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May 3, 2016

#44 Sales Tax and Regulations – Q & A Tuesday No. 3

#44 Q & A Tuesday 3

Q1: As UK / international sellers on Amazon US, do we have an obligation to collect and remit Sales Tax? It seems to be a very murky topic with no clear and definitive answer. There are companies like TaxJar and Avalara who make a very convincing case that international sellers do have to collect Sales Tax, but they have a vested interest in telling people that. In reality I wonder how many international sellers actually collect and remit sales tax.

Are there any unbiased official guidelines for international sellers regarding sales tax? Also, this is to international sellers: do you collect sales tax? And if not, why not? 

There’s seems not to be enough clarity among the US Tax authorities. This is a new situation for State tax authorities- Tax Nexus is hard to determine because often the inventory is stored in an Amazon warehouse in one state but the customer is in another.

A lot of UK based ecommerce or online sellers are not too worried. Mark from Avalavara wil be on the podcast soon.
A halfway house is to set up on Amazon that you will collect sales tax. This will either increase your price a bit or decrease your profits so plan for this.

Sarah Anne:

Hello. We are pretty much ready to roll with our first product which is a baby product for the US. It is very simple and made of silicone, but I have become worried about making sure that our product and its labelling conforms to US safety standards. I have been doing some Google research this morning but does anyone have any advice about this? Have any of you launched a children’s product before?


  1. I have not sold in the Baby category, so this is general commonsense advice. Ask around in the FB group, there are other sellers in the Baby Category.
  2. Re product itself, I would go back to your supplier and check they conform to standard safety Regs for USA. They will probably have had this Q before especially if they are experienced exporting to the USA. If they have any documentation, get copies and keep them, in case of any issues down the road.
  3.  Re labelling I would ask Amazon Seller Central in the first instance. Amazon is fairly tight about sticking to legal regulations so if it conforms to Amazon’s regs, there’s a good chance it conforms to the legal norms too.
  4. If in doubt, get some moderately priced US legal advice from someone like Legal Zoom.

Watch Sales Tax And Regulations Q&A Tuesday No. 3

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Michael Veazey


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