NetSuite SuiteTax: Implementation & Localization Tips
SuiteTax is an indirect tax solution natively built on the NetSuite platform used to determine and calculate taxes across multiple tax jurisdictions.
SuiteTax was built to replace the Legacy Tax functionality within NetSuite. SuiteTax allows for increased localization to address unique, tax-intensive nations such as Brazil, India and China. It also allows multiple tax engines to be used for different Nexuses (including third-party solutions) and provides for various tax registrations for subsidiary and entity records.
SuiteTax has several obstacles to navigate to implement it properly.
Today, we’ll cover 6 quick tips for a seamless SuiteTax implementation alongside common obstacles and proposed solutions.
- Create a qualifying questionnaire
- Turn to implementation guides for help
- Conduct bundle installation
- Ensure proper setup
- Turn to the support team for guidance
- Ensure you have adequate tax knowledge
6 Tips for a Seamless SuiteTax Implementation
1. Create a qualifying questionnaire
SuiteTax is a hidden, non-reversible feature. Because of this, before a NetSuite customer can have SuiteTax provisioned to their account, they must complete and submit a questionnaire.
This questionnaire is meant to ensure the proper use of SuiteTax.
What to include in your SuiteTax qualifying questionnaire:
- General account information
- Which countries the customer needs SuiteTax for
- Third-party solutions (Avalara, Vertex, etc.) to be used alongside SuiteTax
- Features and bundles used that are incompatible with SuiteTax
A support case must be submitted with the questionnaire attached. It must be done separately for provisioning to both the sandbox (existing customers with transaction data are highly recommended to install to sandbox first) and production accounts.
It takes NetSuite some time (possibly up to a week or more) to process these questionnaires. Keep this in mind, and ensure the support case and questionnaire are submitted as early as possible to prevent implementation delays!
2. Turn to implementation guides for help
There are several useful implementation guides for SuiteTax, but they aren’t always easy to locate.
The “NetSuite SuiteTax Setup Guide” is now available from the Help Center under the “User Guides” section and is very helpful for general SuiteTax setup.
Also, some localization guides (e.g., “India Specific Features Guide” and “Brazil Specific Features Guide”) will have sections addressing specific tax setup issues. These guides are also in the User Guides section of the Help Center.
It is essential to follow them as closely as possible. Oftentimes, we’ll see clients miss areas of the entity record setup such as GST, Default Tax Registration, and Rule setup.
These are important areas because they enable automation to occur within NetSuite SuiteTax, which saves your team time. If the entity setup is completed incorrectly, your team will quickly become frustrated and ultimately need to start from scratch, scrubbing incorrect information and updating accurate information.
If you are struggling with your implementation, we recommend looking into the guide “SuiteTax topics Help Center” which addresses issues and includes all help center topics.
While it’s not yet readily available in the User Guides section, you can get your hands on it by reaching out directly to NetSuite via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additionally, if you’re a NetSuite partner, they offer some helpful excel checklists for new accounts and migrating accounts that help plan your implementation.
We highly recommend using these, so be sure to ask the NetSuite team for the “Configurations Checklist Guide” as well.
3. Conduct bundle installation
For each implementation of SuiteTax (including localization), NetSuite will have a recommended bundle installation order.
If they don’t provide this info, be sure to verify this with them before installing bundles, as incorrect bundle installation could cause you headaches down the road.
It’s important to understand that the bundle ID numbers sometimes change, so you will want to ensure that you install the latest ones.
While there isn’t a set cadence in which these numbers change, be sure to contact NetSuite Help if you see a bundle ID number that doesn’t match what’s available in a guide.
If you’re unsure of the correct setup, we’ve provided an example of the proper installation order for SuiteTax with India Localization:
Priority 1. SuiteTax Engine
Priority 2. SuiteTax Data Records
Priority 3. India Localization SuiteTax Engine
Priority 4. SuiteTax Reports
Priority 5. India Localization SuiteTax Reports
Bundle ID 237702
Bundle ID 239499
Bundle ID 253246
Bundle ID 237699
Bundle ID 255126
4. Ensure proper setup
While installing and implementing SuiteTax is an undertaking in itself, there is still more work to be done.
After you’ve completed the initial phases, you’ll often find that your entity records (Customers, Vendors, etc.) must be cleaned or scrubbed for SuiteTax to work correctly.
In past projects with the India Localization, we’ve seen clients with many customers and vendors store information in custom fields.
While this initiative comes from the right mindset, information such as Goods and Services Tax (GST) ID numbers, Permanent Account Numbers (PAN), and other information can be complicated in customization.
The custom SuiteTax fields are automatically created by the bundle. The cumbersome part is making sure they are populated with the tax info instead of custom fields the client may have created to store the info before going with SuiteTax.
Values will need to be copied over to the SuiteTax fields for proper tax calculation. Ensure you have standardized fields and use defaults when appropriate to limit any future frustrations or errors.
5. Turn to the support team for guidance
Support for SuiteTax is still in its infancy stage. As it’s a relatively new product, the support team behind it, while in place, is learning the product.
While they will have more information on issues, we recommend working as a team with the NetSuite team and be proactive when submitting cases to ensure you’re able to remedy your problems efficiently.
If the primary support plan doesn’t work for you, NetSuite does offer a premium support plan. Cases under this package may be quickly escalated to the experts who are responsible for developing the product.
Like any new product, there is an endless list of enhancement requests, and for SuiteTax, there is no exception. One enhancement we’d like to highlight is #579958, which is all the rounding preferences in SuiteTax to be available in accounts that have the India Localization installed.
As you find areas you’d like to see improvements, be sure to submit to support with your account information and detailed comments.
The more customers who submit requests, the more likely NetSuite will address these issues!
6. Ensure you have adequate tax knowledge
Taxes come with enough complications in your state as is, let alone when you’re attempting to implement NetSuite SuiteTax in a foreign country.
As you prepare to install SuiteTax, it’s crucial to brush up on the local tax laws, regardless of where you’re implementing them. By understanding the tax laws, you can define what you truly need the product to accomplish.
This is even more important when client staff are new to the localization. Each location has different concepts, such as Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) in India, which requires specific application and reporting.
We recommend educating yourself and your team about these concepts by researching the appropriate tax agency websites to understand the tax laws at play.
Ensuring a Successful SuiteTax Implementation & Beyond
There are multiple benefits to SuiteTax when it’s implemented correctly.
While the above six tips should undoubtedly have you on your way, contact us if you have questions or visit our NetSuite Consulting practice page to learn more about our expertise.
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