How to simplify the calculation of sales tax for an online store

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Paying taxes is not an exciting part of running a business. Most likely, this is a very time-consuming and boring process that requires perseverance and attention. If you don’t have a personal accountant and you don’t like messing with numbers too much, then this article will make your life easier. Or if you are an accountant yourself, we hope that the information and services presented below will help you in your work.

First, let’s figure out what kind of taxation system your online store has

In Russia, there are by and large three of them: simplified, general and patent. Each tax is calculated differently.

Simplified taxation system (USN)

It is suitable for those whose business brings profits up to 150 million per year, and the number of employees is no more than 100 people. Only one tax is paid on USP, which replaces all general taxes.

There are two payment options: from income or from the difference between income and expenses.

  • With the first option, the rate in most regions is 6%, but it can be lower depending on the region.
  • If you pay tax on the difference between income and expenses, the rate varies from 5 to 15%.

You yourself choose how it is more profitable for you to pay tax based on income and expenses, and how to calculate them correctly, we will explain in the next section.

Patent taxation system (PSP)

Such a system is the simplest, but it is unlikely to be suitable for an online store. The fact is that you should have small offline stores, and the site should not have “Buy”, “Order”, “Pay” buttons.

In this case, your site is a product catalog. Under such a system, you buy a patent for each direction in which you conduct business, and you pay nothing more. Later in the article, a service will be provided that will help calculate the cost of a patent.

General Taxation System (GST)

This is the most difficult option, but there are no restrictions on profitability and the number of employees. This system is suitable for a large online store with an annual turnover of more than 150 million rubles and 100+ employees.

What you pay (for LLCs):

  • Tax on the difference between income and expenses – 20%.
  • VAT at the rate of 0, 10 or 20% on sold goods.
  • Tax on the organization’s property is up to 2.2%.

For IP:

  • Personal income tax – 13%.
  • VAT at the rate of 0, 10 or 20% on sold goods.
  • Personal property tax – up to 2%.

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How to correctly calculate income and expenses?

Here are some basic formulas for an example:


Прибыль = Выручка – Расходы

Расходы = Сайт + Склад + Реклама + Доставка + Государство + Офис + Услуги

Продажи = Посещаемость * Средняя стоимость заказа * Конверсия

Of course, if you have an accountant, you are unlikely to need these formulas. But it so happened that our accounting is mainly used for deception of the state report to the tax office. The actual calculation of profit and loss is often carried out in Excel tables, and this is again very unpleasant, inconvenient and time-consuming.

So that you don’t have to worry, below is a selection of useful services that can help you:

  • Kontur.Elba – the service takes over the functions of an accountant: keeps reports, calculates taxes and contributions, fills out declarations from the USN, prepares contracts, invoices, acts, invoices. Suitable for those with USN.

  • My business does all the basic work: tax calculation, accounting, HR, financial management and trading. Suitable for USN and fuel oil.

  • 1C: Fresh is a set of 1C programs in the cloud. Probably the most common accounting program.

  • Contour. Accounting – a simple calculator for calculating USN tax.

  • Patent.nalog.ru – this calculator for calculating the value of a patent.

  • Avalara is a program for preparing tax returns. It also calculates the sales tax rate not only for the territory of the Russian Federation, but also for other countries, that is, it is suitable for those who work in the international market (the program can be connected if your site was created on the Wix platform).

  • Kontur.Extern – the calculator will allow those who have not yet decided on the correct taxation regime to choose.

Let’s summarize: why pay tax after all?

  • If your markup on the product does not exceed 40% and you officially purchase the product without cash, then you pay tax “income minus expenses”. If you have a margin of, for example, 100%, then you pay only from income.
  • If you want to save on taxes, you can change your permanent residence to a preferential region (Crimea, Chechnya, Udmurtia, etc.) – there the rates are lower than the national average.

After you have chosen the taxation system

  • Payment of taxes, acceptance of online payments from customers, rent payments are made through a current account. When choosing a bank to open such an account, pay attention to the cost of the opening itself and the cost of maintenance.
  • Sole proprietors and LLCs must have an online cash register. Such cash registers store and encrypt information about checks. The check is registered in the OFD and information about the financial transaction is sent to the tax service.
  • You can create a payment document on the FNP website. The website of the Federal Tax Service of Russia is an official service, and even if you use other programs (for example, from the selection presented above), it will not be superfluous to compare the results from different sources. The fact is that if the state changes the details for payment, as it was in 2021, the official website will be able to give accurate information, taking into account all the updates. The site is designed not only for calculating tax, but also for making a declaration, from which you can go directly to the bank and make a payment. To simplify your task, you can also pay your tax online with a bank card or on the website of a credit organization.

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