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This article applies to selling in: United States

United States Tax and Regulatory Considerations

Important: Information on this page does not constitute tax, legal, or other professional advice and must not be used as such. You should consult your professional advisers if you have any questions.

Tax identity collection & validation (Tax Interview)

If you are a U.S. tax payer, by completing the tax interview in your seller account, you will be providing Amazon the appropriate tax identity in the form of a W-9 or W-8BEN form. For U.S. taxpayers, a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) is required by the IRS for the administration of tax laws. In most cases, your TIN is either an Employer Identification Number (EIN) or a Social Security Number (SSN).

If you are a foreign seller and not a U.S. taxpayer, you will still need to complete tax interview. The responses you provide to the tax interview questions will create the appropriate tax form on your behalf. IRS regulations require non-U.S. taxpayers to provide Form W-8BEN to Amazon in order to be exempt from U.S. tax reporting requirements.

Other resources

IRS Reporting Regulations on Third-Party (3P) Payment Transactions

U.S. Tax Interview FAQ

IRS Form 1099-K - Understanding transactional details FAQ

IRS Form 1099-K – Form Generation and Payee Information FAQ

Sales Tax

It is the seller’s responsibility to understand Amazon's tax policies, and their own sales tax calculation and remittance obligations. Including registering with all required states, setting up your tax calculation settings, and remitting any tax calculated on your orders to the state.

If the order is destined to a state or jurisdiction with Marketplace Tax Collection laws in effect at the time of order, sales tax will be automatically collected and managed by Amazon. For orders where tax is not automatically collected by Amazon, the sales tax obligation remains your responsibility.

If you have any questions about your obligation, you should consult with a tax professional. If you do not have a tax professional, please refer to External Tax Advisors.

Tariff and duty rates system

It is the seller's responsibility to comply with all U.S. customs laws and regulations, including applicable duty and tax requirements. Import duty and taxes are due when importing goods into the United States whether by a private individual or a commercial entity. Some goods are not subject to duty. U.S. Customs and Border Protection does not require an importer to have a license or permit. Other agencies may require a permit, license, or other certification, depending on what is being imported.

Note: It is your responsibility to ensure all goods comply with applicable regulatory requirements.

Customs entry forms ask for your importer number. This is either your IRS business registration number, or if your business is not registered with the IRS or you do not have a business entity, your Social Security Number.

Customs brokers

Merchandise arriving in the United States by a commercial carrier must be entered by the Importer of Record (IOR). The IOR can be the owner, purchaser, his or her authorized regular employee, or by the licensed customs broker designated by the owner, purchaser, or consignee. Customs brokers are the only persons who are authorized by U.S. customs laws to act as agents for importers in customs matters, including customs clearance of imported goods. Customs brokers are private individuals or firms licensed by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to prepare and file the necessary customs entries, arrange for the payment of duties owed, take steps to release goods from CBP custody, and otherwise represent importers (i.e. principals) in customs matters. The fees charged for these services may vary according to the customs broker and the extent of services performed.

To obtain a customs broker, visit the Ports section of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website. Select the state you will be importing into, click on the city, then find a link for Broker listing below the city information.

Non-resident importer requirements

Entry of goods into the United States may be made by a non-resident (foreign) IOR. To become a non-resident IOR, the non-resident individual, partnership, or foreign corporation must:

  • Appoint a resident agent: A non-resident (foreign) IOR must appoint a resident agent to receive documents on their behalf. Typically, non-resident IORs designate their customs brokers as their resident agent. The non-resident IOR makes this designation through a written power of attorney.
  • Procure a customs bond: Customs regulations require that the IOR file an import entry bond (also known as a continuous entry bond) guaranteed by a resident surety company. The bond serves two purposes. First, Customs can execute against the bond if the IOR fails to pay assessed duties. Second, the IOR is bound by the conditions of the bond for any liquidated damages arising out of its breach of those conditions. The conditions of the entry bond include but are not limited to: payment of duties, taxes and fees; making or completing timely entry; and keeping and producing required documents and evidence related to the importation for 5 years. Customs keeps a list of approved surety companies. Sureties usually request certain financial information to ensure that the IOR has sufficient resources to pay customs duties and charges. A customs broker may assist with finding a surety for the bond and preparing the bond documents.
  • Obtain an IOR number: An IOR must apply for an IOR identification number from U.S. Customs (this is typically the company's IRS number for US companies or a number assigned by U.S. Customs for foreign entities). Customs brokers can also assist with obtaining a number.

Intellectual property rights

You should ensure that you have all intellectual property rights (for example, patents, trade marks, or copyrights) necessary for listing your products in the United States. In particular, your products must not be counterfeits. Listing prohibited intellectual property may result in the cancellation of your listings, or the suspension or removal of your selling privileges. Sellers are responsible for ensuring that the products they offer do not infringe the intellectual property of others.

If we determine that the content of a product detail page or listing is prohibited, potentially illegal, or inappropriate, we may remove or alter it without prior notice.

Product compliance

Whether you are a domestic or international seller on Amazon, you are responsible to ensure your product is eligible to sell in the U.S. This includes delivering imported products to Amazon or a buyer directly. Review the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) site (external from Amazon) for additional information about Restricted products (downloads .pdf document from US CBP site) for import into the U.S.

United States Tax and Regulatory Considerations

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