How to Pay Sales Tax in a Shopify Dropshipping Business?

It is easy to meet your tax obligations as dropshipper, especially if Shopify is used. This article will explain what your tax obligations are for AliExpress dropshippers that are located in China. This article will also address your tax obligations when selling products to customers based in the USA.

Customers often email SalesSource asking for information on their tax obligations. There are approximately 195 countries worldwide, so we can’t talk about the tax obligations for each one. This is why we will focus on the US as the largest market for dropshipping.

The recent US Supreme Court South Dakota v Wayfair ruling that took place on June 21st 2018 is noteworthy. This ruling will have a huge impact on dropshippers’ tax obligations. It is important to note that we don’t offer legal advice or accountants and do not provide any official guidance. This article is intended for informational purposes only.

How much tax do I have to pay for dropshipping with Aliexpress?

There are two types of taxes you must pay. The first tax is called income tax, and the second is possibly sales tax.

Start with the easiest:

How can you shopify dropshippers to pay income tax income tax

Income tax is the tax you pay on the profit your store makes each year. This is your income. If you have a job, the same applies. You would pay income tax on your wages if you held a job.

Dropshipping is a way to pay income tax on any profit made by our store. If you don’t make any profit, you don’t have to pay income tax. You can claim tax credits for your losses. We are often asked this question: “If my residence is outside of the USA, then maybe I am in Australia but my customers reside in the USA.” Who do I pay my taxes to? Are my income taxes paid to the US government, or to the Australian government?”

Your government is responsible for your taxes. It doesn’t matter where you live, if your customers reside in Australia, your income tax is paid to the Australian government. It is possible that you live in the USA, which means you have to not only pay your income tax to the federal government but also to your state.

Yes, if you reside in such a country, then you must pay income tax both to the government and the state. You don’t need worry if you live in the United Kingdom or another country that doesn’t have America.

The best thing about being a business owner? You can write off a lot your business expenses. Dropshipping tools, such as dropshipping software, can be written off as business expenses. This greatly reduces tax burden. The same applies to your Shopify subscription.

What sales tax is required for dropshipping with Aliexpress and Shopify?

Sales taxes are when a governing body imposes a tax on the sale of goods or services within their jurisdiction. The US has individual states that have the ability to set their own taxes and can make their own tax laws.

Some states are sales tax Havens in the United States.

There is no sales tax that must be collected and paid within these states. As you might have guessed, the vast majority of the USA’s states are not sales tax Havens.

The USA had a law that required you have a “nexus” within a state before you could collect or pay sales tax. Nexus is a legal term. This is a legal term that means you have enough physical presence in a state to be required by it to collect and pay sales taxes.

Let’s take an example to better understand nexus. Let’s assume that you are a citizen in the United States and live in Arizona. You have a house in Arizona. This is a significant physical presence. That’s right? This means you have nexus in it. It means you are required to collect and pay sales taxes because you have nexus within it.

You used to only have to pay tax in states where you had nexus. Let’s suppose a customer visits your store and purchases an item for $15. Because you have Arizona nexus, it is mandatory that you charge and collect sales taxes on this order. In this instance, the sales tax rate in Arizona is 5.6%. So in this case, the amount to collect is 84cs. When tax time arrives, you will be required to pay the State of Arizona 84 cents.

Let’s suppose that in the past, you had another order. This time, your customer was from Texas. You didn’t actually live in Texas. In fact, there was no Texas property you owned.

This meant that you had no physical presence and therefore didn’t have Texas nexus. Texas’ sales tax rate is 8.25%. However, because Texas doesn’t have nexus, you don’t have to collect or pay sales tax on the order.

If you were born in the USA (or perhaps in the UK), you would have no nexus with any other state. This was a great bonus because you didn’t have to collect any sales tax for customers from the USA.

This law was established in 1992 following a Quill Corp v North Dakota Supreme Court case. It was decided that nexus was necessary to collect and pay sales taxes.

However, this law was repealed recently by the Supreme Court’s June 21st ruling. Here’s what happened. A kill quill bill was passed in 2006 by South Dakota. It required vendors from outside the state to collect sales tax on sales exceeding $100,000 per year or making more than 200 transactions within South Dakota.

Wayfair, an online furniture retailer, was not pleased with the new lore. They took South Dakota to court and lost. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of South Dakota passing their bill, 5-4.

