Drop shipping sales tax: What You Need to Know about Sales Tax and Drop Shipping

Drop shipping sales tax

In the U.S., all sellers (whether retailers or drop shippers) are required to collect sales tax if they have sales tax nexus in the state to which the item ships. In the United States, sales tax is imposed on the final consumer. The retailer should be able to purchase items it sells exempt from sales tax under the resale exemption.

With so many terms surrounding the topic, it’s no wonder that many dropshippers want to give up from fear of getting in trouble with tax laws. TPT generally doesn’t apply to freight costs billed to and collected from a purchaser by a retailer for tangible personal property shipped directly from a manufacturer or wholesaler to the purchaser (aka, drop shipments). Your vendor reserves the right not to accept your resale certificate. Mainly because it’s the vendor who is on the hook for unpaid sales tax should a resale certificate turn out to be fraudulent.

  • The sales tax is calculated based on the tax rate of the state where you have a nexus.
  • However, when the retailer, supplier and customer (or the package’s destination) are not located in the same state, sales and use tax rules change as nexus laws may come into play.
  • Dropshipping affects your personal taxes only in regards to your income taxes.
  • In most cases, dropshippers have nexus only in the state they have a physical presence (business, warehouse, employees).

Otherwise, the manufacturer/supplier would be required to collect tax on its sale to the retailer even though it is really a sale for resale. Remember, exempt sales are only exempt if the right documentation is presented. With three parties involved in a drop shipping transaction, there’s a very high likelihood at least one is reselling.

As a professional Chinese dropshipping supplier, we offer you a one-stop dropshipping solution. All you need to do is to send us your product list, and we’ll do the rest for you—product sourcing, purchasing from the factory, quality check, custom packaging & inserts, and order fulfillment. Our first advice when it comes to dropshipping taxes in the USA is to check where you have nexus. The sales tax in the US and the VAT in the EU are so-called consumer taxes since they’re collected and covered by the end customer. You always pay this income tax amount to your local government in the country of living. So, the income tax doesn’t depend on where your customers are from but where you’re from.

Do you need to pay sales tax to your suppliers?

As an example, let’s calculate on a product that costs $50, with a 4% tax rate like the one in New York. If you pass $20,000 in sales a year or have over 200 transactions, Shopify will also send you a 1099-K tax form. Non-US residents who don’t have a physical presence, staff, or inventory in any state, will have nexus in a state only in the fourth scenario – when they surpass a certain threshold in sales.

Who owes what to whom can seem even more nebulous when transactions create indirect relationships between sellers, suppliers, and customers. Finally, let’s say all three parties are located in different states. You in Virginia, the vendor in Oklahoma, and the customer in Texas. Now let’s say you are located in another state and don’t have nexus in Virginia, but the vendor does. In this situation, they could be responsible for collecting sales tax.

And it’s a tax on consumption, on buying and spending for one’s own personal use. In this post, we’ll explain the general rules around sales tax for dropshippers, plus how to comply with tax rules in major world markets. We highly recommend that you consult an accountant with experience with sales tax if you plan to embrace dropshipping in your eCommerce business model. Check out this post for some common dropshipping scenarios and how to handle sales tax in each of them.

How to handle sales tax on shipping: A state-by-state guide

Whether dropshippers collect taxes or not depends on many factors. Generally speaking, when obliged, dropshippers have to collect a so-called consumption tax that the end-consumer pays according to their state or country tax rate. Or you are researching how to dropship, but are you wondering what to do with taxes like the sales tax and VAT? In this awesome guest post from Quaderno, you learn everything that you need to know about the taxes for when you’re dropshipping. If you’re feeling stuck, TaxJar’s software can help you get your sales tax filed properly, all online.

When you ship a product to another address, the knowledge of your tax rules becomes very important in both the sales tax calculation and when completing your tax returns. When you make your purchase from the supplier, you need to provide them your complete exemption certificate. For example, Adam runs an online music store from Archer City, Texas, which means he has “nexus” in Texas and is required to collect sales tax from Texas buyers. If Adam sells a synthesizer to a buyer in Denton, Texas, he’s required to charge that buyer sales tax. But by the end of this article, you’ll be clear on your sales tax obligations, whether you’re a drop shipper, or a retailer working with a drop shipper. Unfortunately, it can also complicate the already confusing area of sales tax compliance.

