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We are an on-line publisher. Do we have to pay sales tax ?

Full Question: We are an open access publisher based in Cheyenne, WY that does all business thru the Internet. Our serials are published exclusively online in pdf format (no physical printouts are made) but books are issued online in pdf and they come printed out in small batches shipped to customers by post from an outsourced company in China. The only charge we make is a publishing process fee - a service fee paid by article authors. Do we have to pay 4% sales tax and local tax? Thank you in advance. I look forward to hearing from you.

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Answer:

Diane Yetter photoIf your question is whether you need to pay sales tax on the purchase of your books, the answer is generally no assuming you are selling them. You would need to charge sales tax on the selling price of the books for deliveries to any state where you maintain a business presence which establishes nexus. I'm assuming based on your information this is WY. If you make sales to customers in states other than WY, you should not collect WY tax. The customer will be responsible for remitting use tax to their state. However, if you are not selling the books and you are giving them away and you only charge a processing fee, some states may consider this to be a gift and then you would owe tax on the purchase of the books. If all the books come to WY and then you ship them out, WY does provide for a temporary storage exemption such that you will not have to pay WY tax on all the books. However, any books delivered to a WY address would then be subject to use tax at the time of withdrawal from the inventory.

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