Shopify & Amazon E-commerce Sales & Dropshipping Products – UK & US Tax

Selling products on Amazon & Shopify from the United Kingdom (UK) to the United States (US)

Optimise Accountants specializes in assisting e-commerce sellers expanding from the UK to the US, including Amazon and dropshipping businesses. Learn about UK-US tax treaties and compliance requirements to maximize profits and minimize tax liabilities. Get expert guidance on Effectively Connected Income and Permanent Establishment to ensure seamless cross-border operations comply with the UK & US tax treaty. This applies to those using third party logistics (3PL) agents

Are you an e-commerce seller seeking to expand your business across borders, particularly from the United Kingdom to the United States? Look no further. Optimise Accountants is your premier partner in navigating the complex world of international taxation, specialising in assisting Amazon & Shopify sellers, dropshipping entrepreneurs, and businesses exploring new markets abroad.

Navigating the tax landscape when operating in multiple countries can be daunting. That’s where Optimise Accountants comes in. With our in-depth knowledge and experience, we help you understand and comply with the intricacies of UK-US tax treaties. We specialise in handling tax matters such as Effectively Connected Income and Permanent Establishment, ensuring you maximise your profits while fully compliant with tax regulations.

Foreign Amazon drop shippers often opt to establish their companies in Wyoming or Nevada

Tax Benefits: Wyoming and Nevada are known for their favourable tax environments. They have no state corporate income tax, franchise, or personal income tax for individuals or businesses. This can result in significant tax savings for foreign drop shippers compared to establishing their businesses in other states with higher tax burdens.

Privacy and Asset Protection: Wyoming and Nevada offer substantial privacy and asset protection laws, making them attractive options for foreign entrepreneurs concerned about personal liability and safeguarding their assets. These states allow for forming limited liability companies (LLCs) with solid asset protection features, shielding personal assets from business liabilities.

Ease of Formation: Establishing a company in Wyoming or Nevada is relatively straightforward and cost-effective compared to other states. The process typically involves minimal paperwork and administrative requirements, making it appealing to foreign entrepreneurs seeking a hassle-free setup process.

Flexibility in Business Operations: Both states have flexible business laws, allowing for various business structures and operational arrangements. This flexibility enables foreign drop shippers to customise their business entities according to their specific needs and preferences, whether they operate as sole proprietors, partnerships, or LLCs. 

No Requirement for Physical Presence: Unlike some states, Wyoming and Nevada do not require companies to have a physical presence or hold shareholder meetings within the state. This means that foreign drop shippers can maintain their businesses remotely without the need to travel to the United States, offering convenience and cost savings.

It is easy to start selling products on e-commerce sites such Amazon & Shopify but it is another to get it right legally and from a tax perspective.

Setting up a US Limited Liability Company (LLC) owned by a UK limited company to sell products through a 3rd party Logistics (3pl) agent

Established in the heart of the United Kingdom, Smith & Co., a thriving limited company, had long contemplated expansion into the vast American market. With a keen eye for opportunity, they set up a Limited Liability Company (LLC) in Delaware, known for its business-friendly environment and advantageous tax regulations. This strategic move would facilitate smoother operations and provide legal protection through limited liability.

With a vision to offer quality products at competitive prices, Smith & Co. forged partnerships with manufacturers in China renowned for their efficiency and craftsmanship. Leveraging these alliances, they meticulously curated a diverse range of goods, from electronics to household essentials, tailored to meet the discerning tastes of American consumers.

Navigating the complex logistics of distributing goods across the vast expanse of the United States posed a significant challenge. Smith & Co. opted to collaborate with third-party logistics (3PL) agents to streamline their operations. These seasoned professionals would manage warehousing, inventory management, and order fulfilment, allowing Smith & Co. to focus on core business activities such as marketing and customer engagement.

With their LLC established, products sourced, and logistics in place, Smith & Co. embarked on their American journey. From the bustling streets of New York to the sun-kissed shores of California, their products found their way to eager consumers nationwide. Through strategic marketing initiatives and a commitment to customer satisfaction, Smith & Co. rapidly gained traction in the highly competitive US market.

