Are delivery charges subject to sales/use tax?
Yes, sales tax applies when the seller adds delivery charges for goods subject to sales tax. Shipping and handling charges are considered delivery charges, and are subject to sales tax. Delivery charges by the seller are part of the selling price whether they are billed separately, itemized, or the seller is also the carrier. Limiting the charges to the actual cost of delivery to the seller does not mean that the delivery charges may be deducted or excluded.
If the sale is exempt from retail sales tax, such as certain food and food ingredients, retail sales tax does not apply to the selling price, including delivery charges. For products sold at wholesale, retail sales tax does not apply to the delivery charges of that sale.
If a sale includes both taxable and nontaxable goods, and delivery charges are a component of the selling price, retail sales tax applies to the percentage of delivery charges due on taxable goods. Retail sales tax is not due on delivery charges due on exempt goods.
The seller may use either of the following percentages to determine the taxable portion of the delivery charges:
- A percentage based on the total sales price of the taxable goods compared to the total sales price of all the goods in the shipment
- A percentage based on the total weight of the taxable goods compared to the total weight of all goods in the shipment.
The amount subject to use tax includes the delivery charge paid or given to the seller or on behalf of the seller with respect to the purchase of such article.
In this article, “delivery charges” includes charges for shipping, handling, postage, freight, transportation, drayage, transfer, crating, packing, wrapping, parcel post, portage, loading, rigging, lading, tonnage, weight, burden, documentation, etc. Delivery charges can vary by weight, size, fragility and speed of shipping.