U.S. Online Retail Sales Tax Update for Paizo.com


Customer Service

Paizo Employee Customer Service & Community Manager

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Starting February 1st, 2020, paizo.com will begin collecting the estimated retail sales tax for physical or digital items, convention badges or other e-ticket sales, shipping & handling, and any other taxable items on U.S. domestic orders where applicable, including items from ongoing subscriptions.

This change is taking place due to the 2018 Supreme Court Ruling: SOUTH DAKOTA v. WAYFAIR, INC., ET AL.

Orders placed for Washington State addresses should not see a change as we have already been calculating and settling for local sales tax amounts.

Estimated sales tax to be collected will be calculated based on the online retail sales tax regulations associated with the billing address of the payment method attached to the order or subscription. If there is an order that does not have a payment method with a billing address, users will be prompted to provide information so the order can have the appropriate sales tax calculated.

Items considered taxable, and the applicable rates at which those items are taxed will vary by location. At the time your order is generated, paizo.com will provide the estimated sales tax based on your payment methods’ billing address.

In rare cases, the regulations for online retail sales tax in your jurisdiction may change between the time your order is placed and when your order is shipped. If that happens, the estimated sales tax on your order will be amended and the updated amount will be included in the amount settled against your payment method.

The code that allows us to begin to calculate retail tax was rolled January 16th & 17th, 2020, so that we could verify it was working successfully on the live site. However, a flag is set so that we will not start charging sales tax until February 1st. If you notice anything odd or strange with sales tax, please let customer service know.

Let us know if you have any questions!
-Sara Marie


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Thanks for letting us know.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I’m glad to know this ahead of time.

I guess there will be plenty of extra last minute orders.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber

Will the giftcards also be taxed? Trying to decide if stocking my account before my subs ship will be worth it or if I should just let it come out of my bank account.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
Cap'n Nemo wrote:
Will the giftcards also be taxed? Trying to decide if stocking my account before my subs ship will be worth it or if I should just let it come out of my bank account.

Unless I'm misunderstanding, it won't matter. If you spend $100 on a gift card right now, next month when a product invoice is generated, it'll include tax, and that will be subtracted from the gift certificate value. I don't see how buying a card now will help you evade taxation later.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber
Anguish wrote:
Cap'n Nemo wrote:
Will the giftcards also be taxed? Trying to decide if stocking my account before my subs ship will be worth it or if I should just let it come out of my bank account.
Unless I'm misunderstanding, it won't matter. If you spend $100 on a gift card right now, next month when a product invoice is generated, it'll include tax, and that will be subtracted from the gift certificate value. I don't see how buying a card now will help you evade taxation later.

More so I'm asking if when I buy the gift card, will the gift card be taxed upon purchase in feb or are gift certificates excluded from taxation. I know the actual sub items will be taxed.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
Cap'n Nemo wrote:
Anguish wrote:
Cap'n Nemo wrote:
Will the giftcards also be taxed? Trying to decide if stocking my account before my subs ship will be worth it or if I should just let it come out of my bank account.
Unless I'm misunderstanding, it won't matter. If you spend $100 on a gift card right now, next month when a product invoice is generated, it'll include tax, and that will be subtracted from the gift certificate value. I don't see how buying a card now will help you evade taxation later.
More so I'm asking if when I buy the gift card, will the gift card be taxed upon purchase in feb or are gift certificates excluded from taxation. I know the actual sub items will be taxed.

Oh. Normally in general gift cards are a 1:1 face-value purchase. I don't believe that's a Paizo thing, it's a how-retail-works thing. You spend $100 to get a $100 card, and you can turn that in for $100 worth of your debts. If you by a $99.99 item and tax or shipping or other fees puts your debt over $100, the card will be insufficient.

Scarab Sages

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Gift cards are considered the equivalent of cash. They are not taxable. You should only pay tax when you use the gift card.

Paizo Employee Customer Service & Community Manager

TomParker is correct. Gift Cards are not taxed.

The order the gift card is used to pay for would be taxed as applicable.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber

Sweet then I'll just continue to stock my account each month and use it to pay for my subscriptions. Thanks everyone for the answers.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

This is good to know ahead of time, thank you.

