Taxes/business license/etc.... Help please!

New Member
2 0 0

Hi everyone! Based on my questions, you will see that I am very new to the world of online business. I have researched, but continue to receive wishy-washy answers. I hope someone will be able to give me concrete feedback. I apologize for my novice questions, but I don't know where else to turn for answers at this point. I'll just start by saying I launched my site around the beginning of November. I dropship clothing through AliExpress (3 orders so far) and Modalyst (no orders from the latter yet). I'm based virtually in Tennessee. I've had 3 orders... one from TN, one from Denmark and one from Kansas.

1) Right now, in the Taxes Settings, TN is listed with the specific sales tax information. Although I have this information, my TN customer's order is showing that no taxes were paid. I'm so confused by this. The customer had a 10% discount coupon for being a first time customer. Did this coupon interfere somehow with taxes?

2) From what I understand, no sales tax is required by anyone buying from me outside of TN. So, this means I don't need to do anything else in the shipping/tax sections, correct?

3) I have only had three sales. Do I still need to get a business license and register in TN?  Right now, I am paying more to run my site and for apps/promotions. I am actually considering selling this site. So, I don't really want to fool with getting a license and then selling everything. If I HAD to register for one, how would I go about selling the site/doing income taxes on everything once it is sold?

4) Just a note- I don't want to hire an accountant because I am making nothing from this site as of yet. Everything made went into the cost of running and then I have more to pay. 

I'm sorry for how ignorant I am about all of this. I've done so much research with such little factual information provided, so I wanted to reach out to those who really know what they're talking about. Thanks in advance. 

Shopify Staff
Shopify Staff
48 0 35

Hey Redfine Metro,

Chantal Shopify Guru here!

I just want to preface by saying that I am no tax expert by any means so I would suggest reaching out to a tax expert to get answers for your questions 2 and 3 to make sure that you are charging the right amount of taxes on your products.

As for question 1, the discount would not ahve caused 0% taxes to be charged on the order. It sounds like the product that the customer from T ordered wasn't set to charge taxes on it. You can check this by going to the order's page in your admin (Orders > click on the order number) then clicking on the title of the product in the order. This will bring you to the product/variant page where there's a checkbox for Charge taxes on this product (this checkbox is under the pricing):

Make sure that this box is checked for all products that you want taxes to be applied to :) You can use Bulk Editing to make this change to multiple products at a time if you need to.

Hope this helps!

Chantal Shopify Guru

Chantal, Shopify Guru
New Member
1 0 1

Hi RR,

Jennifer with TaxJar here. As to your Question #2, you only need to collect sales tax in states where you have sales tax nexus. Only have nexus in TN? Only collect in TN. You can check which factors create sales tax nexus for businesses here. Also, be sure you register for a sales tax permit before you begin collecting sales tax. In most states, it's considered illegal to collect before you have a permit. Here's a lot more about sales tax in TN. I hope this helps!

New Member
1 0 0
Easyyyy my man. Deep breath. IRS isn’t coming after you unless your making some serious profits without claiming it. Your good

I’m located in the Nashville area. The TN business license threshold is $3,000 in gross sales.

I don’t mind taking a look at your tax setup in Shopify and TaxJar. If you some free time on Thursday or Friday, that would be great.

Just let me know.

I’m a long time CPA who has recently decided to leave the corporate rat race :)

Alana Bryant