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PDtax, Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 4034
Experience:  35 years tax experience, including four years at a Big 4 firm.
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I'm starting an online information business. People will buy

Customer Question

I'm starting an online information business. People will buy my online video training that they'll watch and they can also download pdfs that go along with training. Do I have to charge sales tax for this sale? What if buyer's are from outside the USA?
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  PDtax replied 3 months ago.

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Expert:  PDtax replied 3 months ago.

The answer is that some states do indeed want sales tax from this kind of sale, which they consider a sale of prewritten software.

The example I used is from a NY sales tax opinion regarding an Ohio corporation selling e-learning to NY customers. is the link to their 2009 advisory opinion covering the subject.

Note that this opinion is different from their general rule, in which the e-learning was not sales taxable, due to the ongoing support and term of software use. NY claimed that was a sale of software. Perhaps your scenario does not meet that additional service and support standard.

Also, it should be noted that is on the end user.

Texas law governing e-services like yours is still evolving, but the safest position to take is to charge the tax, and remit it in Texas. That way you are covered in case an out of state user has a tax due, you collected in your home state.

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