I have a clarification question: Am I correct in assuming we won't be taxed for the free PDF/s we receive as part of our subscription? We will be charged tax for the physical copies, of course. But we won't be taxed for the free counterparts, correct?


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
Pigraven wrote:

This is good to know ahead of time, thank you.

I have a clarification question: Am I correct in assuming we won't be taxed for the free PDF/s we receive as part of our subscription? We will be charged tax for the physical copies, of course. But we won't be taxed for the free counterparts, correct?

$0 times any percentage taxation is $0.

Or am I misunderstanding what you're asking?

Paizo Employee Customer Service & Community Manager

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The complimentary PDF is not taxed in our code.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Anguish wrote:
Pigraven wrote:

This is good to know ahead of time, thank you.

I have a clarification question: Am I correct in assuming we won't be taxed for the free PDF/s we receive as part of our subscription? We will be charged tax for the physical copies, of course. But we won't be taxed for the free counterparts, correct?

$0 times any percentage taxation is $0.

Or am I misunderstanding what you're asking?

No, you are correct. However, I've seen it where sometimes a company will still charge something for an item that is free. The most common is charging shipping and handling for a free item, which makes sense. But there have been occasions where I've seen online vendors charge tax on a free item because in their system they use a placeholder dollar amount as part of their code, and only zero out the cost of the item after everything, including tax, is tallied. I don't know how legal that is, but I can confirm it's a thing that happens.


Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber

So if my order for January that is still pending does not get resolved until February will I be taxed as well? Or is it set for orders ordered by a certain date?


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
Pigraven wrote:
No, you are correct. However, I've seen it where sometimes a company will still charge something for an item that is free. The most common is charging shipping and handling for a free item, which makes sense. But there have been occasions where I've seen online vendors charge tax on a free item because in their system they use a placeholder dollar amount as part of their code, and only zero out the cost of the item after everything, including tax, is tallied. I don't know how legal that is, but I can confirm it's a thing that happens.

That you very much for the clarification. I often read questions/statements that I don't understand, and like to ask, so I can. I'm of the opinion that very few "stupid" questions or actions are actually stupid; the asker/do-er is just operating with information or opinions different from mine. I like enlightenment. So again, thank you.

That all said... wow. I'm very glad I've never encountered non-$0 definitions of "free" before. Well, except shipping, which doesn't apply to digital products. So weird.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

This does not apply to international orders, correct?

Paizo Employee Customer Service & Community Manager

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Zaister wrote:
This does not apply to international orders, correct?

This current change impacts some US states that are changing their regulations due to the supreme court decision.

There are some international places that currently require or are looking at requiring direct to consumer retailers to apply taxes or fees on orders. Australia is the only one I can think of off hand that currently requires it. That does not preclude other locations from changing their requirements in the future.


Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber

Posting again because my January 14th order is still pending and it is the 28th...if my order does not get resolved until February will I be taxed as well? Or is it set for orders ordered by a certain date?

Paizo Employee Customer Service & Community Manager

Unfortunately I don't have a quick answer to that and I am trying to be sure I have all of the information correct before we respond.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Sara Marie wrote:
Zaister wrote:
This does not apply to international orders, correct?

This current change impacts some US states that are changing their regulations due to the supreme court decision.

There are some international places that currently require or are looking at requiring direct to consumer retailers to apply taxes or fees on orders. Australia is the only one I can think of off hand that currently requires it. That does not preclude other locations from changing their requirements in the future.

*hoists the EU flag furiously*


Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber

Luckily my order has shipped so no worries for me this month. However next month the devil must be given his due. Oh well. At least a had two shipments with no tax.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

More and more I view government as closely akin to the local gang that "sells" you "protection" -- from themselves. :-(


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
Ed Reppert wrote:
More and more I view government as closely akin to the local gang that "sells" you "protection" -- from themselves. :-(

Not to get political, but you know the roads you drive on don't come from nowhere, right? The libraries you may - or may not - visit aren't staffed and supplied by volunteers. The schools that educate all but the rich elite aren't build and supported by donations. The diplomatic missions that keep other nations from invading you aren't sponsored by corporations. The military that backs those diplomatic missions aren't giving their time for free, and the equipment they use isn't already paid-for. Even if these specific things don't have personal value to you, they do to your nation.

