Multi-State Tax Considerations for E-commerce Printing and Design Businesses

Tax Issues for small businesses

Navigating taxes can be tricky for a business owner in the printing and design industry. However, with e-commerce increasing, it is essential to understand the different tax considerations when providing services across multiple states. 

States may impose different sales taxes depending on where goods or services are purchased and the characteristics of both products and sellers. Therefore, owners must know the best practices for withholding income tax from employees who work in another state or provide services in more than one state. This blog post will look at multi-state tax considerations for e-commerce commercial printing and design businesses so that you can remain compliant with all applicable laws. 

We will discuss how optimal tax research identifies conditions under which differential tax rates are preferred and explore strategies to ensure accurate taxation across multiple jurisdictions. We’ll also cover what needs to be done when an employee lives in one state but works remotely in another.

Additionally, we will go through tips on staying up to date on changing regulations across various states. By understanding the different nuances of multi-state taxes, you can ensure your business remains compliant and successful.

California: Tax on Catalog and Direct Mail Services 

In California, catalog and direct mail services are subject to the statewide sales tax of 7.25%, plus additional district taxes. 

You might be surprised to learn that if your annual taxable sales exceed $500,000, you may also be subject to economic nexus regulations in California. This means that even if you don’t have a physical presence in California, you must collect and remit sales taxes on products sold there. 

It’s worth noting that digital products are considered exempt from California sales tax. As an e-commerce printing and design business owner, this is especially helpful when selling virtual designs or downloadable software online. 

There are several other exemptions for specific services or products related to the printing industry, such as newspaper subscriptions or print advertising, which may provide additional opportunities for tax savings if you operate in multiple states. 

New York: Mandatory Combined Reporting 

As a business in the e-commerce printing and design sector, you must be aware of the different state tax considerations in New York. In addition, a little-known concept called ‘combined reporting’ is essential when understanding how New York taxes businesses from out of state. 

With combined reporting, any out-of-state business making more than $500,000 per year in gross revenue and having at least 100 separate transactions over the last four quarters must remit sales tax. 

Fortunately, clothing and footwear items under $110 are exempt from this taxation in New York City and New York State. This can be an excellent way for e-commerce design and print companies to lower their overall cost base while still being compliant with the latest regulations. 

Texas: Sales Tax on Shipping & Handling 

In Texas, it’s essential to understand that, being an origin-based state, sellers do not need to collect sales tax on items shipped to out-of-state locations. However, if you have customers in Texas from your place of business, you must collect state and local taxes based on your business’s site. 

For e-commerce Printing and Design Businesses based in Texas, this means taking extra steps to ensure that you accurately calculate sales tax for local orders. In addition, understanding different tax laws across each state is essential to ensure compliance with local and federal regulations. 

Additionally, there may be special considerations when dealing with shipping and handling costs which could affect how much sales tax is collected. 

Illinois: Taxes on Online Printing Orders 

As e-commerce printing and design businesses expand across the United States, they must consider the various taxes they will be required to pay each state. This is especially true for companies in Illinois, where online sales are now subject to a 6.25% state sales tax for certain purchases. 

To ensure your e-commerce printing and design business follows all applicable laws, you must understand how Illinois’s sales tax requirements apply. 

On January 1st, 2020, the state’s sales tax expanded, requiring online marketplaces like Etsy and eBay to collect the 6.25% tax from shoppers in Illinois. This means that any goods purchased through these platforms by residents of Illinois are subject to this additional taxation requirement. 

If you are selling products through these types of sites, you must collect the correct taxes from each customer to avoid running afoul of the law. 

In addition, if you have a website that sells goods directly without going through a third-party marketplace, you must register with the State of Illinois Department of Revenue and collect sales taxes on all applicable orders shipped within the state.

Mississippi: 6.00% sales tax, no econ nexus

If you are an e-commerce printing and design business based in Mississippi, you must understand the state’s sales tax requirements. All vendors who make more than $250,000 in sales within the prior 12 months must pay a 6.00% sales tax to the state of Mississippi. This applies to digital and physical products. 

Even if your business does not have a physical presence in Mississippi (also known as an “economic nexus”), you may still need to collect and remit the required sales taxes for any goods or services sold in the state. 

Furthermore, since Mississippi has no specific economic nexus law, businesses may be liable for taxes even if they do not have employees or property in the state.

Alabama: $250k threshold, the destination state

Regarding multi-state tax considerations for e-commerce Printing and Design Businesses, Alabama is a critical state to consider. In Alabama, businesses must collect sales tax if they meet or exceed $250,000 in total sales within the state. 

This threshold makes it especially important for e-commerce printing and design businesses to keep track of their sales in each condition. 

Fortunately, Alabama is a destination state which means that when an Alabama resident purchases an item from them online, the seller must apply the appropriate Alabama tax rate.


A better understanding of these laws can help avoid potential legal issues arising from non-compliance with tax regulations. Additionally, it’s essential for any e-commerce printing and design business to understand the nuances of destination states and economic nexus thresholds for each state so that they can accurately calculate and collect applicable taxes from their customers. 

By taking proactive steps to comply with all applicable state laws regarding taxation and registration, e-commerce printing and design businesses can avoid unnecessary costs or fines while continuing their operations smoothly throughout multiple states. 

With careful planning and attention to detail, e-commerce Printing and Design Businesses can maximize their profits while minimizing their risks regarding multi-state tax considerations for e-commerce printing and design businesses. 

To make sure you are compliant with all relevant state regulations, it is essential to have access to qualified advice from an e-commerce accounting firm that is specialized in this field of tax consideration for e-commerce, and that remains up-to-date on the ever-changing sales tax laws, particular requirements for sales taxes and other associated liabilities.

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Carlos Alonso - I love everything print!

Contrary to popular belief i wasn't born in a vat of magenta ink. Hope you enjoy the content on Catdi Printing. Not all articles are created equal. The quality of writing being dependent on the level of caffeine i had that day. Look forward to working with you and helping you grow your marketing skills/knowledge.Lets chat!Carlos