What You Should Know About The Ecommerce Sales Tax In The USA

by Artyom Kopylov,

Are you going to run a business in the United States? In this case, we recommend you learn more about the US taxation system. So check what you should know about ecommerce sales tax in the USA to start and run a business on favorable terms.

In our previous article, we have discussed how to register a business in the United States, what the benefits of running a business in the US are, sorted out all the steps to get your venture started, and shared with you the secrets that can help you save time and money.

After you’ve registered your business, you need to learn how to deal with taxes. Today we’ll look into the whole issue of ecommerce sales tax in the USA. Whether you’re a US resident or not, the information provided in the article will be equally useful for everybody concerned.

Disclaimer: the article is for informational purposes only; Sellvia itself doesn’t provide legal advice and registration or taxation services.

What should you know about the US taxation system, and how much does a business owner have to pay in taxes?

a picture demonstrating the US currency that is used in the USA

We have already found out that registering a business in the United States is a great idea due to several benefits you get. After you’re finished with the process of registering your business, you need to study how the US taxation system works.

We suggest you go through a list of the most popular questions regarding taxation in the US. That will help you dispel myths and take you away from any fears related to running a business in the United States.

What is the sales tax, and how to deal with it?

Let’s start with the basics. If you run your business in the USA, it doesn’t matter if it’s a grocery or an online store, you need to collect a sales tax.

A sales tax is a consumption tax imposed by the government on the sale of goods and services. So if you sell goods or services, you’re supposed to collect a sales tax and pay the state you work in.

How much is the sales tax in the USA?

There’s no standard for the sales tax in the USA. The sales tax can vary depending on the state you work in. It ranges from 2.9 to 7.25 percent at the state level.

However, there are also exceptions to the rules. That’s why several states have a 0% sales tax, but they’re only five of them as of 2020. Here they come.

  • Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, Alaska, and Oregon.

How to collect the sales tax?

There are two options for you to collect the sales tax:

  • You can include the sales tax in the product cost

Therefore, your potential customers will see a total product price without any additional notes.

  • You divide the product cost and sales tax

In this case, your customers will see that they pay the sales tax each time they make a purchase.

Should you register your business in each state you work in?

When we were speaking about starting a venture in the US, we recommended registering a business in the state with favorable taxation terms. It’s all about Delaware, Wyoming, Nevada.

❗However, according to US law, you have to register your business in each state you sell in.

Sounds intimidating, right? But let’s not panic ahead of time. This condition applies only to businesses with an income of more than $100,000 per month.

What are other tax limitations there in the US?

a picture showing how to deal with the ecommerce sales tax in the USA

There’re, actually, some other aspects you should take into account when considering business taxation.

Economic nexus

What is the economic nexus?

Economic nexus implies that you have to collect sales tax in a state in case you earn above a sales or revenue threshold in that specific state.

It may seem too complicated, but there’s absolutely nothing challenging about it.

So if you’ve registered your business in, let’s say, Nevada, but you sell goods throughout the US, you need to carefully monitor your activities in each state.

First of all, you need to make sure that you haven’t reached a $100,000/month point in a state yet. If you have, congratulations! It means you’ve grown a really successful business. However, you’ll have to register your business in that very state. But it’s not a big deal.

Moreover, it’s necessary to check how many transactions you’ve in each state. If you don’t want to be subjected to economic nexus, there must be no more than 200 transactions a month in a state.

Physical presence nexus

All the states have a slightly different definition of nexus.

If we’re speaking about a physical presence nexus, it refers to your physical presence in a state (a warehouse, a headquarter, a brick-and-mortar store, etc.).

So if you have a warehouse that is full of products you sell, you will have to pay a tax for this in the state your warehouse is located.

Fortunately, if you’re going to start an online store, it doesn’t imply your physical presence in any state. This is why, with an ecommerce business, there’s no need to worry about the physical presence nexus.

Are there ways to automate the sales tax life cycle?

It becomes clear that if you run an ecommerce business in the USA, all you need to do to properly deal with the sales tax is to monitor a couple of aspects. However, in case you’re going to do this manually, it will take you time and effort that you’d better devote to the task requiring your particular participation.

So are there any ways to automate the sales tax life cycle? In fact, there are some. One of them is TaxJar.

a picture showing how to automate a sales tax

TaxJar was started to let you take care of a critical part of managing your business with no effort. TaxJar does the heavy lifting for you by automating your most tedious tasks. It accurately calculates sales tax rates, classifying products, and managing multi-state filing.

Due to the TaxJar dashboard, you will be able to see the states you have customers from, revenues, and the number of transactions in each state in real-time. Beyond the economic nexus, with TaxJar you can easily collect accurate sales taxes at checkout, access sales tax reports, file, and remit automatically, and so on.

Ecommerce sales tax in the USA: is this a reason for fear?

There is, actually, nothing scary and challenging about running a business in the United States. When you’ve already put your business on track, it remains for you only to collect the sales tax and monitor income and the number of transactions in each state.

Fortunately, there are tools for you to automate the sales tax life cycle. We recommend you consider using one of them. In this case, the process of managing a business registered in the US is not quite different from running a business in any other country.

Meanwhile, if you decide to register a business in the USA, you can rely on lots of benefits the US government is happy to provide small businesses with. As you can see, there’s no reason to be afraid of ecommerce sales tax in the USA.

So, register a business in the United States and make the most of your venture with Sellvia!

by Artyom Kopylov
Artyom is a copywriter at Sellvia and AliDropship. BA degree in International Communication and MA degree in Advertising let him start his career working in a multinational petrochemical enterprise as a marketing specialist. For a number of years now, Artyom has been creating educational materials to help people worldwide start their profitable ecommerce ventures.

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Nikki Best October 1, 2021 0:04:30

I am not a citizen of the USA and neither am I in possession of a work permit. Does this matter if I want to start an online store?

Yaroslav October 1, 2021 5:09:57

Hi, you don’t need to be a citizen of the US to run this business.

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