Do you mean I have to click to pay sales taxes to all states for aliexpress and shopify dropshipping orders?

It doesn’t. Two very important precedents are set by the South Dakota v Wayfair decision.

First, it sets the precedent that states can now pass their own bills that will require vendors from outside of their state to collect and pay sales taxes. It is important to remember that the old rule applies until States pass this legislation. Most states have not yet done this.

The Supreme Court affirmed the South Dakota v Wayfair ruling, but it was only applicable to large online retailers. You must either make more than $100.000 in South Dakota sales per year or have over 200 transactions to qualify for this law.

To meet the precedent, laws passed by other states will have to target large online retailers. A new court case is required if they wish to extend it to all.

Here’s the deal. Dropshipping is a new business. If so, you won’t be required to collect or pay sales tax in any state you don’t have nexus. Don’t worry, once this law impacts you, you will make more money than you need to hire an accountant.

Chances are that even though all states have passed their version of this bill you will only be collecting and paying sales taxes to a small number of states. The larger states, such as New York, will likely be the most populous. Let’s relax and find out how many of you should collect sales tax. This is the important question.

Can I establish a nexus with any US state?

Most people believe that they only have nexus if they are a resident of the state or own property there. You may be eligible for it in other ways, so make sure you consult an accountant if you think you might be.

If you are not a citizen of the United States, and don’t have any nexus in any other state, don’t worry until you make a lot of money.

If you have nexus within a state, you are required to collect and pay sales tax there. Shopify makes it easy. Sign in to your dashboard and then go to the United States tax settings.

Shopify will need to know where you are physically located. Enter the name of the state, select it, and then enter your zip code. Shopify won’t allow you to add tax settings for countries you do not have a shipping option.

After you have done that, you can go to your products and click on each product. Scroll down to the pricing section and click the checkbox. Once you have done that, you can save. If you are eligible for sales tax, I suggest that you tick it every time you add a product.

Shopify will automatically collect the correct amount of sales tax on the order. This is very convenient because in some states, the amount of tax you have to pay may change depending on where your customer lives.

This is especially true in New York. I made a test purchase of $10 in my store. I then put in my dress to prove that the first was from New York City, and the second from Buffalo. Both were located in New York, so the taxes for each one was different. Not only did the state charge a 4% sales tax, but each city has its own taxes to collect and pay. The taxes for New York City are slightly more than for Buffalo.

Shopify calculates automatically for you, so you don’t have to worry about it. SaleSource also automatically finds the top products for your needs!

Handling Tax Issues in Dropshipping

Whenever you are shipping expensive products to a nation where the taxation-free barrier is fairly low such as EU nations, as long as the overall order worth is lower than the optimum worth set by their customizeds workplace then your products will not be held by the custom-mades workplace and would be thought about as tax free. The limit in Europe differs from 10 euros to 22 euros, depending upon the European nation. However if you are going to drop ship products which are more pricey than the basic custom-mades restrict then you ought to anticipate to pay drop shipping sales tax and comply with drop shipping tax laws.

The primary idea in handling customizeds tasks and tax problems is to be completely transparent in mentioning your items are originating from some other nation. There is no factor for you to conceal you are sending out an industrial product and keeping it as a trick will just spell catastrophe for your clients and business in case the custom-mades workplace learn about it. For instance, if you are drop shipping from China then do not attempt to methodically under state the worth considering that the customizeds authorities frequently check and compare products’ costs. Then these little tax issues in dropshipping end up being a huge issue if traced back to you.

On the other hand, it is likewise your obligation as a drop shipping entrepreneur to notify your clients they must anticipate to pay drop shipping sales tax on top of their order’s worth so whatever is clear and there would be no concerns in the long run. You can likewise pick to immediately consist of the drop shipping sales tax in the item cost however just provide a worth breakdown for openness with your consumers. Nevertheless, that implies that you need to import all products yourself initially and do the documents for each.

In order to avoid problems from clients who are brand-new to buying products from abroad and are oblivious of custom-made tasks and drop shipping tax laws, produce a policy page in your site or offer a copy of it on your sales file which plainly states consumers are accountable for paying custom-made responsibilities and extra drop shipping sales tax in their nation. This policy offers drop shipping companies the utilize in case clients apply for a problem or requests for a refund out of drop shipping custom-mades expenses.

