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Assigning Alternative Tax Rates

Last updated 23/12/2020

How to automatically or manually assign Alternative Tax Rates to your transactions.


Once you have downloaded your Alternative Tax Rates from Xero, you will need to decide how to assign them.

The ultimate goal here is to set up a logical system, so that the line items you import into Xero are taxed at the correct tax rate.

You will find documented below each possible way of automating Alternative Tax Rate assignments. It is also possible to manually override Alternative Tax Rates, and we have documented this as well.

Because it is only possible to assign one Alternative Tax Rate to a line item, Cin7 has a system of prioritization, explained at the bottom of this page.

Automating Alternative Tax Rate Assignments


You can apply an Alternative Tax Rate to individual contacts.

  1. From the left navigation, select CRM.
  2. Select the contact by selecting the contact name.
  3. Under the Accounts section, choose the tax rate from the Tax Status dropdown.

When adding a Customer or Vendor with an Alternative Tax Rate to a transaction, the specified tax rate will automatically apply to all the products in the transaction.

This means that unless otherwise specified, all products within this transaction will be taxed at the same tax rate.


You can apply an Alternative Tax Rate so that sales from different branches are taxed with the same tax rate. This is particularly useful if you have multiple retail stores.

To apply an Alternative Tax Rate at a branch level:

  1. From the left navigation, select CRM.
  2. Using the Contact Type dropdown, select Branches.
  3. Select the branch by selecting its name.
  4. From the Tax Status dropdown, choose the Alternative Tax Rate.

Each sale is taxed based on the Tax Status setting in the branch contact. This happens at the time of import - so unlike customers above, it is not visible in the actual transactions within Cin7. Branch level Alternative Tax Rate is applied unless otherwise defined at the order level. See priorities below.

Manually Assigning Alternative Tax Rates

You may choose to assign Alternative Tax Rate manually at the time of sale, either to override automatic assignments or just to apply the Alternative Tax Rate on a case by case basis.

There are two places you can do this:

Assigning at the Order level

To apply an Alternative Tax Rate to an entire order, select the Alternative Tax Rate dropdown and choose from the list. This will apply one specific tax rate to all line items in the order.

Assigning to a line item

In a transaction, you can choose an Alternative Tax Rate for each line item by selecting the Account column and then choosing a value from the dropdown list that appears.


When an Alternative Tax Rate is applied in multiple places, the Tax Rate that is ultimately applied is decided by the priority below (1 being the highest):

  1. Line item
  2. Order level/Contact 
  3. Branch
  4. Default Account

Let's say you have assigned Branch X to the Tax Rate "GST (15%)". You also assigned Customer Y to Tax Rate "GST Free 0%" prior to this. When you sell to Customer Y from Branch X, Tax Rate "GST Free 0%" will be applied because the Customer has a higher priority.


I can't see the entire Tax Rate name from the dropdown list?

This may happen if your Tax Rate name is too long. The recommended solution is to use a naming scheme that allows you to easily see the right account from the first few characters (e.g., "GST", "No GST", etc.).