Examples: Importing to Florida, Texas, New York

Florida: A UK-based company, XYZ Ltd., exports goods to the United States and operates a distribution centre in Florida. As they generate income effectively connected with a US trade or business, they must file Form 1120 with the IRS. Additionally, since they claim benefits under the UK-US tax treaty, they must submit Form 8833 to disclose their treaty-based position.

Texas: ABC Limited, a UK company engaged in e-commerce, sells products to customers in Texas. To comply with US tax laws, they must submit Form 1120 if their income meets the threshold for filing as a corporation. Additionally, as a foreign entity receiving income from US sources, they must provide a valid Form W-8BEN-E to the US payers to claim treaty benefits and avoid excessive withholding taxes.

 California: DEF Enterprises, a UK-based manufacturer, has a subsidiary in California that imports and sells products to US customers. Since the subsidiary is a disregarded entity for tax purposes, DEF Enterprises must file Form 5472 to report transactions between the UK parent company and its US subsidiary, ensuring compliance with IRS regulations regarding foreign-owned US entities.

New York: GHI Holdings, a UK corporation with operations in New York, sells goods directly to US consumers online. As they derive income from US sources, they are subject to US taxation and must file Form 1120 if they meet the income threshold. Additionally, they must provide Form W-8BEN-E to claim treaty benefits and mitigate any potential double taxation on their income earned in the United States.

Brits in the UK can make money selling in all states within the United States when selling on Amazon & Shopify. Tax may also be minimised.

How We Can Help - US & UK Tax Treaty

Optimise Accountants offers tailored solutions to meet the unique needs of e-commerce businesses expanding from the UK to the US. Our services include:

Tax Planning: We develop comprehensive tax strategies that optimise your tax position and minimise liabilities, ensuring maximum profitability for your business.

Compliance Assistance: We ensure you comply with all relevant tax laws and regulations, from preparing and filing tax returns to fulfilling reporting requirements.

Cross-Border Transaction Guidance: We provide expert advice on structuring cross-border transactions to minimise tax exposure and maximise efficiency.

Continuous Support: Our commitment to your success doesn’t end with tax season. We offer ongoing support and guidance to help you navigate changing tax laws and business dynamics.

Shopify & Amazon E-commerce Sales & Dropshipping FAQ

What are the key dates I need to know when operating as an e-commerce seller from the UK to the US?

: Important dates include tax filing deadlines, quarterly estimated tax payments, and relevant VAT registration deadlines. Our team ensures you stay on top of these dates to avoid penalties and fines.

How does the UK-US tax treaty impact my business when selling on Amazon & Shopify?

The tax treaty between the UK and the US governs how income is taxed when crossing borders. Understanding its provisions is crucial for optimising your tax position and avoiding double taxation.

What is Effectively Connected Income, and why does it matter?

Effectively Connected Income (ECI) refers to income generated from business activities in the US when selling on platforms like amazon & Shopify. It's essential to properly identify and report ECI to comply with US tax laws.

Can Optimise Accountants assist with VAT registration and compliance for UK e-commerce sellers?

Absolutely. We offer comprehensive VAT registration and compliance services tailored to the needs of UK e-commerce sellers expanding into the US market.

Book a call to see how we can help you.


Consultation options.

We offer the two following options for initial consultations.


Our Ongoing Accountancy Services

We charge on a fixed monthly fee

  • - Accounts submitted to HMRC & Companies House

  • - Tax support when needed (no extra charge)

  • - An holistic review of your tax structure and future plans

  • - Annual tax return review to discuss future tax plans


Tax Call + Report + Video Recording

Want tax advice right now? Book today

  • - Upload your questions in advance

  • - A qualified tax advisors discuss the very best solution with you

  • - A tax report & meeting recording is sent within 48 hours

  • - Clarification questions are answered via email

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