Does my online business need to collect sales tax?

Benjamin Franklin by Joseph Siffrein Duplessis

Benjamin Franklin famously noted that the only things you can be sure of in life are “death and taxes.” What he didn’t count on when he said this was the implementation of the sales tax and the resulting questions you may find yourself asking as an online retailer. In the most general of terms, if you’re in the business of selling anything, you may have to pay this particular tax. Here are four questions to ask about your business to determine your sales tax liability:

Question 1: Is it a business or a hobby?

First off, are you actually operating a business, at least in in the eyes of the Internal Revenue Service? If your store is very small or not making any money, the IRS might categorize it as a hobby. Hobbies don’t have to collect sales tax, but they also can’t claim any losses as deductions

The IRS considers an activity a business  if “it is carried on with the reasonable expectation of earning a profit.” Even if you aren’t currently making a profit, if you’re spending significant time, effort, and money on your eCommerce endeavor, the needle points towards the business category.
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These Three Webgility Customers Have Your Perfect Valentine’s Day Gift

If you’re still looking for that perfect Valentine’s Day gift and have come up empty-handed, don’t worry. You can still avoid your sweetheart’s wrath by ordering a romance-inspiring gift from one of these three Webgility customers:

1. Florence’s Exquisite Candies

chocolate, Florence's Exquisite Candies, Valentine's DayThese Swiss-style chocolates are hand-made to perfection. Florence’s Exquisite Candies aims to please every chocolate lover’s palate with flavors ranging from fruity and light to creamy and decadent. Their boxes and trays include a wide range of flavors, but customers also have the option of hand-selecting the chocolates they want in their order. Although chocolate is a typical Valentine’s gift, Florence’s chocolates are anything but ordinary and are sure to please your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day.

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5 Mistakes You Make Every Tax Season that Annoy Your Accountant

It’s tax season and you can almost hear the collective eyeball-rolling as thousands of accountants review their clients’ same old tax filing mistakes.

We spoke with Mark Chapman, a CPA and Founder of My Virtual CFO, on the things his clients do every year that make his optic nerve spin. Following this advice will not only keep you on good terms with your accountant, but will save you the ever-elusive time and money for your online business.

1. Procrastinating!  Most clients do not think about taxes until after the first of the year or even until April.  I can do much more for my clients and their business if we talk first in November about ways they can maximize their tax situation, than if they wait until after the first of the year. Every online retailer’s tax situation is different based on factors like year end inventory levels, and Home Office Expenses. When they wait until just before the filing deadline the last minute we don’t have time to explore their full situation and discover ways to reduce their tax liability that might not be apparent during the first review, such as bonus depreciation on fixed assets, and other optional tax strategies.

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Shipping tips to help your eCommerce business during the busy holiday rush

The holiday season is well under way!  Is your eCommerce business ready for the high volume, shipping deadlines, and demanding shipping requests and services?  We’ve compiled these 5 handy tips to help you through the holiday rush.

1.  Mark important shipping service dates

Make sure you know when FedEx, UPS and USPS are open for service.  Here are their shipping calendar for November and December 2013:

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Scaling New Heights: QuickBooks and eCommerce in the Magic Kingdom

Every summer QuickBooks ProAdvisors from around the country gather at the Scaling New Heights conference to network, get advanced training, and learn about ways to expand their businesses. We’d been interested in SNH for a while, and this year it was at Disney World – how could we pass it up?!?

QuickBooks eCommerce

Disney’s Contemporary Resort is beautiful – what a great backdrop for a conference!

QuickBooks eCommerce Orlando

Seriously, it’s the heat and the humidity

Shane, Parag, and I headed to Orlando at the end of June to connect with ProAdvisors, introduce them to eCommerce and our integration solutions, and learn more about the world of QuickBooks.

Being from foggy San Francisco, we weren’t prepared for the weather in Orlando. You know that saying “It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity”? That’s not entirely accurate. It’s the heat and the humidity! Luckily the location and “Disney Magic” made up for it.

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