The place to find business sales tax information

— as well as solutions, services and jobs!

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.

Brought to you by:

NOTE: This site does NOT provide client-specific tax advice. Information provided is general and may NOT apply to your particular situation. Do NOT take any action based upon any site content until you have received advice from an independent, qualified tax practitioner with whom you have a professional-client relationship. All content is subject to our disclaimer.


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.

(Not quite what you need? View SALES TAX QUESTIONS home page to access other topics or use site-wide SEARCH in upper right)


Access to any portion of is contingent upon your acceptance of our Terms of Use. This Web Site and content provided by STS Publishing, LLC and its third party content providers, including, but not limited to information, documents, forms, comments, advice and opinions, is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for professional advice, nor does the use of this Web Site constitute a professional-client relationship. The Web-Site also includes advertisements, directory listings, job postings and links to third party web sites, all of which are provided for your convenience only and in no way constitute a referral, endorsement, or warranty by of any product or service provided by such third parties. All content is provided “as is” with no guarantee regarding accuracy, suitability, or timeliness. Your reliance on any content accessed on or through the Web Site, or on any product or service provider is strictly at your own risk.