How Does Shopify Handle Taxes?

6 mins

Shopify is a Canadian company, and as such is required to collect GST/HST on behalf of its merchants. Merchants are responsible for remitting the GST/HST to the government.

For orders shipped within Canada, Shopify will calculate and collect the GST/HST based on the province where the order is being shipped.

For orders shipped outside of Canada, Shopify does not collect any taxes on behalf of the merchant. 

It’s important to note that if you are selling digital products (e.g., downloadable software).

You may be required to charge and remit GST/HST even if your customer is located outside of Canada. This is because digital products are considered “services” under Canadian tax law.

How Do Taxes Work With Shopify?

Assuming you are referring to how Shopify calculates and collects taxes on behalf of its merchants, here is a detailed explanation: 

When a merchant first signs up for a Shopify account, they are asked to enter their address

This is used to determine the appropriate tax rates for the merchant’s location.

The tax rates are then automatically applied to all prices in the store, both online and in person. Shopify supports two types of taxes: 

  • Sales tax.
  • Value-added tax (VAT). 

Sales Tax

Sales tax is calculated based on the product price and the customer’s shipping address.


VAT is calculated based on the product price, the customer’s shipping address, and the merchant’s country of residence.

When an order is placed, Shopify will calculate the appropriate taxes and add them to the total order price. 

The taxes are then collected by Shopify and remitted to the relevant taxing authorities on behalf of the merchant.

Overall, using Shopify makes it very easy to collect and remit taxes on online sales. 

Merchants simply need to ensure that their address is entered correctly when signing up for an account, and then all applicable taxes will be automatically calculated at checkout.

How Does Shopify Tax Reporting Work?

As an e-commerce business owner, it’s important to stay on top of your tax reporting. This is especially true if you’re using Shopify as your platform of choice.


While Shopify does a lot to make the tax reporting process easier, there are still some things you need to know in order to make sure you’re doing it correctly.

Here are some tips for Shopify tax reporting

1. Know which taxes you need to collect and remit. Depending on your location and the products you sell, you may be required to collect and remit sales tax, VAT, or GST.

Make sure you understand which taxes apply to your business so that you can properly collect and remit them. 

2. Use Shopify’s built-in tax settings. Shopify has built-in settings that can help simplify the tax reporting process. 

Take advantage of these by setting up your taxes in advance so that all the necessary information is automatically included in your reports.

3. Understand how Shopify handles different types of transactions. If you use Shopify Payments, all transaction information will be automatically included in your reports.

However, if you use a third-party payment processor like PayPal or Stripe, you’ll need to export your transaction data and manually import it into Shopify before generating a report.

4 . Generate reports on a regular basis. It’s important to generate reports periodically so that you can keep track of your business’s financial performance over time.

This will also help ensure that any changes in taxation laws are reflected in your reports. At a minimum, we recommend generating reports monthly. 

However, depending on the volume of transactions, you may want to generate them more frequently.

5 Use software to automate repetitive tasks. Software like TaxJar can automate repetitive tasks associated with sales tax compliance, including calculating rates across multiple jurisdictions, preparing filings, and remitting payments.

Does Shopify Collect And Remit Sales Tax?

Sales tax is one of the most important considerations for any online business. The way sales tax is collected and remitted can have a significant impact on your bottom line. In this post, we’ll take a look at how Shopify handles sales tax collection and remittance.

When you set up your Shopify store, you’ll need to choose your location. This is important for two reasons: 

  • First, it will determine which taxes are applicable to your business; and 
  • Second, it will determine how Shopify collects and remits those taxes. 

Shopify uses what’s called the origin-based approach to sales tax collection. This means that taxes are calculated based on the location of your business, not the location of your customer. 

So, if you’re selling from New York but shipping to California, taxes will still be calculated based on the rate in New York. 

The upside of this approach is that it’s relatively simple to manage – you only need to calculate and remit taxes for one jurisdiction.

The downside is that customers in high-tax states may be less inclined to purchase from you if they know they’ll be responsible for paying additional taxes on their purchases. 

If you’re using Shopify Payments (which is available in select countries), then Shopify will automatically collect and remit taxes on behalf of your business. 

In case, you’re using another payment processor, then you’ll need to configure taxation settings yourself or use a third-party app to handle sales tax calculation and remittance.

In either case, it’s important to stay up-to-date on changes in sales tax law. Both at the state and federal levels. As these can impact how much tax you need to collect and pay over time.

How to Charge Sales Tax on Shopify?

If you have a Shopify account, you can follow these steps to charge sales tax on your orders: 

  • Log in to your Shopify account and go to the “Settings” page
  • On the “Settings” page, click on the “Payments” tab.
  • Under the “Accepted Payments” section, click on the “Add payment method” button. 
  • From the list of available payment methods, select “Shopify Payments“. 
  • Enter your shop’s information and click on the “Activate Shopify Payments” button.

After you have activated Shopify Payments, you will be able to choose whether or not to charge sales tax on your orders. 

To do this, go to the “Checkout” page and scroll down to the “Taxes” section. Here, you can check or uncheck the box next to “Charge taxes on this order“.

Do You Need to Charge Taxes on Your Shopify Store?

It depends on where your business is located and where your customers are located


If your business is located in the United States, you will need to collect and remit sales tax to the appropriate state tax authorities.

This applies to customers located in the US as well. If your business is outside of the United States, you generally do not need to collect or remit US sales tax.

Although there are some exceptions if you ship products to customers in states that have a nexus (a physical presence). Then you may be required to collect and remit sales tax for those transactions.

Check with your accountant or tax advisor to determine if this applies to your business.

Does Shopify Report Taxes to Irs?

Yes, Shopify does report taxes to the IRS. When you set up your account, you will be asked to provide your tax information. 

So that Shopify can withhold the appropriate amount of taxes from your earnings. You can also choose to have Shopify calculate and remit your taxes for you.

In either case, Shopify will generate the necessary tax forms and reports that need to be filed with the IRS.

Does Shopify Collect Income Tax?

Shopify doesn’t remit or file your taxes for you, but they do provide the necessary forms to help you do so

You are ultimately responsible for filing and paying your income tax, even if you use Shopify.

There are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to Shopify and income taxes: 

  • First, Shopify is considered a platform that enables businesses to sell their products online. This means that any income generated through sales made on the Shopify platform is considered taxable income
  • Second, as a business owner, you are responsible for tracking your own expenses and deductions; Shopify does not track or report this information on your behalf.
  • Finally, depending on the country where your business is located, there may be a system that falls into the tax rules and regulations.

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that tax laws vary from country to country. 

What works in the United States might not work in Canada, and vice versa. Shopify is a great platform for business owners who want to start and grow their businesses, 

But it’s important to be aware of the potential tax implications before making any decisions.


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Michael Fied

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Michael Fied is the founder and CEO of and SpamBurner. In addition, he’s an internationally top-rated and award-winning website advisor and website architect with a global team of 55. You can find Michael on LinkedIn or contact him directly here.

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