Do I need to charge taxes in all the countries I sell to?

22 0 6

I am based in Florida, USA. I dropship from China to the US, Canada and Australia (so far). 

Do I need to collect taxes in all the countries I sell to? I think in the US I have to collect taxes only in my state. What about other countries? The automatic settings in Shopify are for the US only. For other countries I have to set up taxes myself. I realized that Shopify was not collecting anything for Canada and Australia. Now after I set them up to "collecting" I was wondering if I have to collect them at all. 

Another question (unrelated) is that I have this notification that I'm not collecting taxes on all the variants of my products. Why is that? It says "You are not charging taxes on some product variants". Do I have to select all product variants manually for the taxes to be collected?  

Replies 2 (2)

Shopify Staff
1109 106 369

Hi, @elena79rus!


Julie here from Shopify Support.


It's great to hear that you're considering how to set up taxes on your store. In the United States, sales tax depends on two important concepts: nexus, and origin-based or destination-based tax. Most states, including Florida, use a destination basis, which means that you'll be charging sales tax at the rate in the state where your product is delivered. If you are using Shopify's automatic tax rates, then sales tax is always calculated automatically, based on these conditions.


While Shopify gives you the ability to charge sales tax in the United States, whether or not you are required to collect this tax if you are selling to other countries from the United States would be something you'll need to speak with a local tax professional about, especially since tax laws vary across countries. 


Usually, however, you would only charge tax in the countries you are doing business in. For example, if I have a location in Canada and a Canadian shopper makes a purchase, they will be subject to Canadian taxes. If I have that same Canadian location but a customer orders from the United States, there will be no taxes charged on the purchase. It will instead be up to the country of destination to charge import taxes and duties. We actually have a help doc on duties I suggest checking out. It goes over how duties are typically charged and how they are typically calculated; I think you'll find it pretty useful. 


I should also mention that when shipping from the United States to Canada, you may need to complete a customs declaration form. If you purchase international shipping labels through Shopify (either USPS, UPS, or DHL), a customs declaration form will be automatically generated for you and can be printed on any standard printer. Some mail types require that you print a separate customs form for your shipment, and others include the form on the standard shipping label. However, this is determined by the shipping carrier themselves and will be taken into account when the customs declaration form is generated. For more information on international duties and taxes, I recommend checking out our blog post, "International Shipping: Everything You Need to Know to Deliver Beyond Your Borders". 


As for your second question, you can easily choose to charge taxes for all products and variants by using the Bulk Editor, which allows you to edit all of your products and variants at once and saves you from having to do this manually. The Bulk Editor can be accessed from the Products section in your Admin. You'll just need to select the master checkbox, then "Select all 50+ items from your store", if applicable. Once you're in the Bulk Editor, you can apply taxes to all of your products and variants by simply clicking Add fields > Charge taxes. You can also use shortcuts in the bulk editor to apply this change to your entire product catalog with one simple click. 


I hope this answers both your questions! If you need any further clarification, please feel free to respond here and I'll be happy to help. 

Julie | Social Care @ Shopify 
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1 0 0

Does that apply to all foreign countries like US to UK example


I only need to do us taxes, not think about outside taxes


also, do I only pay us taxes?