Is there waste in government? Yes.
Is it frustrating? Yes.
Do you get quite an amazing amount of value regardless? Yes.
Is this specific taxation fair or justified? Don't know.

Of course, I'm a dirty Canadian, so the inevitable accusations of evil socialism may commence at any time.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Anguish, I'm well aware of what government does. I'm also of the opinion that most of it would be better done by free markets, or not at all.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Ed Reppert this is a free market.... Free Market doesn't mean not taxxed. It means that the market prices are determined by the businesses competing for customers....

Taxation is a requirement of a civilized world. One way or the other services provided will need to be paid for. Taxing of goods and property is the most reliable way to make sure those services are funded by the people who utilize them.


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Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

"Taxation is a requirement of a civilized world."

You may buy that. I don't.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber

Any updates what will happen with Jan subscriptions that do not get sent out today? Are they going to be taxed??

Paizo Employee Customer Service & Community Manager

I'm looking at how many orders are still pending and will be affected. The tech team is here as well as the code has to be rolled again to implement it.

Paizo Employee Customer Service & Community Manager

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It appears that the states with active requirements as of February 2, 2020, for sales tax that we expect to be affected are:

Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Narrowing my filters for pending orders from those states minus Washington which already has tax applied.

I apologize this is so confusing. There are a lot of corner cases in order status that we are trying to work through and it's very difficult to filter out unaffected data.

Edit from 02/03/2020: Please see follow up post with updated state list.

Paizo Employee Customer Service & Community Manager

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We believe we shipped everything in the active shipping queue that would have been affected by this change.

Once the code is rolled out, any applicable sales tax is calculated when the order goes into the active shipping queue and shipped out. It's not automatically recalculated until that happens or unless customer service is manually updating the order.

The warehouse has plenty of orders still in the queue shipping to work on, so next up I will be looking at pending orders that would be affected that were not in the active shipping queue.

Spoiler:
As an aside, one of the difficulties of a massive shift like this, is that it can bring up a ton of old corner cases. One example, there's a handful of orders that the database thinks has a flag for not being finished, but everything is fulfilled on the order. Adding to this is the scale of variables for ways our orders can act and it's like opening a can of recursive hydra worms. My sheer admiration and respect for folks who work on retail sales & inventory management software skyrockets whenever I start trying to sift through data like this. The complexity of this stuff absolutely boggles my mind sometimes. What seems like a simple rule, can require a ton of logic and exceptions. It's truly amazing.

Paizo Employee Customer Service & Community Manager

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Submitted 10/19/07
Doesn't need shipping:
Order is not submitted.

Last modified 11/14/07 by ...

Spoiler:
Cosmo!

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

*cackles*

Paizo Employee Customer Service & Community Manager

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Code is all rolled out, so going forward when you place an order, paizo.com will provide the estimated sales tax based on your payment methods’ billing address.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber

Thank you for the updates Sara!

Paizo Employee Customer Service & Community Manager

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Also, to quick address some of the posts above, whether or not one believes that retail taxes should exist is a moot point for us since there are now twenty-four additional states that have these sales tax requirements for us and we would like to continue selling items to people in those states. :)

Please do free to have a discussion in the off topic forum about tax and the free market, just for now, please keep politics out of it. If you do happen to start one, send me a link to the thread. :D


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Fair enough. I was about done anyway. :-)

Paizo Employee Customer Service & Community Manager

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I've received an update to the list of states we expect to be affected by the recent retail tax update. Please keep in mind that as states figure out their requirements and pass legislation over the next few months? or years? more locations will likely be added to this list.

California
Colorado
Georgia
Hawaii
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Michigan
Minnesota
Nebraska
Nevada
New Jersey
North Carolina
Ohio
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Dakota
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington (already had sales tax applied)
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming


Pathfinder Card Game, Rulebook Subscriber

I really appreciate the transparency and advance notice given here!

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