When you see the price of your item in the Shopping Cart, you will see a line item of Sales Tax. Why that is there and why it is the amount it is are two common questions.
Most jurisdictions around the world levy some kind of sales tax, value added tax, good and services tax, or something similar. The rates for these taxes are usually well known in one’s own jurisdiction. Today, the emphasis on the collection of the sales tax has been shifted to the retail seller, even if the seller is in a very different jurisdiction to the buyer. Further, while in some jurisdictions the tax is levied at the rate current where the buyer is located, in others it is levied at the rate where the seller is located.
In this store, the sales tax line item is there for all sales, and is calculated according to how the various jurisdictions work. In the US, for example, sales tax for Internet sales is levied at the rate present at the seller’s location, if the buyer is in the jurisdiction as the seller, and so is zero in Alaska. In most other jurisdictions, the sales tax is levied at the rate current at the seller’s location.
You may be aware that sales tax in your area is some amount, but the store is charging you a different amount, usually less. This is because many jurisdictions charge at a lower rate for books, educational materials and ebooks. In addition, many jurisdictions have a minimum threshold of sales tax, below which they do not require a seller to collect and remit the tax.
With the recent MOSS efforts in Europe, there is no minimum VAT threshold for internet sales, so we have to charge VAT, if applicable, and remit that to the EU. Otherwise, the buyer is responsible for remitting the tax.
At this store, we determine your sales tax jurisdiction based on the address you supply us. This is passed to PayPal and used to help verify your credit card. We don't charge sales tax on Gift Certificates, as these are neither goods nor services.
Nobody likes paying taxes, but in many cases there is no escape. We are trying to make it as painless as possible. One advantage of a low price is that the tax is also low!
If you think we have the sales tax rate wrong for your area, please contact us to let us know, at: firstname.lastname@example.org.