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Sales and Use Tax ó Making Mail-Order and Internet Sales



In general, every New Jersey business that sells taxable items or services must collect and remit New Jersey sales tax whenever the items sold are delivered to a New Jersey location, or the service is performed here. However, certain out-of-State sellers may not be required to collect New Jersey sales tax if their only contact with New Jersey is limited to mailing catalogs, fliers, or other advertisements to potential customers in this State. These sellers must use commercial common carrier or the United States mail to deliver items in New Jersey. Sellers who ship merchandise to New Jersey destinations and use their own vehicles to make delivery, are conducting business here and must register with the State of New Jersey and collect tax when appropriate.

New Jersey based direct-mail businesses must collect sales tax on all taxable items which are delivered to a New Jersey location. You must collect the tax if your customer or his agent takes possession of the merchandise in New Jersey, even if the items are later shipped out of State. You are not required to collect New Jersey sales tax on merchandise you ship directly to an out-of-State customer.

As of October 1, 2006, delivery charges (shipping, handling, postage, etc.) are subject to tax if the goods purchased are subject to tax. If an order includes both taxable and exempt goods, only the portion of the delivery charge that relates to the taxable property or services is subject to tax. In such cases the delivery charge should be allocated based on:

  1. The sales price of the taxable property compared to the total sales price of all property in the shipment, or
  2. The weight of the taxable property compared to the total weight of all property in the shipment.
You may occasionally be instructed by an out-of-State seller, who is buying your merchandise for resale and is not registered in New Jersey, to ship your product directly to his customer in New Jersey. This type of transaction is called a drop shipment. Since it is a sale for resale, you may accept your customerís home state resale certificate as sufficient evidence of that fact. This is the only time that New Jersey recognizes an exemption certificate of another state as valid. You may also accept the Resale Certificate for Non-New Jersey vendors (Form ST-3NR) or the Streamlined Certificate of Exemption (Form ST-SST). If you receive any of these exemption certificates, you do not collect New Jersey sales tax on the merchandise drop shipped to a location within this State. If your customer does not provide you with one of these resale certificates, you must charge New Jersey sales tax.

For more information, refer to our publication Tax Topic Bulletin S&U-5 Making Mail-Order and Internet Sales. Publication S&U-5 can be viewed in Adobe Acrobat PDF format.
Last Updated: Wednesday, 08/20/14



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