any zip code entered does not match the ones I input into the extension (NY zip codes)? Like a catch all for non-NY zip codes.

But I can see one problem with that. How does it know if it is a "wrong" NY zip code versus a zip code from another state? In other words, we don't want it applied to a shopper from California who put in in their correct zip code.

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Post by Johnathan » Thu Aug 15, 2013 10:22 pm

You can restrict rates by both geo zone and postcode, so you'd want to restrict the rate to a New York geo zone and then create a blank bracket at the end of the list. (Blank brackets will match anything, so a postcode that hasn't been matched by any in the list will match that one.) So you'd make your rate like this:

Geo Zones: New York
From: 12400, To: 12449, Charge: 9.5%
From: 12450, To: 12455, Charge: 9.0%
etc.
From: (blank), To: (blank), Charge: 10%

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Post by tom327 » Fri Aug 16, 2013 11:32 am

You can restrict rates by both geo zone and postcode,
Just to make sure I understand correctly -- Is this capability or feature part of your extension, or would I have to do some custom modifications?

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