Note: We are not legal experts or tax preparation professionals, so always consult an accountant, tax prep professional, or attorney if you have concerns. This information is aimed at copywriters in the United States. Copywriters in other locations may find this information useful for determining what questions they need to ask and answer based on their country, region, or city.
Many states in the US collect sales tax. Generally, laws allow businesses to add this tax on to whatever good or service they are selling.
But as a copywriter, do you need to collect sales tax?
Like many things when starting out as a copywriter, this one can be easy to over think and worry about. However, it’s an easy one to solve.
First, whether you need to collect sales tax depends on your state.
As of this writing, there are five states that do not have a statewide sales tax: Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire and Oregon. The others, plus Washington, D.C., do have laws around sales tax.
Second, if your state does have sales tax, you’ll want to dig into the laws. Many states do not require certain categories of businesses to collect sales tax.
Whether or not you need to collect it will depend on what you’re selling (copywriting services), your business location, and the location of your clients.
Hawaii, South Dakota, New Mexico, and West Virginia tax most services, though there are a few services that are exempt.
Regardless of where you live, you’ll want to look into local laws and make sure you’re complying.
The Federation of Tax Administrators has links to every state’s Department of Revenue so you can determine what, if anything, you need to do.
And, if you do need to pay sales tax, build it in your rates. Check with your accountant if you need to have it as its own line item or not.
Your Turn! Do you have to pay sales tax where you live? What are your tips?