The primary rule is a resale certificate for the ship to state issued by the retailer. However, if the retailer isn’t registered in the ship to state, can they legally issue a resale certificate for the ship to state? Our guide to navigating new tax regulations and drop shipping is a visual reference designed to help sellers and suppliers more easily determine who collects and remits sales tax.

How Do Tax Rates Work with Dropshipping in Multiple States?

So, if you found yourself in one (or more) of those four cases, you probably have a nexus and have to collect sales taxes in those states. VAT is the EU alternative to sales taxes in the US – a consumption tax that you charge at PoS from your end customers. In the US, sales tax is a type of consumption tax that dropshippers often need to collect and pay.

Drop shipping sales tax

Always check each state’s tax policy to make sure you’re staying within the rules. The Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration encourages Arkansas businesses to contact tax departments in other states “to determine if you have the requirement to collect their taxes.” It’s a good rule of thumb. Additionally, Shopify notifies the IRS of all of their stores and accounts’ earnings. Without paying your taxes on time, you risk getting in trouble with the law. To automatically get a 1099-K from Shopify, you have to go over $20,000 in sales or achieve more than 200 transactions. The following reference guide is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to replace professional tax advice.

In this case, Ron has given proof to Debbie that she does not have to collect sales tax from him, because he is also a retailer. In this scenario, Debbie does not collect sales tax from Ron, even if Debbie has sales tax nexus in the state where Bobby Buyer is located. The manufacturer/supplier bills the retailer for the wholesale price and the retailer then bills the customer the retail price. The state’s rules that must be followed and the tax that applies is the state where the goods are delivered to the customer – so the ship to state. For complex tax scenarios like drop shipping, automated solutions handle sales tax calculations and exemptions as the transaction takes place, applying the latest rules and regulations. Avalara AvaTax is designed to integrate with multiple systems, including supply chain software.

Some states only accept in-state issued certificates, while others accept multi-state certificates. Sometimes your small business takes an order for a product you don’t actually have in stock at your location. You might not even actually carry that item, nor have you ever carried that item. However, because you love your customers and want to cater to their needs, you ordered the item from a third party; maybe a wholesaler warehouse, or a manufacturer. If you are an EU VAT-registered business, and your supplier is also in the EU, then VAT on these B2B purchases is managed through the reverse-charge mechanism. If your business is located outside of the EU, but your supplier is inside the EU, then you probably don’t have to pay VAT.

Dropshipping Taxes 101: All You Need to Know About Tax Obligations in 2022

But, for customers in states where you don’t have a nexus, you can set an exemption by not charging tax. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pay your taxes if you don’t get the form. As we mentioned before, every single income you make through Shopify payments or PayPal is subject to taxes. Certain countries, such as the UK, can have a minimum threshold (at the moment 1,000 pounds) up to which you aren’t obliged to pay income taxes.

Although navigating the labyrinth of dropshipping worldwide taxes becomes easier with experience, it can seem impossible for a new eCommerce business owner. In general, Canada follows what is called “the place of supply rule” which determines the tax rate you should charge to your customers, withhold, and remit to the appropriate government body. Determining the “place of supply” can differ based on your business location, what you sell, and to whom. If you’re a Canadian company or your company sells in Canada, you will likely have to apply and collect GST instead of Sales Tax.

Not all vendors will accept resale certificates

In many cases, states accept “alternate documentation” proving the distributor qualifies for an exemption with the state determining what’s acceptable. Other states require an in-state exemption, but without a nexus in that state, the retailer may not be able to obtain this certificate. However, states have different standards of what documentation they accept. Distributors need to know what states accept what documentation. So, in this scenario, the sales tax you’d have to charge your NY customer is $2. The sales tax is calculated based on the tax rate of the state where you have a nexus.

The transaction between the seller and the customer is a retail transaction and taxed according to the nature of the goods purchased or the type of customer. The retail transaction is not between the manufacturer and the customer and therefore, the manufacturer should not be held liable to collect tax based on the retail price. The transaction between the manufacturer and the retailer is considered a resale transaction and should qualify under the resale exemption which applies in every US State. It gets even more complicated as some states have stricter rules than others.