Understanding the Differences Between TaxCloud's Free Plan and Starter Plan


Choosing the right TaxCloud plan is essential for managing your business's sales tax compliance efficiently. This article will detail the differences between the Free Plan and the Starter Plan to help you decide which plan best suits your business needs.

Free Plan - Ideal for Small Businesses and Newcomers

Starting at $19/mo, the Free Plan is designed for new and smaller businesses that need to monitor Nexus and file sales tax only in their home state.

Features of the Free Plan include:

  • Data Integration: You can upload transaction orders via CSV or utilize 1 BASIC data integration, compatible with Shopify, Quickbooks Online, Squareup, and Stripe (more below), typically importing data only once per month.
  • Tax Calculation: There is no tax calculation provided. TaxCloud will generate a report for your chosen state using the tax rate information included in the transaction data.
  • Reporting: You receive return-ready sales tax reports for one state only and Nexus reporting & monitoring to track when you reach an Economic Nexus threshold in other states.
  • Support Resources: Access to a library of self-help articles and resources and in-app set up guide.

Limitations of the Free Plan:

  • No tax rate calculation (uses tax rates determined at the time of sale by your online store).
  • No filing services, audit support, real-time integrations, or access to the TaxCloud API.
  • No Email, Phone, or Chat support.

Starter Plan - Suitable for Growing Businesses

The Starter Plan is a step up, tailored for businesses that require reporting and/or filing capabilities across a few states.

Features of the Starter Plan include:

  • Data Integration: Upload transactions via CSV or up to 3 BASIC data integrations–typically importing data only once per month.
  • Tax Calculation: TaxCloud calculates or recalculates tax rates of transactions at time of import, with enhanced accuracy (Pro Tip: most accurate results are achieved witch transaction information including 9 digit zip code). It also includes access to TaxCloud's product tax code catalog and exemption management.
  • Reporting: Return-ready sales tax reports for all states with comprehensive Nexus reporting and monitoring–turning it red on your dashboard highlighting that you need to enable Tax Calculation for that state in your dashboard.
  • Filing: Ability to have TaxCloud file your sales tax returns in any state, with filings starting at $30 per state (additional costs for CO & LA).
  • Support Resources: Access to the self-help article library, TaxCloud’s Email Customer Support, and the in-app set up guide.

Limitations of the Starter Plan:

  • No access to TaxCloud’s API for advanced features like address verification and real-time data import.
  • No access to PREMIUM integrations or discounted services with Streamlined Sales Tax (SST) member states. (Pro tip: If you require filing in 2+ SST Member states, it is more cost effective to upgrade to TaxCloud’s Premium Tier to take advantage of these discounts, often reducing filing costs in these states to $0).
  • No chat & phone support (Pro tip: consider upgrading to the Premium Tier for these features).

How do I know which plan is right for me?

  • If you are required to collect & file in more than 1 state, you'll need Starter or Premium.
  • If your online store, e-commerce, or ERP platform is listed in the PREMIUM integrations, you'll need the Premium plan.
    • If you have more than 1 BASIC integration, you'll need at least Starter
  • If you require filing in 2 or more SST states (or your home state is an SST state & file in 1 more SST state) it is more cost effective for you to be in the Premium plan to take advantage of free filings reduce the number of orders counting towards your plan's allotment.

Comparison of BASIC vs. PREMIUM Integrations

BASIC Integrations:

These are essential tools for small to medium-sized businesses to automate accuracy of sales tax calculations, reporting, and compliance. They are simple to set up and include integrations listed below, and typically importing data 1 to 2 times per month.

Shopify Quickbooks Desktop Quickbooks Online
Squarespace Stripe Bonanza

PREMIUM Integrations:

Designed for businesses with more complex tax needs, these integrations support multi-state operations, higher transaction volumes, and intricate compliance requirements. Premium integrations are only available in TaxCloud's Premium plans, and they include:

Ability Commerce BigCommerce Crystal Commerce
Odoo Magento Websell
WooCommerce ZenCart


Choosing between the Free Plan and the Starter Plan depends on your business size, transaction volume, and the complexity of your tax compliance needs. Evaluate your requirements against the features and limitations of each plan to make an informed decision. For more complex needs or multi-state operations, consider exploring TaxCloud's higher-tier plans.

For further assistance, access our help center resources or contact our support team to ensure you select the plan that best fits your business needs.

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