Should you charge sales tax for your book?

quartersMy email always brings me questions that evolve into a research project – and a blog post!

“Do you know how to handle sales tax for when we sell books?  Each community is different.  Many require a business license.  Am I required to have a business license for each community where I sell a book and pay them their tax, the state their’s, etc.?”

A google search of “How much sales tax do I charge” brought up some great resources, the best being Etsy’s Everything Your Need to Know About Sales Tax and The Simple But Sweet Guide To Charging Sales Tax.

Not sure what your sales tax is in your town. Here’s a handy calculator by zip code.

Bottom line: You need to know the sales tax regulations in your state. “I didn’t know” is not a valid excuse according to the tax collectors. Some states just want you to charge sales tax for books sold to customers within your state. (This includes online sales.) Some states and cities require a business license and/or a sales tax license. Most states allow you to collect sales tax at your local rate, rather than your buyer’s local rate.

Once you’ve collected the sales tax, it’s your responsibility to pay the tax. Naturally, each state does that in a different way, too. Check your state’s department of revenue website for the most up to date info.

For my friends here in Colorado, I googled “How much sales tax do I charge in Colorado” and landed on the Dept of Revenue’s sales tax collection page.