How to Pay Taxes on Ecommerce Platforms 

When you’re selling goods on eCommerce platforms, it’s important to pay sales tax where applicable. This article will look at Sales tax, Value-added tax, Marketplace facilitators, and the compliance burden. It’s also important to know which jurisdictions require a specific tax. In addition, there are nuances when it comes to VAT. Whether you’re selling goods online or offline, you’ll want to be aware of any local laws before you begin your business. 

Sales tax 

The first step in collecting sales tax is determining the nexus of the eCommerce business with the state in which the customer lives. There are two basic types of sales tax, origin-based and destination-based. Origin-based sales tax is collected in the state of origin for goods and services that are purchased within its borders. In some cases, sales tax is not collected on shipping charges, but the state will still levy tax on the products when the customer buys them. 

Sales tax is a percentage of the purchase price and is added to taxable items. Sales tax is required by law for all retailers, including online businesses, and is collected on behalf of the customer by the state in which they are doing business. Sales tax laws are different in each state, and some even allow cities and counties to charge their taxes. Some companies collect sales tax through resale certificates from other retailers. 

Value-added tax 

If you do eCommerce in the UK, you need to be aware of Value-added tax rules. These laws govern the collection of VAT and the payment of tax by both the seller and the buyer. However, some eCommerce applications may not be VAT registered or do not have a tax registration number. Hence, these eCommerce applications should ensure that they are VAT-registered. To avoid any confusion, you should keep the following tips in mind: 

First, check the VAT status of your customer. For a VAT-efficient e-commerce transaction, the customer’s VAT status is essential. If the customer has a valid VAT number, it is easy to assume that they are taxable. Otherwise, you’ll need to rely on presumptions of proof, which can provide support to a certain extent but not always. For cross-border supplies of goods and distance sales via e-commerce platforms, this is especially problematic. 

Marketplace facilitators 

While sellers generally bear the burden of sales tax, marketplace facilitators are not responsible for collecting or remitting this tax. However, in certain states, marketplace facilitators are required to collect sales tax from third-party sellers. These marketplaces are big businesses, which help sellers sell their products. As such, marketplace facilitators have a clear advantage over sellers: they collect sales tax from fewer entities. The result is a simpler compliance process for sellers and a more efficient tax system for the states. 

Several states, including California, have passed laws requiring marketplace facilitators to collect sales taxes from their users. Although most states have adopted the facilitator law, some states have yet to amend marketplace laws to exclude delivery networks. Fortunately, many states have drafted similar legislation. In Washington, marketplace facilitators are responsible for transmitting offers between sellers and buyers. Additionally, these marketplaces must provide transaction infrastructures such as order taking, payment processing, branding, and customer service. 

Compliance burden 

As a result of the Wayfair v. South Dakota ruling, states are now required to collect sales taxes from e-commerce companies, regardless of location. It can be difficult and expensive to track and collect sales tax from every state, especially if you don’t have a physical presence in each state. This is why Shopify Plus partner Avalara offers a cloud-based solution for state sales tax compliance. 

The growing role of eCommerce in society is driving a shift towards digital transformation. The global economy is becoming more digital and e-commerce is a significant part of the tax base. With the increasing use of cashless payments, businesses are reducing their reliance on paper, and increasingly using online payment methods. Because these transactions leave a digital trail, tax administrations can review these transactions to verify whether businesses are complying with local laws.