Sales Tax for Ecommerce: The Best Way to Stay Compliant


Tax, and especially sales tax, turns out to be a complex topic when it comes to existing processes within a single jurisdiction. The problem is even more tedious with adopting a new sales channel, expanding to a new market, or doing both things at the same time. Moreover, it’s worth noting that staying compliant can be costly. You may come across situations littered with issues relating to time, effort, and capital. Technological solutions make it easier to understand complex, unfamiliar tax laws.

It’s also worth understanding the indirect tax challenges of expanding sales either across borders or across demographics. There is also a need to understand the indirect tax solutions. When it comes to understanding the issues, there’s a need for building a familiarity regarding the legislation. Legislation concerning indirect taxes, sales tax, and VAT differ greatly from country to country.

Entering a new market

Selling overseas comes with new avenues for growth, but not without the involvement of a hefty price. Understanding and complying with the new market’s tax laws turns out to come with serious consequences. Experts’ verdict about indirect taxation challenges and the manner that differs between the U.S. and Europe is that the sales tax is bound to vary depending on the region. A good understanding about the sales tax services ensures overcoming the risks associated with the entire process.

The U.S. federal government doesn’t come with the involvement of indirect taxes. In the U.S., the challenge is all regarding keeping up with all the state and local governments. Over 16,000 indirect tax jurisdictions are operating in North America. Besides, it’s worth noting that many of them have distinct tax rules and rates. Selling into the U.S. comes with the rules that the companies need to deal with indirect taxes both at the state and local levels. The concepts that aren’t understandable increase the complexity.

A company must know where to register on a state-by-state basis — sometimes; companies are even required to register with cities and counties. In addition, local rules vary, including items that get taxed, tax to apply, and the manner of filing a return and paying the tax.

Challenges for the three countries are identical since they all are members of the European Union and have to follow the EU VAT Directive (law). When it comes to selling into European countries, the top two challenges come with the involvement of knowing where and how to register for VAT and also dealing with the bureaucracy of the actual registrations.

If you’re looking forward to getting answers for where to register, there is a need to track the VAT registration thresholds. Three European countries like we have mentioned above have the same annual sales threshold, about €100,000 per annum. But most other EU countries have a much lower threshold. Manually tracking thresholds can be a time-consuming task.

Businesses also have to understand that the way they manage trade impacts registration requirements. Issues such as who is responsible for clearing the goods through customs affect whether registration is required. Besides, not all companies come with the involvement of the same policies. Companies are registering, so their B2C customers usually don’t end up getting a nasty customs and import VAT charges.

VAT registration turns out to be a bureaucratic and highly manual process. Countries have differing requirements on forms to be filled, alongside getting access to the supporting documents required. Germany and the Netherlands require everything to be done in German and Dutch, respectively. On the other hand, the Netherlands obliges U.S. companies to appoint a local tax representative with the involvement of some amount of the compliance costs.

Other considerations regarding the eCommerce sales tax

Ecommerce businesses get the scope for adjusting to any new or changed sales tax laws. They can do so by making changes from an accounting perspective while also leaning into technology for support. Software solutions help keeps track of different states tax laws while also getting the method for the avoidance of compliance mistakes. Besides, the understanding of the physical nexus is mandatory as it is the entity responsible for the creation of the most sales tax risk.

Factoring property, employees, and office spaces create a physical nexus. States that do not have a physical presence make it mandatory to continuously monitor the rules because the rules keep on changing from time to time. Aspects of sales tax vary from state to state and are inclusive of several entities.

Businesses that are looking forward to expanding to B2C sales should always stay updated regarding the new legislation that will help in the mission of getting more sellers to collect tax. States, these days, are looking forward to getting creative with the way they define nexus. It can help in the mission of recapturing some of the tax revenue lost. The informed decision can keep away the issues associated with untaxed online sales.

Final Words

Sales tax, especially the tax that is associated with Ecommerce, proves to be tricky. But, the professionals minimize your stress and give peace of mind. So, get the updated information today and just go with the development of successful online businesses. They help manage sales tax, including Ecommerce bookkeeping and recording.

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