Drop shipping is not new in the trade service market. People understand for a fact they need to anticipate to pay customized responsibilities and import taxes when purchasing products from abroad. If the products have a reasonably low worth, it could be tax-free and this ends up being a bonus offer for many consumers. Nevertheless, there are people who are not educated of this standard and might wind up arguing about drop shipping sales taxes charged on their behalf. Developing your drop shipping custom-mades policy is should to safeguard your organization from these meddlesome consumers and unfavorable evaluations.

AliExpress is now charging merchants sales tax on all purchased goods due to recent laws changes. These taxes can vary depending on where you live.

Here’s a list of location-specific sales taxes for dropshipping with AliExpress.

Dropshipping Tax Requirements for AliExpress

Does AliExpress Charge Sales Tax?

AliExpress charges sales taxes for imports to certain countries, states, and locations. If you import goods from AliExpress to the United States, and reside in certain states, sales taxes will apply. AliExpress customer service can help you request an exemption if you are subject to a sales tax on items purchased or if you live in an area where these taxes should not be applied.

Why Is AliExpress Charging Tax?

AliExpress may apply applicable taxes to your location due to local laws and regulations. You should check local laws before ordering products from AliExpress sellers. AliExpress has been known for automatically adding taxes to purchases that may be not applicable to you.

Do You Have to Pay GST on Dropshipping?

GST (goods-and-services tax) is only applicable to certain countries. GST may apply to purchases made on AliExpress, other dropshipping marketplaces, India, Australia, New Zealand, Australia, India or other parts of Europe.

Custom tax from AliExpress to the USA

Your order, which is usually worth more than $200 USD, may be subject to import taxes and customs duties. These fees will usually be due when the package arrives in the country. Custom taxes are not charged unless they are applicable. The recipient must pay additional charges for customs clearance.

AliExpress Sales Tax Exemption

Some areas are exempted from sales taxes and GST. Contact AliExpress customer service if you think you are exempted from these taxes. AliExpress has a reputation for removing these taxes from buyers who aren’t located in areas that are subject to specific location-based taxes.

Country/City Sales Tax

It all depends on where you live, what area you dropship from, and how much tax you pay.

This is a quick overview of the various types of taxes that you might encounter in different regions of the world.


All imports from China now have to pay a value-added tax (VAT) nationwide. Dropshipping will be the most common reason that goods are imported from China.

All AliExpress purchases will be charged VAT to US merchants. This must be done via the VAT clearance process, in accordance with local custom authorities.


Canada has a requirement that all goods less than $20 CAD be sold within the country.


Sales taxes may also be applicable to certain European countries depending on where the residence is located. Merchants who operate in a member of the European Union are particularly affected by this.

New Zealand

Merchants selling Chinese products in New Zealand will be required to pay 15% goods and service tax (GST), for goods less than $1,000 NZD. AliExpress must collect the tax at this point and pay it to local New Zealand tax authorities.


Like New Zealand, Chinese tax sales within Australia will be subjected to a 10% GST. AliExpress must collect these taxes at the point of purchase as required by law.

Are you required by law to collect States Tax?

Aliexpress collects all sales taxes and any other applicable taxes. These taxes are subject to local law. AliExpress can help you determine if you are exempted from these taxes.

Relevant Local Tax Authorities

You can contact your local tax authorities through different channels depending on where you live. The IRS website provides information about the IRS’s local tax authorities in the United States.

This is What It Means For You

Sales taxes may apply depending on the location of online merchants and where they sell their goods. It is best to contact local authorities to ensure that you are paying the correct amount of sales tax. The laws and regulations governing imported goods can change.

Bottom Line:

Handling custom-mades tasks and tax issues can be big deal for drop shipping organizations unlike other business that order wholesale. You absolutely need to think about the routine import of a bulk amount if you have an item that is above the tax-free limit of your customers’ nation. It can be a disappointment for your clients to get their item took since its worth is under-declared. Specifically if you wish to develop a long-lasting organization, tax issues in dropshipping are an essential factor to not follow this organization design. Attempt to develop your own brand name with the help of personal label producers instead of drop shipping factories.

Openness and being truthful of your organization is the type in handling custom-made tasks and tax problems. Clients consisting of the customizeds authorities constantly value sincerity and will not be tight on your drop shipping service. Just remember these are regular concerns you need to deal with given that you are doing business in a global scale. Likewise bear in mind that you’re subject to political risk and modifications in postal charges as simply recently occurred in the United States, where the expense for global deliveries especially from China increased a lot.