Charge tax on orders


Let’s face it, there’s not really a fun way to talk about taxes - but hey, we’ve gotta. 💰 Here are a few details on how the tax setting in the admin functions:

  • Taxes are only charged on orders that are placed to your taxed location. For example, if you set up your taxes for Texas at 8.25%, only your Texan customers will be charged tax. Make sense?

  • European stores will be able to choose a home country, or set a rate for the entire European Union.

  • All other countries can set taxes for their store’s home country by default.

Not sure how much to charge? We’d recommend consulting with a tax professional. Since the laws vary and many are changing quickly, a trusted accountant can help you navigate requirements based on where you’re located and ensure you’re following the law.

About that Supreme Court Decision

U.S. folks: you may have heard that a June 2018 Supreme Court case overruled the Quill decision. Quill prevented states from requiring businesses with no “physical presence” there, like out-of-state online retailers, to collect sales taxes.

The Supreme Court did acknowledge the difference between big online retailers (think Amazon or Overstock) and the smaller businesses (like sellers using Big Cartel). Because of those significant differences in businesses and the complexities of state and local tax laws, we think that we’ll see much more litigation around enforcement in the coming weeks/months/years. It’s possible that this all ends up with Congress enacting a federal sales tax or small business exemption - we really don’t know.

With so much up in the air right now Big Cartel is taking a patient approach to see what shakes out before we completely redesign how tax is handled in our stores. We’ll likely be making small changes in the near future to better help you make the best decisions for your business, and we’ll be sure to keep all of our sellers in the loop as those roll out. For now, our built-in tax tool still only allows you to collect taxes in one location.

We suggest that everyone talk with a tax professional to determine what changes, if any, you need to make to the sales tax collection process.



  1. Log in at
  2. Go to .
  3. Scroll down to the Preferences area and click Edit Preferences.
  4. Toggle the Charge tax on orders setting on.
  5. If you’re based in the United States, choose a state. For European stores, choose your country or the entire EU.
  6. Set the tax rate that will apply to orders placed to that location.

Sorry, right now this can only be done on the web.

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