I'm looking into opening a delivery business that picks up and delivers items customers have already bought from local stores. Items could be furniture or food. For the purpose of this question the business resides in Idaho but it would be helpful to get a general answer for the entire United States.

Question (Updated)
Do I need to charge a sales tax (or any tax) on the delivery fee?

Please note tax on the items has been paid already by the customers so this is not about resale tax.

What if I included the price of delivery in the original purchase the customer made? For example they bought a fridge and the store added on a $50 delivery fee that they pay 100% to my business. Would they be responsible for handling the tax (if any) in this case?

Shipping is tax free so long as it is listed separately on the customers receipt, however I am not the business making the original sell. A whole new transaction occurs where I charge a delivery fee (not the same as a shipping fee) and in Idaho most service businesses are tax free. Delivering an already purchased item for a fee counts as a service and I haven't been able to find anything on delivery fees being taxable or not.

  • 2
    Sales taxes are collected by states and lower, not federally, so any laws would depend on the jurisdiction, and there's not a "general answer for the entire US".
    – D Stanley
    Commented Oct 30, 2017 at 19:50
  • 2
    Search for "Are delivery fees taxable in XX" where XX is your state. Commented Oct 30, 2017 at 20:48
  • 1
    In many places services are subject to sales tax. Depends on your location
    – Eric
    Commented Oct 31, 2017 at 6:12
  • 100%, definitively, the answer is: maybe.
    – quid
    Commented Dec 12, 2018 at 19:30

1 Answer 1


In general, this varies from state to state, and depends on whether the delivery crosses from one state to another. Specifically, there is no separate sales tax for delivery in Idaho:

Two (2) kinds of services rendered incidental to a retail sale are specifically exempt from tax if the charge for the service is separately stated. They are:

Charges for transportation after the sale. See Section 63-3613, Idaho Code, and Rule 061 of these rules; and

Installation charges. See Section 63-3613, Idaho Code, and Rule 012 of these rules

Unless the price of the item is unreasonable in an attempt to avoid sales tax:

Use of Transportation Charges as a Means of Avoiding Sales Tax. Seller offers to give away merchandise worth approximately twenty dollars ($20) if the purchaser pays shipping of nineteen dollars and ninety-five cents ($19.95). The entire price of nineteen dollars and ninety-five cents ($19. 95) is subject to sales or use tax.

Idaho is among the states that has what is called a resale exemption. This depends on a few factors:

The most common exemption is a resale exemption. Goods purchased to be resold in the same form in which they are purchased qualify for a resale exemption (which removes the requirement to pay sales tax) assuming that the reseller is licensed and can provide a resale certificate (for the ship-to state). When that reseller later sells the goods, they are required to collect sales tax on the full selling price of the product. Once a seller has registered to collect sales tax, and has received a sales tax registration number, that number can be used to complete a resale certificate which can then be provided to suppliers. States that allow for resale exemptions either accept a state issued resale certificate or, in some cases, a multi-state certificate. Multi-State Sales Tax Exemption Certificates can be accessed at MTC . Many states also allow "blanket" resale certificates for wholesalers who deal largely in resale transactions, often to regular clients who may make numerous and/or repeat purchases throughout the year. Basically a blanket certificate is a document kept on file which applies to multiple purchases from a single customer. Resellers must however be aware that there are certain limitations associated with the use of resale certificates:

  • A business which is registered for sales and use tax can use a resale certificate only when the merchandise being purchased is to be resold by the business.
  • A business cannot use a resale certificate to purchase merchandise if that merchandise is used or consumed by the purchaser in any manner without being resold. If you purchase items for resale (and the supplier did not charge you sales tax), and then later consume those items or use in providing a service, as the end consumer you owe tax on that purchase. In this situation, the tax would be submitted as use tax.
  • A resale certificate may not be signed by a purchaser who does not know at the time of purchase whether the item will be resold or used for some other purpose.


  • 1
    Thank you for your time answering. I think you got a down vote because you focused a bit to much on resale tax which this definitely does not fall under; I do not get the items tax free therefore tax was already charge on the item itself. Your edited answer makes more sense so I +1 Commented Dec 13, 2018 at 20:05
  • @Blizzardengle Most questioners never accept or leave comments, especially on downvotes of others. Cheers. Commented Dec 13, 2018 at 20:20

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