Sales Tax Facts for Book Authors

What You Need to Know If You're Selling Your Own Books

stack of open books against a wall

Sales tax is a truth of retail life for book writers in many U.S. states.

And gathering and remitting proper sales tax on books is serious business, with many states (and international locations) cracking down on internet stores who sometimes circumvented the regulations governing tax collection.

Depending on the nation, authors who promote their very own books at once to readers may be obligated to acquire and remit income taxes to their state tax authorities and possibly out-of-nation government as well, depending on wherein you do business.

If you're a self-posted writer selling your personal books, here's what you want to know: 

Sales Tax Collection Laws Differ via State

If you intend to promote your own books in any capacity — at ebook festivals, exchange suggests, off your writer website, etc. — you want to recognise what rules and policies practice to you inside the places where you will be promoting your books.

For example, New York State requires that nearly every body who sells taxable, tangible personal property or taxable offerings (even if you make sales from your house) have to check in with the Tax Department before beginning enterprise.

However, New York State does make exceptions for what it terms a "casual sale," an occasional or remoted sales scenario. So, in case you're now not typically within the enterprise of promoting books to the client and you sell your books for 3 days a year or less and make much less than $600 from the sale, you are exempted from amassing and remitting income tax.

For example, if you promote your books for sooner or later at the Brooklyn Book Festival and handiest make $250, you do not have to remit taxes. If you make $1,000, you are answerable for taxes at the sales you make over $600, or $four hundred. If you sell your e book at a specific New York honest it truly is four days lengthy, you are obligated to gather and remit sales taxes on the sales during that fourth day. And, of direction, there's a form for doing that.

General Guidelines for Collecting Taxes

Whatever country you're in, right here are some trendy suggestions for collecting taxes:

  • Assess your capacity for promoting your personal product. Will you attend alternate suggests? Sell books at speaking engagements or signings? Are you selling (and transport) your e book without delay to the patron via the net? Note that if you're promoting yourself-posted book through a dealer at a trade display, a web retail entity, along with Amazon.com or bn.com, or a publishing carrier acting as a retail entity, together with Blurb or Lulu.com, the retail entity making the sale is liable for accumulating sales tax.
  • Investigate the nation and neighborhood policies for gathering and remitting income tax. This applies if you're collaborating in events and selling your books without delay in different locations as properly. Make positive to recognize what income taxes you're accountable for gathering or engage a seller to sell your books for you and contend with that. Check along with your accountant and with the state's department of taxation and finance (or your equivalent government company), in addition to with any states or countries in that you intend to do commercial enterprise. Many of these kingdom groups have strong and informative websites.
  • If vital, register the right office work together with your state tax fee in an effort to end up an authorised tax-collecting vendor (in New York State, you'll sign up to get what's referred to as a Sales Tax Certificate of Authority).
  • Make certain to collect the right amount of income tax when you promote your books, maintain a record of transactions, and give the ebook customer a receipt that indicated the amount of sales tax they paid.
  • Remit the sales tax amassed to the suitable tax authority on a timely basis. For instance, a few states require organizations to remit taxes quarterly. In the "casual sale" instance above, New York State requires that the taxes are remitted inside 20 days.
  • Make certain to stay abreast of changing tax policies, because they do have a tendency to alternate.